Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sympathy for Mr. Vampire

So I'm flicking through Netflix's streaming catalogue, and see a vampire movie by the director of Oldboy. I bet that'll be really visceral and extreme! Wow, I could not have been more wrong. Thirst turns out to be inspired less by Rice or Stoker than by the Coen Brothers and Zola (Emile, not Arnim or gorgon-).

Apparently I sold Chan-Wook Park's range short; Oldboy had moments of black humor, but there's a definite Raising Arizona or Big Lebowski quality to the proceedings here. Perhaps I should have remembered he directed a romantic comedy set in an insane asylum.

I don't think I would have enjoyed Thirst as much if I hadn't gone in cold, so I won't go into much detail, but it's definitely worth checking out.


  1. There were some really good moments and I'll admit it was certainly unpredictable, but I can't say it was actually good.

    It felt really, really slow and meandering to me. Unguided, just a couple of good ideas/scenes that he wasn't really sure how to compelling collect. I think it actually would have better as a couple context-less shorts or something.

    That slow-burn build-up just about lets the fire die out entirely before it kicks in some amusing crazy and then it's still not really worth the wait.

  2. I'll agree the movie is a tad disjointed (people seem to realize or decide a lot of things between scenes), but I think that's part of what makes it a farce instead of a tragedy.

    I don't think the slow burn is all that slow either-- we spend maybe half an hour on setup, but then cancer-guy's mom brings him home to meet the family and from there it is ON. Pretty much everything from The World's Most Awkward Sex Scene on is gold.

  3. It's absolutely a farce, and I loved a lot of it once they start going insane and hallucinating the dead coming back to life, but there's just so much I would have left on the cutting room floor.

    Didn't work for me until it was well and truly off the deep end.

  4. I think we need Doc as a tiebreaker on this.

    Also, I rewatched Oldboy (Netflix is only streaming it dubbed), and apparently I'd forgotten damn near everything except the climax. That movie is downright surreal in its wackiness, so Thirst isn't nearly as much of an outlier as I'd thought.