Written and Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Na Hong-jin
Producer: Suh Dong-hyun, Kim Ho-sung
Date Released: May 12, 2016
Kwak Do-won as Jong-goo
Hwang Jung-min as Il-gwang, a shaman hired to protect the village.
Chun Woo-hee as Moo-myung
Jun Kunimura as Japanese stranger.
Kim Hwan-hee as Hyo-jin, Jong-goo’s daughter.
Rating – 3/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
When police officer, Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won), investigates what first appears to be a murder, he discovers that a disease is spreading throughout his village. The disease causes people to form horrible skin infections and go crazy. Soon thereafter, his daughter, Hyo-Jin (Kim Hwan-hee) catches the disease after the officer encounters what appears to be a naked man within the woods. What originally is thought to be the result of the contagious disease may actual be caused by an unexplained force. To combat this infection, the officer consults a shaman to guide the officer in his pursuit to end these horrifying events from occurring.
The Gore Factor
The prosthetic and special effects work is incorporated well, particularly in relation, to scenes involving infected and diseased individuals. In addition, there is no shortage of blood splatter and various body parts throughout the film. Much of the scenes will display the result of an obvious attack on another person. Overall, the gore used in The Wailing was well done.
It should be noted that multiple animals including a dog, a goat and chickens are seen killed in this film. Although, it has not been determined whether these animals were actually harmed during production.
The Grave Review
The Wailing (2016) was well done and incorporated high-quality camera work. In addition, the environments and scenery were pleasant to look at. But, the film had some aspects which were arguably unnecessary and/or damaging to the entertainment value as a whole.
The film felt drawn out. With a run time of approximately two hours and thirty minutes, The Wailing (2016) had a lot of time to fill up. Many scenes were transitional, as you will see scenes where one character is merely driving or walking from one environment to the next. As such, multiple scenes could have been omitted without taking away the flow of the film.
The plot, itself, was an interesting concept that centered around what ultimately becomes a possession horror film. However, at certain points during the course of the film, some aspects are not explained well, particularly, the ending. Various theories about the cause of possession are thrown around during The Wailing, but a true antagonist is never clearly identified. In this way, it was frustrating that the viewer never received a clear answer and conclusion to the storyline.
The last aspect of the film which was troubling may be one of personal preference. The main character, Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won), is a chubby, clumsy, naive, cowardly protagonist. The character never seems to develop over the course of watching The Wailing. Even when Jong-goo is at his breaking point, his intensity didn’t feel natural. Overall, The Wailing was entertaining and is worth a watch. However, be prepared for a long evening.
For the above-mentioned reasons, Grave Reviews gives The Wailing (2016), three graves out of five graves.
Do you agree with our review? Comment below.
You may also like our review on, I Saw the Devil.