Review: The Wailing, 2016, dir. Na Hong-jin

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It’s a quantifiable fact that I love the cinema of South Korea, thanks largely to the work of Park Chan-wook, whose magnum opus Oldboy remains one of my favorite movies of all time (of all time). But a decade and change after getting into Korean film, I have come to see Park as a gateway filmmaker, a guy whose output introduced me to the outputs of other talented filmmakers. Some of them are even better than he is. Some of them, well, just aren’t, but even among that number there are still plenty worth watching. 

This brings me back around to The Wailing, which is tied for a slot in my “top five movies I’ve seen in 2016 thus far” list Robert Eggers’ fantastic The Witch. That should tell you something about how good The Wailing is. It should also tell you something about The Wailing‘s thematic interests. (I’ve probably said this before, but boy is there a lot of devil stuff happening in 2016. A lot a lot.) The Wailing isn’t anything like The Witch, really, outside of falling under the very broad umbrella of “demonic possession horror” and sporting top-notch craftsmanship. Knowing more than that benefits nobody, though, so maybe check out my review at Paste Magazine, where I tried very hard to give away as little as possible.

 

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