In the small village Goksung in South Korea, police officer Jong-Goo investigates bizarre murders caused by a mysterious disease. His partner relays gossip that a Japanese stranger, who lives in a secluded house in the mountains, would be an evil spirit responsible for the illness. Jong-Goo decides to visit the stranger along with his partner and a young priest who speaks Japanese. They find an altar with a goat head, pictures on the walls of the infected people that died, and an attacking guard dog that prevents their departure until the stranger arrives. Jong-Goo finds one shoe of his beloved daughter, Hyo-jin, in the house of the stranger, and soon she becomes sick. His mother-in-law summons the shaman Il-gwang to save her granddaughter while a mysterious woman tells Jong-Goo that the stranger is responsible. Who might be the demon that is bringing sickness to Goksung?Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
SPOILER: Have seen a lot of films, reviewed a lot of films but this extraordinary two and a half hour technically-perfect humanistic horror film from one of the finest writer/directors in the business (auteur of I SAW THE DEVIL) was something of a cipher.
The closest analog I can suggest in David Lynch's 2001's Mulholland Drive, yet another technically perfect, humanistic, suspense opus which keeps you captivated for its full length, yet has you walking out of the theatre shaking your head and wondering what exactly you just saw? Both film-makers understand the "big secret" of story telling which is, if you can present your story in such a way that the viewer feels he or she is sharing the experience with the protagonist, you can tell any story you like and the viewer will just keep going.
I will not even try to provide an explanation for what THE WAILING means, other than to re-quote the writer/director himself who, in numerous interviews on his film, said enigmatically "I began to wonder about the nature of God -- what if he was not always good?" Recommended on many levels. As entertainment, as a puzzle, and as a clinic in how to make a film that engages ... and just won't let go.
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