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
Story – Whenever 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/Thriller – The 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/Performance – Jong-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.
Settings – The 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 Effects – The special effects are all used at just the right time to add shock to certain scenes and suspense to others.
Final Thoughts – Not 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.