Thirst

"Very Good"

Thirst Review


Besides the vampires, this is an oddly faithful adaptation of Emile Zola's novel Therese Raquin. Filmmaker Park directs with his usual eye-catching skill and attention to gruesome detail, and creates a story with strong emotional resonance.

Priest Sang-hyeon (Song Kang-ho) voluntarily enters an African monastery to help research a deadly disease. But the mysterious illness leaves him craving human blood. He finds peaceful solutions to this, but things get complicated when he meets the sparky Tae-joo (Kim Ok-vin), who he's known since childhood in the orphanage. She's still living with her adoptive mother (Kim Hae-sook), and is now married to her adoptive brother Kang-woo (Shin). When they plot to kill Kang-woo so they can be together, this is only their first step across the line to inhumanity.

Park tells this story in a remarkably straightforward way, weaving in otherworldly elements with raw earthiness that allows for some cool, low-key effects and lots of dry humour. This keeps things relatively grounded in reality, as does an emotionally open performance by Song Kang-ho as a man who is horrified at his new inner yearnings and desperately tries to create a worldview that works for him. Around him, the characters are all too selfish or nutty for us to care about them.

This makes it impossible for us to invest in Sang-hyeon's relationship with Tae-joo. Kim Ok-vin's performance is lively and constantly surprising, but this simply isn't a character we can root for. She's far too dark and scary for that, while everyone else is either naive or self-involved. And the story turns seriously sordid, so it's a good thing that Sang-hyeon is such a complicated, likeable guy. Even his one act of sheer nastiness is almost understandable.

Yes, while this film is packed with terrific scenes and fascinating characters, the uneven tone makes it hard to engage with. The mood veers back and forth from quiet and thoughtful to gruesome and frantic. Along with the technical expertise, there are fascinating themes in here, most notably about two damaged people who are drawn to each other against their better judgement. And ultimately, it's the theme that contrasts martyrdom with suicide that sticks in the mind.



Thirst

Facts and Figures

Run time: 133 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 30th April 2009

Box Office USA: $0.3M

Distributed by: Focus Features

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 88 Rotten: 20

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Ahn Soo-Hyun

Starring: as Noelle, as Bryan, Mercedes McNab as Atheria, Brandon Quinn as Tyson

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.