The Wailing (2016)

wailingDirector: Hong-jin Na

Writer: Hong-jin Na (Screenplay)

Starring: Kwak Do Won, Hwang Jung Min, Kunimura Jun, Chun Woo Hee

 

Plot: A stranger arrives in a little village and soon after a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman is drawn into the incident and is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shocking Mystery Horror

 

Story: The Wailing starts when Detective Jong-gu (Do-won) arriving at the crime scene where our victim has been murdered after being stabbed multiply times, but this wasn’t the first crime like this in the town. When his partner tells Jong the story of a mysterious man who has come to the town the story goes that he has a connection to what has been happening.

When a mysterious woman (Woo-hee) tells Jong the story of what happened around the story of the Japanese Stranger (Kunimura) who is around the town, Jong finds himself needed suffering nightmares about the stories but also left wondering what is for real or not.

As the case intensifies and the body count increases the investigation deepens at Jong must figure out if his own daughter Hyo-jin has in fact become cursed by this mysterious stranger and figure out a way to save her life.

 

Thoughts on The Wailing

 

StoryWhenever you look to tell a story in the horror genre you need a good build up to the final events, this film keeps you fully guessing along the way but does spend the first hour building the story so it can go in the direction it needs to for the final hour and half pay off. This will simply leave you shocked by the final scene of the movie even after doing this multiply times through the film.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe horror side of this fil comes in mostly through the second half when it comes and just doesn’t stop until the end, but around the horror we must face the mystery of just what the hell is going on and where this side shines through it by balancing the story between what could be real or what could be supernatural.

Characters/PerformanceJong-gu is a very impressive leading character, he isn’t the best police officer in fact he is very flawed, he is a good husband and father, these characteristics are what make him such a good leading man for this film because he reacts like a normal human being. The partner is good because it offers a human answer to the questions both being real or the unknown with the mysterious man only being used when need keeping his character the mystery he needs to be.

The performances here are also great throughout with Do-won Kwak stealing the show throughout as our leading man making us believe in every single scene he finds his character in. I do think the rest of the cast all give great performances as the horror is slowly unleashed.

SettingsThe whole film is set within this one small village which shows just how one community can be stricken with fear of the unknown when a crime that can’t be explains happens.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all used at just the right time to add shock to certain scenes and suspense to others.

Final ThoughtsNot many films can stretch over two hours and keep you on edge in the horror genre and this one has one of the most intense edge of your seat final halves of a movie you will see in the genre.

 

Overall: 2016 was a fantastic year for horror and this is right up there fighting for the best horror film from 2016.

Ratingcard

 

 

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Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 3 – Favourite Film From 2015

Opinion Battles Year 3 Round 3new-logo

Favourite Film From 2015

Hitting the year 2017 we can now start looking back at films from 2015 and think what was our favourite without solely looking at the most recent watch. We had a brilliant list of Oscar contenders, the return of classic franchises with nearly all being great or better in their own way but just what do we call our favourite from this year?

If you want to join Opinion Battles our next question is returning to the Oscar winners as we pick our LEAST Favourite Oscar Winning Performance from an Actor in Leading or Supporting Role. To enter send your choices to moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk by 19th February 2017.

Darren – Movie Reviews 101

Mad Max Fury Roadmad-max

Mad Max Fury Road came from nowhere because nobody thought we were going to get too much from this sequel with such a gap between the last film, yes this does have a reboot feel to it but the film showed us just how we can still use practical effects in action films and we don’t need superpowers or CGI to make us go wow. I will say I don’t think this is the best film but it will be the one I watch the most from this year where I could easily have go with The Force Awakens for repeat viewing or Room for pure quality. I think it is safe to say Mad Max Fury Road will be the film people will still talk about from this year of release.

