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Thirst (4 stars)

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Thirst

Korean vampire flick

The success of Twilight has inevitably paved the way for a glut of vampire- themed movies of varying merit. But Park Chan-wook’s Thirst is well worth sinking your teeth into. Admittedly overlong and occasionally disjointed, the film nevertheless offers a bold new take on the genre that’s wickedly amusing and strangely moving.

When Father Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) volunteers for a medical experiment designed to eradicate a killer virus sweeping his homeland, he becomes infected and requires a transfusion that turns him into a vampire. Once home, he must juggle his dependence with a newfound sexual appetite for Tae-ju (Kim Ok-vin), the wife of a childhood friend who is seeking her own escape.

Just as he did with his Oldboy trilogy, Park has created an involving human drama out of a dark, violent premise. Song’s conflicted priest provides a fascinating anti-hero, juggling issues of faith with survival, while Kim’s Tae-ju steals the show as she transforms from mild-mannered innocent to all-consuming vamp.

Not every idea is fully realised and the film takes some odd directions but a killer final third ensures that this vampire tale lives long in the memory.

(18) 133mins. General release from Fri 16 October.

Thirst trailer

Thirst

  • 4 stars
  • 2009
  • South Korea
  • 133 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Park Chan-wook
  • Cast: Kang ho Song, Ok Vin Kim, Hae Sook Kim

Another vampire film, this time from 'Oldboy' master Wook. Admittedly overlong and occasionally disjointed, the film nevertheless offers a bold new take on the genre that's wickedly amusing and strangely moving.

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