Thirst ★★★★

When I saw this was on Mubi, I had to watch it. Park Chan-wook hasn’t let me down yet, and he continues his streak of great, idiosyncratic films in Thirst. Song Kang-ho plays a Catholic priest who is turning into a vampire, and he is great as he always is, but it’s Kim Ok-bin who steals the show as Tae-ju, the priest’s love interest whose fascination with vampirism takes a dark turn, and the strength of the film comes from their developing relationship and their differing approaches to the condition of being a vampire. There is gore, but it’s more unsettling that horrifying or tense, as the focus is far more on the character elements than anything else, as a constant thread is the priest’s battles with his own faith and desire to do good, which conflict with his thirst for blood. Sinister and comedic, dramatic and bizarre, Thirst is definitely one to watch if you like character-driven movies that ruminate on faith and the nature of good and evil which just so happen to have a few bloody vampiric murders thrown in for good measure.