Cinema Parrot Disco

Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens

 star-wars

What’s my favorite film from 2015? That’s an easy one – it’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens. No contest. Well, almost… I’m a little torn between that one & the kick-ass Mad Max: Fury Road. But nothing beats Star Wars! The Force Awakens truly captured the magic of the original trilogy. I still love it. 🙂

 

Kira – Film and Tv 101

Sicario

 sicario

I absolutely loved Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 thriller, Sicario. There was so much that this film had going for it – the performances, the storyline, the director. I thought it was an abomination that the film got totally snubbed for all the big awards at last year’s Oscars, especially Benicio Del Toro for his tremendous performance as the mysterious Alejandro. For me though, the biggest sign that this was a gem of a film lies with the fact that we are due a sequel, and I’m not sure about whether I want to see it for fear it will ruin what I have already seen.

 

Kim – Tranquil Dreams

Spotlightspotlight

Tough choices all around in 2015 with so many strong contenders however rare as it is for me to choose the Best Picture winner, I am. Spotlight is a film with not only brilliant performances all around but based on a true story that really punches the audience over and over in the gut. Its a drama and mystery and as the truth reveals itself, it is so emotionally traumatic to watch. One that isn’t made for frequent rewatches but packs a lot of effectiveness and thought about the horrifying things that happen in the world.

Tom – Plain Simple Tom Reviews

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

 star-wars

Well, what’s not to love? It’s a fun, exciting film full of wonderful characters both old and new, brought to life by an amazing bunch of actors. 

Maybe a bit too similar to A New Hope but still an excellent continuation of the Star Wars universe.

 

Rob – Movie Rob

Inside Outinside-out

This film is still my favorite film from 2015 because it is such an inspiring film where all the pieces are put together so well.

They do an amazing job of taking the complexities of how our minds work and try to make it a simple, mechanical well-oiled machine.

When one thinks about it, the way they have mapped out the functions of the brain and personality seems to make so much sense.

The tone of the film is quite perfect and they still manage to give an intuitive message to both kids and adults alike, each to their own understanding.

 

Daniel – Dellens Diary

Inside Outinside-out

I think perfection is quite an overused word. Doesn’t everything have flaws? Well, I would agree with you, but there’s one film that truly deserves the title of perfection, and that is…..

 

well, you’ve already read it so there’s no point trying to create suspension, it’s Inside Out. Why? Well you already know. It’s because the animation’s cartoony, but in the best way. It’s because it manages to represent emotions in a film. Have you ever tried thinking about how fucking hard it is to represent the very things we have inside our mind. I mean it’s one thing representing cars or something but emotions? Good god.

 

In fact, I could go on about this film for hours but to be frank most of you aren’t gonna read this and you’re going to skip through the picks. But if you don’t waste one minute of your life reading this, then let me just say that the best way of seeing how good this movie is is to watch the movie. So yeah, do that.

 

Rachel – 54 Disney Reviews

Inside Out

inside-out 

My favorite movie from 2015 is Inside Out. I literally watch it most weeks. I love both Riley and Joy’s journeys and the overall message of embracing sadness. I love the humor, heart and everything else.  The animation is stunning and I just love watching it 

Allie – Often Off Topic

Star Wars the Force Awakens

 star-wars

As much as my head is telling me to pick a hard-hitting, awe-inspiring drama from 2015, I just can’t deny the fact that my favourite movie was Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Up until 2015 I hadn’t seen a single Star Wars movie, but forced myself to sit through both trilogies (in the wrong order, I’m told) before seeing Episode VII so that I’d at least have a clue what was going on. I didn’t expect to fall head over heels in love with the franchise! The Force Awakens is my favourite Star Wars movie so far, mainly because of the characters. I can’t wait to find out more about Rey, and I’m fascinated by Kylo Ren. December can’t come soon enough!

