Thirst ★★★½

Park Chan-wook’s Thirst is an unforgettable and unflinchingly human exploration of the dichotomous emotional responses that come with sinful behavior filtered through vampiric lore. It was palpable experience, and another strong showing from the ever-reliable Park.

Put simply, THIRST holds your attention. The storyline, about a priest who finds himself infected with a blood virus and then is slowly transformed into a bloodsucker, is never less than thoroughly entertaining. It goes without saying that the direction is great – every scene and sequence is expertly crafted, leaving no margin for error. Emphasis is on characterisation throughout, which is always a strong point, and the actors have the talent to fully bring their roles to life; the main actress is particularly fascinating.

I wouldn’t say Park Chan-wook reinvents the wheel with Thirst. The vampire mystique is pretty standard cinematic fare. Nonetheless Thirst is an engrossing vampire tale full of dark humour, tragedy, beauty and violence. Excellent performances from its two leads Kang-ho Song and Ok-bin Kim are worth the price of admission.

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