11 posts categorized "horror-thriller"


Fangs for the memories

The 3-Ds in "Fright Night" stand for death, dumb and dufuses.

Yet the remake of the 1985 comic-horror-thriller about the vampire next door slithers coldly and with a sick sense of purpose; like a snake on the prowl after dark.

Actually, Jerry (Colin Farrell), the handsome mysterious stranger who has just moved into a house in the Las Vegas 'burbs, is more like a shark.

Charley, the kid next door, finally snaps that Jerry (Yes, Jerry the vampire) must be a blood-sucker when his classmates, including former best bud Ed (talented Christopher Mintz-Plasse), fail to show up for school.

Normally, I am not in favor of remakes.  They are, however, here to stay.

At least the "Fright Night" re-do is in very good hands, even if it's a little cheesy-goofy.  Director Craig Gillespie ("Mr. Woodcock"), who guided Ryan Gosling through an extremely difficult performance in the outstanding dark comic-drama "Lars and the Real Girl," makes good use of his actors, his script and the gimmicky 3-D effects.

Gillespie wisely waits, waits, waits until just the right couple of moments to spring -- make that fling -- images into the audience.

Anton Yelchin ("Star Trek," Mel Gibson's son in "The Beaver") finds enough nuance in Charley to keep his startled character real enough.   

Farrell, on screen recently in "Horrible Bosses," was excellent in the hit-man comic-drama "In Bruges" (2008), a superb thriller almost no one saw.  Here he's a laid back vampire.  Laid back, that is, until night falls, hunger takes over and the fangs come out.

The real star here, though, is Scot actor David Tennant (the BBC series "Dr. Who").  Tennant, a relative fresh face in this country, acts circles around his castmates as Peter Vincent, a blow-hard "vampire killer" on stage on the Vegas strip who is drawn into the real fright fight.

The late Roddy McDowall, who played a TV "Fright Night" host in the original, would be proud, and perhaps a little jealous of this fast-paced remake with real bite.


Tormented, driven birds of a feather

You probably need to be a little nuts to twirl around on bloody tippy-toes in a tutu as a serious ballet dancer.

Perhaps not as bonkers as the prima ballerina Natalie Portman embodies in Darren Aronofsky's macabre psychological thriller "Black Swan," though.

Nina (Portman), the daughter of an overbearing former-dancer mom (Barbara Hershey), appears to see a new reality (or is it?) with every spin of her  sculptured (and barely fed) body.

For those who might not recall, Aronofsky is the daring film-making visionary who provided a comeback and an Oscar nomination last year for Mickey Rourke as the tormented title character in "The Wrestler."

Aronofsky doesn't hesitate to link "The Wrestler" and "Black Swan," since both deal in what the filmmaker has called "bodily extremes, souls in turmoil" and a film-making style "that pulls the audience inside the character's fascinating inner worlds."

From this aisle seat, "Black Swan" takes tortured flight as a horror movie.  Portman's Nina is so tormented by the quest for perfection that her fragile mind wobbles off pointe way before her body follows.

Portman (Queen Amidala in the "Star Wars" franchise), an Oscar nominee as the stripper in Mike Nichols' "Closer," is no stranger to ballet, having studied seriously in younger years.  Portman has said she's kept it up as exercise throughout her acting career.

Like Rourke, Portman is primed to nestle deep into a tormented psyche.  As Nina, she's chosen to portray the Swan Queen in a New York City production of a leaner, meaner "Swan Lake."  "I want to strip it down to the core," flirtatious artistic director Thomas Leroy (Vincent Cassel) croons.

"Black Swan" is shocking throughout, and not just because the artistic director of a major ballet company is straight.  Nina's determination to capture both the gentle innocence of the White Swan and the sensual, unbridled aggressiveness of the Black Swan sends her spiraling in at least the madness zip code.

When she finally does get in touch with her bad self, as ordered by her artistic director (portrayed with ample verve by Cassel), Nina opens her eyes to the shock that her mother (the definition of a helicopter mom) has parked herself in Nina's bedroom.

"Black Swan," unlike Aronofsky's almost unwatchable sci-fi fantasy "The Fountain" of 2006, channels the director's wildly creative talent into a hellish vortex of progressively surreal dark energy.

