Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Wailing (곡성, Gokseong)

The Wailing (곡성, Gokseong) (2016)
Kwak Do-won, Jun Kunimura, Kim Hwan-hee, Kim Do-yoon, Son Gang-guk, Jang So-yeon, Hwang Jung-min, Chun Woo-hee, Her Jin, and Kil Chang-gyoo
Directed by: Na Hong-jin

So, I’m not quite sure what to make of this one. It was so all over the place. I’m not even sure if I liked it or not.

After a bizarre Japanese man comes to their village, some of the inhabitants seem to lose their minds and become homicidal. A hapless police officer goes to great lengths to protect his daughter who has started showing signs of the infection.

First of all, I hated the first 40 minutes or so. All the characters act really dumb, and it feels more like a slapstick comedy than a horror film. After that they calmed down with that aspect, and the film finally started. It had great ambience, some really tense moments, but it was all so confused and complicated that it took away a lot of the good they were laying down. There were so many twists that I got whiplash. So many things that the characters do simply don’t make sense, and the film does nothing to explain it. The acting was mostly stellar, especially from the possessed child, but again, it get lost in the over-convoluted story. And can someone please tell me who the woman in white was? All I can figure is she’s a creature from Korean folklore, and since I know nothing about that, I simply didn’t get it. And holy hell was it long. At 2 hours and 36 minutes, I think it’s the longest horror film I’ve ever seen. All in all, it wasn’t a bad film, but it’s definitely not something I’ll ever watch again. It gets a decent 7/10 from me.

M.

This film is currently streaming on Shudder.