Posted in Other Media

Unofficial Horror Movie A–Z: The Wailing

The Wailing

Year: 2016
Runtime: 2h 36m
Rated: TV-MA

Director: Na Hong-jin

Writer: Na Hong-jin

Stars: Jun Kunimura, Jung-min Hwang, Kwak Do-won

Double Feature Fodder:
Se7en (1995)

Initial: I put The Wailing on my initial list on reputation alone. I hadn’t even watched the trailer. But as the month spooled out and horror movie fatigue set in, I figured I didn’t have the wherewithal for a slow-burn 2.5 hour K-horror flick. So, I started watching a different movie. It was awful; I had no choice but to retreat to one of the most recommended movies I’ve come across in a while.

What Did I Think:
Yeah, the horror reviewers I follow online were right: The Wailing is pretty darn good.

It’s one of the most beautiful movies I’ve seen this month, second (maybe) to Horns (2013). Cinematographer Kyung-pyo Hong is also known for Parasite (2019) and the look of that movie is the best thing about it.

It is kind of long. Our protagonist is Jong-goo, a policeman who is neither the handsomest, nor the bravest, nor a specimen of physical power. He’s not dumb, but he is a bit lazy. The early portion of the film involves establishing him as a character as he and his fellow police investigate a strange disease that is driving people mad. Could some of this be more succinctly told? Maybe. In my reading about the film I have come across a reason that much of Jong-goo’s behavior is outlined.

This is one of the few movies I’ve watched this month that I will probably rewatch. There is a lot going on and I think there are subtleties I missed.


Writer, publisher. Hobbies include reading, studying magic & illusions from a historical/theoretical perspective, and playing ultimate frisbee.

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