Friday, February 3, 2017

The Wailing (2016)

IMDb plot summary: 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.
Directed by Hong-jin Na. Starring Do-won wak, Woo-he Chun, Jung-min Hwang, and Jun Kunimura.

A group of my movie-watching buddies have raved about this movie, some proclaiming it the best of 2016, and, frankly, I was a little underwhelmed. I think there's definitely a lot to like -- it has a very tangible atmosphere, a fascinating combination of modern-day tech and ancient supernatural beliefs, where people use cell phones to call their shaman. There are a few good, creepy moments, particularly in the first two thirds of the film where the tension is building. The ending, however, doesn't really work for me. I had to go online to look up what I was supposed to take away from it, but as it played out, the sequence of events kept me from finding any kind of emotional resolution, either positive or negative. It just kind of... ended. If it had been deliberately intended to be puzzling, I maybe could have gotten on board, but I felt like I'd just missed something obvious that would have helped the emotional center of the film click into place for me.

3 stars.

How it entered my Flickchart:
The Wailing > Sex Tape
The Wailing < A Christmas Carol (1951)
The Wailing < The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
The Wailing < Anna and the King
The Wailing > Serendipity
The Wailing > Chaos Theory
The Wailing > Internet Famous
The Wailing > Batman Forever
The Wailing > The Dresser
The Wailing > High School Musical 3: Senior Year
The Wailing > The Resurrection of Gavin Stone

Final spot: #1125 out of 2569.

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