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
According to director Hong-jin Na, this movie was made on the basis of folk religions in Korea and Nepal and on Catholic faiths. See more »
Even among other demons, he's a master of evil.
If that's true, why did it have to be...
...your daughter? What sin did that young girl ever commit?
If you go fishing, do you know what you'll catch?
He's just fishing. Not even he knows what he'll catch. He just threw out the bait, and your daughter took it.
See more »
A movie that almost makes sense, but not quite, and this may be the whole point
Some movies have a coherent plot that is told in a non-straightforward fashion, or that is open to several interpretations, or that leaves out some parts requiring the audience to fill-in (e.g. an open end), and possibly this filling-in can be done in more than one way. These movies require several viewings and considerable thought to make sense.
After watching The Wailing for the first time, I had the impression that it was this kind of movie. However, after watching it again, pondering it, and then reading and watching attempts by various people to interpret/explain it, I have come to a different conclusion. Namely, this movie does not have a coherent underlying plot. No matter how you shift the pieces of the puzzle in an attempt to recreate a coherent narrative, some pieces will never fit together, and not due to your incompetence, but because the underlying story is - possibly intentionally, possibly not - fundamentally inconsistent. It's like one of those optical illusions or Escher drawings that appear to describe a physical object, but in fact don't make physical sense.
Accordingly, whether one enjoys this movie or not boils down to whether one can be content with a movie that is technically well-made (cinematography, acting, costumes, etc.), but (a) its plot makes no sense, and (b) it is told in a deceptive way as to lure you into thinking that the plot would make sense if only you gave the matter sufficient thought, thus leaving you with a lingering, irritating feeling of dissatisfaction and confusion.
And maybe this is precisely the point of the movie: rather than telling a story, its purpose is to instill in the audience a feeling of confusion in the face of a sequence of events that almost, but not quite, makes sense. Much like life at times, no?
14 of 16 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this