The Wailing

Vampire Owl: Another Korean movie? I am very much interested in the same.

Vampire Bat: There are so many more movies, and it doesn’t matter how many we watch, as we won’t be satisfied ever.

Vampire Owl: Are we actually running short of immortality?

Vampire Bat: Yes, whenever one such movie begins, the Wheel of Time spins faster.

Vampire Owl: That is a cruel thing, indeed.

Vampire Bat: It is quite natural because a wheel doesn’t really watch any movie.

Vampire Owl: Do you think that we can trick the Wheel of Time to watch this movie if we name it The Wheeling?

Vampire Bat: I don’t think that you understand. You just can’t play with the Wheel of Time. The consequences can be terrible.

Vampire Owl: You mean worse than the kiss of Lady Death?

Vampire Bat: You kissed her? How dead-romantic out of a cemetery!

[Gets three cups of Wayanad tea with Patanjali Doodh Biscuits].

What is the movie about? :: A police officer Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won) is investigating a mysterious disease and the murders that follow in a small town. It all began after a Japanese man (Jun Kunimura) arrived in the secluded village, and there are stories being told about this stranger. A usual rumour is that this particular man from outside the country who stays alone in a cabin in the woods right on the mountains could be nothing less than an evil spirit or a ghost who is haunting the town. The newest one is story of a man having witnessed this stranger eating a deer raw, and that he had red, glowing eyes. Accompanied by a Japanese-speaking pastor who is supposed to translate for him, and another police officer who is to provide him company and support, Jong-goo decides to go for the cabin in the woods, and meet this much talked about personality at home.

So, what happens next? :: There, the man has kept the pictures of those people who are infected and those who were murdered. Among them, is a shoe belonging to Jong-goo’s daughter Hyo-jin (Kim Hwan-hee) which brings him into a state of anger and frustration, and the girl also begins to show the symptoms of the disease, much to the dismay of everyone at the house, as his mother-in-law (Her Jin) and wife (Jang So-yeon) attribute this to an evil spirit requiring an exorcism as the only way to save the girl. It leaves Il-gwang (Hwang Jung-min), a popular shaman with the duty of freeing the girl from the clutches of the evil spirit which is the man in the woods. But can it be done? Is this Japanese man really the one causing all the trouble or is there something more to the tale? Is there the presence of more terrifying truths which are to be unveiled?

The defence of The Wailing :: There will always be something special about the mystery which we pursue in this movie, as it gets deeper and deeper as the flick progresses – the last half an hour or so of this movie becomes the special thing, as we keep wondering who belongs to which side, and where the side of the light is, and who is aligned to darkness and pure evil. As it is with our world, we always tend to put or trust and faith in the wrong person – whether it is on a godman as in Tiyaan, or a priest as depicted long ago in Ekalavyan or Crime File, The Wailing has you in deeper trouble, as there is unspeakable terror from another world waiting to pounce on you and your family. The fear factor rather goes deep, as we feel the horror smoothly and nicely affecting us rather than getting on to scare us quick and sudden. The mystery is always there, and so is the fear of the unknown, and the twists are all ready to unleash themselves, as we can only wait for the best which is to come only by the end.

The claws of flaw :: A ninety nine percent critical appreciation after so many reviews – the expectations have never been this high as you look at it. The movie is just too long to keep us there all the time, and that leaves one with too much of free-time in between. The movie could have actually done without that exorcism sequence by the shaman, and also that infected person going zombie all over the protagonist and friends – these don’t really suit into the overall style of the movie. There is also a chance for the creation of confusion, and that could be avoided only with some good focus in watching this movie in the last thirty to forty minutes – paying attention is a must, which is why we have to spend more than two and half hours with this movie, and nothing else should disturb us as it nears the end. Let all good and evil in our life wait for The Wailing to go for its final hunt. After all, you don’t get to understand a smart movie that easily, you need to keep on.

Soul exploration :: The movie effectively makes us feel the presence of the supernatural right through its run. It is rather sad though, as the shaman can’t help them, and the priest of the local church also says that he can’t help him. There might not be another movie in which the protagonist has to be so confused and hopeless against terror – there is no help for him and no hope. It is the case of ultimate grief in life, that you have been so good with your life, and yet nobody wants to help you, or rather nobody can. When the presence of evil is so much here, you wonder how the good men and women can take a stand against it, but soon you are to realize that you just can’t. The movie clearly shows that evil keeps winning, and the good person’s defence against the strong terror is rather too weak, and it has been the reason why evil has thrived for centuries. Even these days, things such as hate and lies drive people.

How it finishes :: Among the movies which comes close to The Wailing, there is surely The Witch which stands closer than any other, with terror waiting to be unleashing from the woods, and there is one particular suspect as the supernatural one – in both tales, it is evil that has the upper hand, and goodness might never really had a chance; even the neutral alignment had no opportunity to create an impact for it has been all stronger with the dark side. You are left with the realization that evil always finds a way – for it is eternally easy to be evil, and rather too difficult to be good. As easy as spreading lies and hate, is the strength of the hands of evil. The smartest thing evil ones can do is to convince someone to trust the wrong person, and use that fake trust to thrive on it with more and more of all things fake and terrible. You see a lot of examples right in front of your eyes; evil and its lies – they are so smart that you trust them.

Release date: 12th May 2016
Running time: 156 minutes
Directed by: Na Hong-jin
Starring: Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, Chun Woo-hee, Her Jin, Kim Hwan-hee, Jun Kunimura, Jang So-yeon, Kim Do-yoon, Son Kang-gook, Park Seong-yeon, Kil Chang-gyoo, Jeon Bae-soo, Jeong Mi-nam, Choi Gwi-hwa, Baek Seung-cheol, Kwon Hyeok-joon, Park Chae-ik, Kim Gi-cheon, Yoo Soon-woong, Jo Han-cheol, Kim Song-il, Bae Yong-geun, Im Jae-il, Lee In-cheol, Jo Seon-joo, Lee Chang-hoon, Kim Ji-won

@ Cemetery Watch
✠ The Vampire Bat.