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THIRST (2009)

DVD Review by David Blackwell


134 minutes, Rated R, no extras

VIDEO:   2.35:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen)

AUDIO:   Korean 5.1 Dolby Surround

Subtitles:  English, French, Spanish


STUDIO:  Universal Studios/ Focus Features/ CJ Entertainment/ Moho Films

DVD RELEASE DATE:  11-17-2009

Sang Hyun is a Catholic priest who volunteers at a local South Korean hospital by giving last rites to the dying (and even emotional support).   He agrees to be part of an experiment to eradicate the deadly EV virus.   None have survived exposure to the virus until Sang Hyun.    The virus turns him into a vampire.   People start to see him as a saint, but he soon learns he needs blood to survive.  He first gets blood off a comatose patient at a hospital.   Then he meets Tae-Ju, the wife of a childhood friend.   It tests his desire- a carnal desire he gives into.  Tae-Ju wants to escape her life.  The new desires makes Sang Hyun take his life into new directions which will have consequences for him and Tae-Ju.


Park Chan Wook first came to my attention when I saw the Vengeance Trilogy with OLDBOY and LADY VENGEACNCE sticking out.   THIRST is another lyrical film from him.  He manages to infuse humanity, horror, humor, and love into a poignant tale which is beautiful and sometimes tragic.    The two lead characters get trapped by their desires and that is what drives the film- what he does and how he reacts to her actions.   The performances and script are top notch.   THIRST proves Park Chan Wook can pull off films as great as OLDBOY (which thankfully the US remake has been killed).    I want to see what Park Chan Wook would do if he ever did a science fiction film.


Unfortunately, Universal Pictures didn’t provide any extras for the DVD or even put the film out on Blu-ray.  Palisades Tartan in the Untied Kingdom will have extras including a director’s audio commentary and even a release on Blu-ray.   I’m sad that Universal gave such poor treatment to such a great film from one of the best directors who stand out in the 21st century.


This DVD review is (c)11-20-2009 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  No vampires were harmed while writing this review.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com