I read a lot of newspapers. And i have been holding a tradition, since early 2001, to be a subscriber to The Gothenburgh Post, a morning news paper that my grandfather Ingvar always have had. When i was very young, i used to sit on his house porch, and read the latest news. I remember especially one story, from October in the year 2002. It was about the D.C. sniper, who killed 10 people, and injured 3, in a three-week period. John Allen Muhammad turned out to be the sniper, who got help from 17 year old Lee Boyd Malvo. This was clearly a serial killer, who destroyed many peoples lives. I remembering reading about this case in the Gothenburgh Post, and following the latest updates. John Allen was finally executed in 2009. Serial killers have been a part of the film industry for a long time, and we could mention a lot of films that have left an impact. One of the films i mostly remember, is a small low budget film from 1986 called Henry - Portrait Of A Serial Killer. Michael Rooker was simply fantastic as the serial killer Henry, and the film really digged deep into your mind, with the brutality and raw tone of a serial killers disturbing mind. I think one of the most classic serial killer films, has to be Seven, a masterpiece by director David Fincher. The story of 2 detectives, played brilliantly by Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, who chase a serial killer, absolutely fantastic acting by John Malkovich. Seven is one of the few serial killer films that managed to show the world, how a serial killer function, and why he choose his victims. It would take a long time before i would see anything really good, in the serial killer genre. But in 2010, a South Korean film called I Saw The Devil, proved to be simply outstanding. Directed by Jee-woon Kim, a serial killer thriller that was so insane, that i will never forget this film. Such a disturbing story, but so well made and leaves a strong impact. I highly recommend you buy this film on blu ray. South Korea have made several really good films over the years, and I Saw The Devil is just one example. When i read that director Hong-jin Na ( director of the really good South Korean film The Chaser ), have made a new horror film, i just could not wait to see it. After some really positive reviews, i finally got a chance to see it on blu ray. Is this another high quality film from South Korea, or is this not what i expected at all ?
Strange things are happening in a small village, ever since The Stranger ( Jun Kuminura ) shows up. Ordinary people go comletely insane, and kill their loved ones, in very brutal ways. Sergeant Jong-gu ( Do Won Kwak ) is investigating these brutal murders, to see if there is any connection, to why more people are becoming killers. As he digs deeper into the truth, he realise that this might be more complicated than he expected. Especially when his own daughter Hyo.jin ( Hwan-hee Kim ) becomes a killer herself. What is going on in this village, is someone making people kill their loved ones, or is there another explanation to all of this ?
The Wailing is a film hard to describe, because this is a mix of horror, and a thriller, but with other elements thrown in, to make this film unique. When i say unique, i mean this in a very positive way. At first you get the feeling that this might be about people becoming serial killers, driven by a cult leader that orders them to kill. But then you get a different perspective, as the film continues to open other doors. One thing is clear though, this is without a doubt the best film i have seen in years from South Korea. Maybe not as good as I Saw The Devil, but still a film that reaches a high level of quality. The mysterious brutal murders feels almost like sacrifices, and you can´t help wondering what is really going on. One of the most positive things about The Wailing, is how good the acting is. There are some really strong performances here, especially from Do Wan Kwak, Jun Kuminura and Hwan-hee Kim. They really dig deep into their characters, and i have to say, Hwan-hee Kim is absolutely fantastic as a child actor. If she can keep this acting level as she grows up, i think we might have something special to look forward to. Director Hong-jin Na have made a film, that combines mysterious elements, in a well executed package of brutality. He makes sure to grab your attention, by using simple details, and make it all look so well made. As an example, the scenes where Sergeant Jong-gu is loosing his mind, and really flips out, not knowing what have happened to his daughter. He could have easily made the typical clichés, but instead director Hong-jin digs deep into a psychological perspective, and this is where it gets interesting. The mystery keeps itself secret throughout the film, and i love that. You don´t really know where the film is going to go, and this is a sign that The Wailing tries to expand different possibilities. The special effects looks really good, and the cinematography by Hong-kyong Pyo works very effective into the plot. When you see a film at some point, that can´t be compared with one specific film, but manage to build tension between the insanity, you know you have a winner. And this is exactly what The Wailing is, a very disturbing look into darkness. I suggest you get yourself a blu ray copy, because South Korea still proves how good they are at making pure quality horror films. American film makers, i think its time you learn why South Korea are the masters of horror.