The world cinema section released some outstanding titles during the Noughties with Korea coming to the fore and putting the usual formulaic Hollywood nonsense to shame. For me, Park Chan-Wook was one of the main highlights of the past decade and, in my opinion, any comparisons drawn between his artistic qualities and that of the late, great Kubrick wouldn't be misplaced; in a sense that both directors share that same unique ability in capturing the best possible camera angles for shooting a memorable scene: the blood spewed across the floor in the overly fluorescent apartment leaps to mind.
Thirst, centres around a suicidal priest played by Kang-Ho Song (JSA, Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance) who dies after volunteering to be part of a medical experiment but a blood transfusion brings him back to life as a vampire. Initially, because of his religious background, he is reluctant on killing people for his own gratification so he resorts to siphoning blood from a coma patient. The priest then covets a lonely, unhappily married woman (stellar debut from Kim Ok-Vin adding further testament to Park's directing skills) and a deeply passionate affair between the two lost souls ensues. It's not long before the adulterous wife has tricked the priest into killing her husband, thus changing the dynamics between the forbidden lovers and paving the way for some strong bloody violence and very steamy sex scenes that have been tastefully shot by the director.
The grossly underrated chameleon actor, Shin-Ha Kyun (Save The Green Planet), is cast in quite a small role as the ill-fated husband but adds a great deal of humour with his performance in this gothic tale: the threesome bedroom scene had me howling with laughter. The pacing at the beginning is slow; allowing the viewer to warm to the characters, but the momentum gradually builds and continues to do so until the final climax. The score has been created by the same musical team who worked on Oldboy and it's very similar in tone. Let The Right One In was an enjoyable flick that dealt with the innocents of youth, whereas this feature is on another level with a more adult theme running through its core. This is guaranteed to quench the Thirst of most genuine Park fans but will more than likely disappoint those expecting to be hammered with another Oldboy.