Thirst: Film #145 of Film 365

Monday 27th February 2012

Director: Chan-wook Park
Year: 2009
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hae-suk Kim, Ha-Kyun Shin

Well, this is different. It was part of a vampire triple-bill on Channel 4 one evening- coming after Twilight and Near Dark (both enjoyable vampire movies in my opinion). This is a Korean movie, and the oddest of the three. And, perhaps in some ways, also the most traditional. It features a pretty large amount of death and sex. Anybody who knows their vampire movies (or even vampire novels) will know that this means it's a proper vampire movie.

All this doesn't mean that you will have seen anything like Thirst before. I'm not sure how much of this is down to the fact that the movie is Korean, and I'm not used to their style of film making, and how much is down to the movie being truly unique. But I certainly enjoyed it, and might well seek out other Korean recommended movies on the strength of it.

Thirst begins by telling the story of Priest Sang-hyeon (Song), a man who volunteers for a vaccine development project. He does this to try and help others infected by a specific disease. But, unlike all the other patients who die, a blood transfusion turns him into a vampire. It takes him some time to acknowledge this, and Thirst does a great job of portraying the emotions he goes through in order to get to this point. This is no 2-minute Hollywood plot device at the beginning of a movie to get you to the good vampire stuff. It takes a good 30-40 minutes to get to this point; but you won't feel bored getting there. The movie descends into more of a Hollywood Natural Born Killers style movie when Priest Sang-hyeon meets Tae-ju (Kim) - but even this relationship takes some time to getting going; and watching it become established is all part of the joy.

If you love horror, and specifically vampire movies (like me), but are looking for something a bit different to your standard Hollywood fare, I highly recommend seeking Thirst out.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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I live in Bristol with my husband Dan (who I married in July 2007), my son Joe (born 2012) and daughter Jess (born 2015). I work at UWE (the University of the West of England) in Bristol as a Research and Open Access Librarian. I'm orginally from Exeter, so moving back to Bristol is a bit like coming home - especially as I studied for my undergraduate degree here (also at UWE). I love travelling and movies, although I get to do a lot less of both since the birth of our children. Although we have still managed to fit in holidays to the Isles of Scilly, Chamonix and a summer in California since Joe was born.