The Wailing (2016)



Korea, South Korea
German, Japanese, Korean
Horror, Mystery
Bae Yong-geun, Cho Han-cheul, Chun Woo-hee
156 min

What it's about

A stranger arrives in a little village and soon after a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman is drawn into the incident and is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.

The take

In rural Korea a policeman starts to investigate peculiar and violent events that most of the people in his village attribute to the arrival of a new Japanese resident. As the occurrences keep multiplying, and different perspectives in the film are shown, you start to lose touch with reality in the face of what can only be described as genius film-making. As critic Jada Yuan puts it, the film operates on a level “that makes most American cinema seem clunky and unimaginative”. For this reason, and while The Wailing is a true horror flick with a great premise, it’s also more than just that: it boosts a mind-boggling, interesting plot that will have you thinking about it long after the credits roll. Protip: grab the person next to you and make them watch this movie with you so you can have someone to discuss it with after!

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Great movie! It is worth watching. It is the kind of modern movie which is scary but at the same time sends a strong message. No jumpscares, just the nature of life.

This movie is a milestone on more than just one level (!) It will haunt you – but for the right reasons because it shows you what a real horror movie can actually achieve. It is so carefully balanced and well acted, with a punch of humour and breathtaking shots that you will find yourself at the edge of your seat for the whole time.
This one will remain one of my all time favourites.

This movie’s attempts at ambivalence and misdirection lead to a distinct sense of dissatisfaction, and sheer boredom at times. A series of increasingly gory misfortunes visited on hapless individual(s) , while intended to create an atmosphere of despair and give rise to introspection, instead become reminiscent of some of the worse zombie flicks of our time. Perhaps a classification as a surrealist film might better profit this film, than the genre that it so desperately attempts to conform to.

Absolutely amazing!

Watched it 3 times and still couldn’t understand what really happened. Gripping movie. Korean movies are something.

This is such an excellent movie. The run time may seem daunting but it is so damn good you’ll wish it was longer. Honestly, this movie felt like a 6-part miniseries all jam packed into a 2 hour and 30 minute masterpiece! Experience this film for yourself, you will not regret it!

I started watching this film and about an hour and thirty minutes into the film, I paused it. I then realized that I had an hour left in the movie!
Run-time aside, all I can say is HOLY CRAP what an ending!

This film is dark. South Koreans really know their stuff.

The Wailing had me from the very beginning as it takes off pretty fast. It’s not 100% horror…it’s more like 95%. There were some funny tid-bits tossed in. That was refreshing.
A solid 4.5 stars.

I live in the Cayman Islands and our police force do not carry lethal firearms. I’m assuming that South Koreans don’t either. However, it would have helped in this movie.

I would have given it 5 stars but the con was just too annoying. Without spoiling it, it seems the term ‘fight or flight’ is not known in that part of the world. To be more accurate, the term there is ‘fight or fall down walking backwards in fear’. Happened WAY too often in that film.
Does anyone not turn around and run any longer. haha

Definitely a good movie to watch!

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