 

Carl Wonders – Listening to Film

Ex Machinaex-macina

Amidst a year full of big-budget action blockbusters and films with strong social commentaries, my favorite film of 2015 is the relatively small-scale directorial debut of Alex Garland, EX MACHINA. This film is one of the most beautifully photographed films I have seen and features three incredible performances from Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, and Oscar Isaac. EX MACHINA explores nothing less than the question of what does it mean to be alive and does so in a way that is gripping throughout and, on more than one occasion, had me squirming in my seat but unable to look away. Vikander in particular gives a standout performance as the android Ava (aided by some of the most convincing visual effects I have ever seen), while both Gleeson and Isaac are completely convincing as two geniuses who happen to be on the complete opposite sides of the same coin. With a mere four major roles, EX MACHINA could very well work as an incredible stage play, but instead finds itself as my favorite film from 2015.

Ben – Views From The Sofa

The Martian

 martian

In a year full of amazing movie releases like Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road and that other space movie set in a Galaxy Far Far Away, The Martian managed to fit many different types of movies in one great film. It was drama, comedy, action and suspense. It had emotion, conflict and at the heart of it one of the best performances by at that time, still quite underrated actor. Matt Damon was a superstar before The Martian but apart from Good Will Hunting, had hardly put in any performances that were considered “great.” The Martian showcased his comedy talent, his dramatic talent and tapped into what he was becoming better known for – an action star. Not to mention the fact he did this practically alone on-screen for most of the run-time. There were a lot of great films in 2015 but none felt as much of the “complete package” as The Martian did.

 

Emma – Emma Explains It All

Amy

 amy

I know everyone was probably expecting me to say The Hateful Eight. Hell, even I expected me to say The Hateful Eight. But when push came to shove I had to be truthful and choose the amazing Amy Winehouse documentary – which was indeed my favourite film of 2015.

I wasn’t really an Amy Winehouse fan before. Indifferent is probably the best way to describe it, though I always knew she had talent. It wasn’t until I watched Amy however, that I realised just how talented and how great and how darn likable she was. It made me sad I wasn’t a fan prior to her untimely death. 

Though I enjoyed a few films of 2015 (The Hateful Eight being one of them!), Amy had the most effect on me. I found it the most mesmerizing and wanted to watch it for a second time very soon after (which I did). A fantastic, honest and absorbing documentary.

 

 

Drew – Drew’s Movie Reviews

Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens

 star-wars

There are many great movies from 2015 to choose from but I would kick myself if I didn’t pick the entry from my favorite film franchise.  I will admit, I didn’t like Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens as much as many others did but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the hell out of it!  The new characters were great, especially the kick-ass Rey and everyone’s new favorite droid, BB-8.  Kylo Ren is looking to be one of Star Wars’ most complex characters yet and I can’t wait to see where is story arc goes in the future sequels.  With the prequel trilogy heavily leaning on CGI effects, it was good to see a return to more practical effects, bringing out a greater sense of realism in the film.  Star Wars: The Force Awakens is a good start to another trilogy from the Star Wars universe that is also one of the best films of 2015.

 

J – Film & Nuance

Room

room 

Room is this year’s most touching film. The movie is an experience that doesn’t try to shake off its disturbing undertones. Left bare for all to see, Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay capture their characters struggle to hold on to life, and their growing strength in hope. It’s ultimately a universal expression of undying and unfailing love. Provovative, delicate, charming, lovable, touching and triumphant; Room is all of it. By embracing the intimate connections between mother and son that transcends all boundaries, Room is the most heartfelt thing I’ve ever seen. It is for all these reasons and more, that this epic story of love is the best film of 2015. I must say I loved Tangerine,Ex Machina and Beasts Of No Nation and Anomalisa as much, but Room spoke to me the most.

 

S.G. Liput – Rhyme and Reason

The Martianmartian

While I suspect that this round will go to Inside Out or Star Wars, my favorite film of 2015 has to be The Martian. Not only is it Ridley Scott’s best work in years, it’s a film that is full of science, math, dates, and technical jargon and yet manages to be surprisingly engaging and watchable. Matt Damon is perfect as the marooned astronaut with a wry sense of humor, and he’s backed by a collection of ideally cast supporting roles, notably Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Jeff Daniels. Thanks to the clever and above all intelligent script, transportive visuals, and classic ‘70s soundtrack, The Martian is a work of grounded science fiction that is both realistic and entertaining.