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1,134 Ratings

The Wailing

곡성 | Gokseong

Directed by Na Hong-jin
South Korea, 2016
Drama, Thriller, Horror


A stranger’s arrival in a remote town precedes the spread of a disease that causes a viciousness to spread through the infected. The police officer who is sent to investigate winds up dealing with more than he bargained for when the disease infects his daughter.

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The Wailing Directed by Na Hong-jin
For two and a half gripping hours, Hong-jin Na holds the viewer in the sweaty palm of his hand in telling his endlessly inventive tale of possession, murder, and the occult. One of the year’s best horror films, this Korean supernatural policier cum domestic drama (with a little zombie flick thrown in) builds to an unforgettable conclusion, with imagery designed to haunt dreams.
January 16, 2017
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The Wailing" has echoes of “The Exorcist,” but it is often even bleaker than that 1973 horror classic, as in a scene in which a Catholic priest tells Jong-gu, “The church cannot help you.” By this time, I was so invested with Jong-gu and his family that as the suspense, violence and worse ratcheted up, I was not merely scared, but heartbroken. An overly literal bit of business at the end slightly undermines the film. As a whole, though, “The Wailing” is the hard stuff. Handle with care.
June 02, 2016
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This ferociously full-tilt horror-mystery hybrid carries echoes aplenty from the Western horror canon, with nods to The Exorcist, The Shining (in a mesmeric aerial shot following a car along a twisty, lushly forested mountain road), and Poltergeist—if only because The Wailing echoes that film’s accumulative frenzy, crazily piling up one damned (and I do mean damned) thing after another… The Wailing’s world is a messy mire of excess, but beautifully precise with it.
June 02, 2016
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