“Not everything that moves, breathes, and talks is alive.”
This ‘2016’ Drama/Fantasy/Horror written and directed by South-Korean master-mind and film-maker Hong-jin Na who has had past films nominated at the Cannes Film Festival surprised us once again with a nod of approval with Cannes in 2016, with this gem of a film called: ‘’Goksung’ or ‘The Strangers’ or ‘The Wailing’ as the titles it was released under in some countries.
I was in awe because this film was exceptional. There was a valuable amount of symbolism and superb execution of unfolding this story from start to finish. I feel viewers were kept on their toes and were invited to use their intellect to figure out the eminent mystery that caused the sickness within the small Korean town. The acting was superb! Some were first-time actors, others well marinated in the field but all under obvious and commendable strong directing. Do-won Kwak, Woo-hee Chun, Hwan-hee Kim and Jun Kunimura shone and made the story quite believable.
They got 31 nominations and 18 wins and the film is still being talked about today. Mostly for the story, but also for the excellent unnerving make-up work, fascinating camera-work and angles as well as the splendid cinematography captured with South-Korea’s bewitching landscapes.
Certainly recommended - slow developing but highly enticing. The ‘fear’ factor comes much later as the story leads us by the hand one step at a time, and suddenly tricks us towards the end.