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Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 18 Cert – Not suitable for under 18s 
Subtitles: It is expected that this film is fully subtitled. 
Directed by Chan-wook Park 
Starring: Kang-Ho Song, Ok-vin Kim, Ha-kyun Shin, Kim Hae-sook, Oh Dal-su, Mercedes Cabral  
An image from Thirst

Sang-hyeon (Song), a respected priest, volunteers for an experimental procedure that may lead to a cure for a deadly virus. He gets infected and dies, but a blood transfusion of unknown origin brings him back to life as a vampire. Now, Sang-hyeon is torn between faith and bloodlust, and has a newfound desire for Tae-joo (Kim), the wife of his childhood friend (Shin). The couple murder his friend, and Tae-Joo turns into a bloodthirsty creature...

Thirst is the latest film from Chan-Wook Park, perhaps most famous for his Vengeance trilogy, which included arthouse hit Oldboy. Fans of these films will not be disappointed by Thirst, as it is suitably brutal and uncompromising. Although the world and his wife seem intent on producing new takes on the vampire genre, Thirst will please those frustrated at the Twilight-ification of the vampire movie. This is a vampire film as it was intended, with grownup vampires having sex, killing people, and struggling with the moral implications of their new lifestyles and identities.

Park's innovative camerawork delivers an electrifying visual experience, Shot through with a welcome streak of black comedy and with plenty of original ideas in what is something of a well-worn subgenre, Thirst makes for a frightening, funny and exciting experience. Just don't go in expecting a South Korean Twilight, because this certainly isn't it.

Greg Frame

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Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Spring Term (35mm)