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

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

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.