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A Review of the Most Petrifying Film, "The Wailing"

Updated on June 21, 2017
2016 South Korea's most horrifying film directed by Na Hong-jin.
2016 South Korea's most horrifying film directed by Na Hong-jin.

Synopsis

An outsider of Japanese (Jun Kunimura) nationality suddenly appears in a village and lives in a secluded house. An outbreak of illness and killing unexpectedly happens to the people in the village and they start believing that the weird old Japanese man is making these things happen. A police officer named Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won) is assigned to investigate the murder and epidemic. While on the crime location, he sees a mysterious lady (Chun Woo-hee) who tells him about the Japanese man but she instantly disappears when Jong-goo called his partner. He goes home and starts having nightmares until he finds out that his daughter Hyo-jin (Kim Hwan-hee) is also infected like the other victims of an unknown epidemic. He notices his daughter's weird behavior who yells at him, curses and has completely become rude. Her tremendous appetite also scares him and his wife (Jang So-yeon) and mother-in-law (Her Jin) both notice the uncanny behavior of his little girl. He seeks help from a Shaman named II-gwang (Hwang Jung-min) who performs rituals but the 2nd session completely freaks Jong-goo out because his daughter is in too much pain while the ritual is happening. On the Japanese man's house, while the Shaman is performing the ritual for Hyo-jin's sickness to vanish, he feels severe pain like Hyo-jin and becomes weak. Jong-goo gets mad at what he's seeing so he stops the Shaman's ritual and both Hyo-jin and the Japanese man gradually regain their strength. Jong-goo is clueless about how he could save and protect his daughter so he gets madly furious at the Japanese man whom the Shaman refers to as a ghost that is causing the chaos in the village. He gathers a few men including a deacon who knows how to speak Japanese. They all start hunting the Japanese man but end up getting hurt by a shockingly zombie-looking man who wants to eat them. The Japanese man hears the commotion so he checks on what is happening but he hides himself behind the bushes. When his presence is nearby, the zombie-looking man suddenly stops attacking Jong-goo and the men, and falls on the ground unconscious. Jong-goo gets a glimpse of the Japanese man so he points at him and tells the other men about his presence. They all run after him so the poor old Japanese man falls from a cliff but luckily survives with bruises, fractures and cuts. He stays hidden until Jong-goo and his men are out of sight. The Shaman crosses path with the mysterious lady named Moo-myung but her presence makes him throw up blood and he becomes weak. He runs away from her and reaches his place, regaining his energy. He goes out again and calls Jong-goo, warning him that he was mistaken about the Japanese guy because he learned that he is also a Shaman who isn't a ghost and is only trying to help protect the people in the village. He also tells Jong-goo that Moo-myung is the ghost that is spreading the epidemic and making the killings happen. Jong-goo's returns home, only to find out that his daughter is gone so he goes out to find her. He crosses path with Moo-myung who tells him a different thing. The Shaman calls him again warning him not to believe the lady but she tells Jong-goo that she put a bait in his house to capture the real culprit and that he has to stay until the 3rd crowing of the rooster because if he goes back before that, everybody in his family will die. Jong-goo gets completely confused about what is happening and couldn't decide on whom to trust. He doesn't know which among the Japanese man, the Shaman and the mysterious lady is the real cause of his daughter's sickness.

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What's interesting about the movie?

Whether I give this movie a bad or good review doesn't matter at all. All you need to do is scroll down to the awards. This movie bagged over 20 awards that it is obvious enough that the movie's quality is over the top. There should've been a cap on receiving awards because this film sure got too much recognition. The film, director, actors and basically everyone involved in making the movie all deserve a huge praise for the unimaginably well written and mind-boggling plot, horrendous demon and dead bodies, make-up effects, sound, cinematography, stupendous acting performance and just about anything about the movie. It is a film that cannot be forgotten because the horrifying truth of deceit and the existence of evil is just too spine-tingling.

I downloaded this movie a month ago and I couldn't find the courage to watch it alone in my apartment so it stayed in my files. I finally got curious so I watched this yesterday. I'm so glad I didn't watch this in the big screen! I would've had a heart attack!

The movie's pacing was perfect as well as the transitioning. This movie actually had humor in it that it was funny at first because of Jong-goo's light and effortless comedic lines but as the movie goes on, it started becoming more serious until it becomes unimaginably crazy. The duration of the movie is almost 3 hours but the length was actually perfect as it was gradually increasing its suspense effect until it reached its climax. It will make you go crazy wondering what the heck was going on and who the culprit is. It's a puzzle that nobody can solve but it was way worth watching. This is the most creative mystery I have ever watched and I have to say that I cheated in watching this film. There were scenes when I had to turn my head or cover my face with my hands so that I couldn't see everything. Well, I didn't want to see everything since it is creepy but I would give this story a huge thumbs up. This is the most horrifying, hair-raising, bone-tingling Korean movie I have ever watched!

The Wailing Official Trailer 1 (2016) - Korean Thriller HD

2016 & 2017 Awards

Award
Category
Recipient
2016 37th Blue Dragon Film Awards
Best Director
Na Hong-jin
2016 37th Blue Dragon Film Awards
Best Supporting Actor
Jun Kunimura
2016 37th Blue Dragon Film Awards
Popularity Award
Jun Kunimura
2016 37th Blue Dragon Film Awards
Best Editing
Kim Sun-min
2016 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival
Audience Award
The Wailing
2016 Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival
Best of Bucheon Award
Na Hong-jin
2016 Fantasia International Film Festival
Prix AQCC
Na Hong-jin
2016 Fantasia International Film Festival
Audience Award for Best Asian Feature
Na Hong-jin
2016 53rd Grand Bell Awards
Best New Actress
Kim Hwan-hee
2016 53rd Grand Bell Awards
Best Cinematography
Hong Kyung-pyo
2016 53rd Grand Bell Awards
Best Recording
Kim Shin-yong
2016 53rd Grand Bell Awards
Best Lightning
Kim Chang-ho
2016 53rd Grand Bell Awards
Best Editing
Kim Sun-min
2016 36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards
Top Films of the Year
The Wailing
2016 Korean Film Actor's Association Awards
Top Director Award
Na Hong-jin
2016 Korean Film Actor's Association Awards
Top Star Award
Kwak Do-won
2016 Korean Film Producers Association Awards
Best Director
Na Hong-jin
2016 Korean Film Producers Association Awards
Best Cinematography
Hong Kyung-pyo
2016 Korean Film Producers Association Awards
Best Lighting
Kim Chang-ho
2016 Sitges Film Festival
Focus Asia Award
Na Hong-jin
2016 Sitges Film Festival
Best Cinematography
Hong Kyung-pyo
2017 11th Asian Film Awards
Best Director
Na Hong-jin
2017 KOFRA Film Awards
Best Film
The Wailing
2017 KOFRA Film Awards
Best Director
Na Hong-jin
2017 Korea Cable TV Awards
Cable VOD Grand Prize (Film)
The Wailing
2017 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards[8][9]
Best Film
The Wailing
22nd Chunsa Film Awards[10]
Best Director
Na Hong-jin

The Wailing [Blu-ray]

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