Tim Burnham’s review published on Letterboxd:
I love a film I can’t figure out. I love sitting in a theatre, feeling the minutes tick by, knowing we can’t be more than forty minutes in when the premise of the film is fulfilled and tension starts to quietly build.
I love how Bong Joon-Ho starts to twist the knife. There’s a particular flick to the way he handles it, how he drives it between the ribs, how he rotates and starts popping ribs apart. You end the film in a place you couldn’t have imagined at the beginning, and weren’t thinking was a possibility even ten minutes earlier. And it’s so well-earned and beautiful and haunting, which only makes it that much more impressive.
I love watching the parasitic element take shape as one thing after the other leeches on and starts to suck. I don’t want to get specific because so much of the joy of this film is it’s intense originality. It’s the one film I managed to miss every trailer for and article about. I managed to walk in only with the vague idea that maybe it was comedic and maybe it was about con men but maybe it was also thematically similar to Joker. By God. That’s like saying 2001 is maybe about space and has a caveman.
It’s one of the most thrilling roller coaster rides of 2019. After Get Out, people quickly started to label Peele the new Hitchcock. But this is the most Hitchcockian thriller I’ve seen since maybe...Gone Girl...?
Hitchcock always had something to say about morality and ethics in between the stabbing knives and screaming women. He’d thrill your pants off and shove you up close alongside a murderer or a misogynist. Then he’d punish you in an entertaining way for rooting for them. Bong is potentially an even greater stylist and master of suspense and there’s a particular dread shot of a hallway that made me giddy as I realized the film hadn’t even started yet.
Those are the best feelings. A true ride. It’s hard to be surprised when you’ve watched so many movies, when you’ve seen all the masters, figured out how they do their tricks. It’s a heavenly pleasure to be surprised with all that knowledge in your head.
Learn nothing, go in as blind as you can, see it on a big, loud, immersive screen, and just enjoy.