Thirst: The Postman Always Rings Twice, Korean-Style

Opening Friday is another one not to miss: Thirst, an audacious genre-bending Korean vampire movie from the brilliant director Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance) that is actually a blood-soaked remake of Emile Zola’s Therese Raquin. Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) is a kindly priest who travels to Africa to be used a guinea pig for a vaccine to cure a boil- and blood-bursting disease. He lives and becomes a local hero and saint, but the transfusion transforms him into a light-sensitive, blood craving monster who can leap rooftops. Back home, a chance meeting at a hospital (where he administers to and drains the blood of the unhealthy) reunites him with Tae ju (the ferociously good Kin Ok-bin). She’s a pretty, put-upon wife of a sickly yokel living with their vodka-swilling overbearing mother. The priest and the young woman find themselves drawn to one another and create a very lustful and murderous alliance. While a tad long and midway the film spins it’s wheels for a while, it picks up steam for a sublime finish. The merrily outrageous cinematic flourishes and unholy blasts of black humor make this The Postman Always Rings Twice with fangs.

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