In addition to Portman, who turns in the performance of her career so far, Mila Kunis ("The Book of Eli") dazzles as Lily, this tale's dark side of self.

Hershey hovers nicely as the mom who never quite made it to the ballerina spotlight herself but may (or may not) be pulling for her daughter to over-achieve.  Also, Winona Ryder has some impressive pouty or fit-throwing moments as Beth, ballet's Cinderella who fights a forced exit when fame's clock strikes midnight.

What happens to Nina in "Black Swan" reminds me of Jack Nicholson's grim descent into madness in "The Shining."

Know this, though.  All work and no play doesn't make Nina a dull girl.  Not for a chill-down-your-spine moment. 


Battle of the 'Predator' all-scars

Have you ever had that frightening dream where you're falling, falling, falling?

The special ops mercenary portrayed by Adrien Brody in "Predators" finds himself in that terrifying helpless position.  There's an added dilemma, however.  For Royce (Brody), it isn't a dream.

"Predators," co-produced by Austin-based Robert Rodriguez, reboots terror into a sci-fi thriller franchise that had not only run out of energy but had gotten downright silly in sequels 2 and 3 in recent years.

There are no clash-of-the-titans confrontations between the cloaking sport hunters from outer space and their rival Aliens in this one.  In the Rodriguez-conceived throwback to the 1987 original, hunters become the hunted.

Rodriquez wrote the script that forms the core of this adventure in the early '90s when Sony was fishing for a suitable first sequel.  That film never got made.  At least it didn't until now with American expatriate Nimrod Antal ("Armored," "Vacancy") in the director's chair and first-timers Alex Litvak and Michael Finch polishing the script.

Royce is just one of nine strangers plumeting at break-neck (literally) speed toward a lush jungle below.  He grabs madly for a ripcord and finds none.  Just above the treetops, however, his chute deploys, as do those of most of the others.  

One chute fails to open, so the ninth person expires suddenly; a stick-in-the-mud.  Seven men and one women survive the terror ride of their lives.  That's just the initial alarm, though as Antal and Rodriguez restore real terror to the "Predator" franchise.

We soon learn what the recently fallen do.  The lush jungle (filmed in Hawaii and at Troublemaker Studios in Austin) may look Earthly, but it's not.

The edgy thrown-together group includes Royce, the special ops guy, Isabelle (Alice Braga of "I Am Legend"), the Israeli sniper, Walter (Walton Goggins of "The Shield" on FX), the death-row inmate, Cuchillo (Danny Trejo, coming up in Rodriguez's "Machete"), the Mexican drug gang enforcer, Edwin (Topher Grace), a doctor and others.

Through clever exposition of character, we learn that everyone dumped into an unfamiliar locale where the sun doesn't appear to move is a predator of some form or another, with the possible exception of the doc.

The real predators -- the clicking cloakers who have been known to do a little sport hunting on Earth -- are about the let the (unearthly) dogs out to see how game the newly arriving fresh meat really are.

Antal, a director who knows how to stir up terror on a movie screen, got my attention with "Kontroll," his edgy drama set in the bowels of the Budapest subway system.  It played the U.S. festival circuit in 2004 before earning a limited wider release in '05.

What "Predators" does best is restore the human us-against-them element to a franchise that had dissolved into a sparring match between creatures from outer space.

Brody, recently on screen as a mad scientist, of sorts, in the bizarre sci-fi thriller "Splice," wanders even farther away from his dramatic comfort zone here.

With the exception of the scene where Royce rips off his shirt for combat, Brody (an Oscar winner for "The Pianist") works for me as the lead prey in a very strange land.


Acting and other 'Twilight' things that bite

Lines that are not in "The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse," but should be.

Edward Cullen, perpetual teen vampire:  "Wanna grab a quick bite after graduation?"

Bella Swan, pouting graduating senior virgin human two-timer who's constantly teasing a certain vampire and a certain perpetually shirtless werewolf:  "Yeah, and a cool one."

We might as well joke about "Eclipse," the third "Twilight" movie.  This monster-human romance series has continually morphed into a spoof of itself ever since filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke, a Texas native, left or was given the boot after the initial "Twilight" in 2008.

Hardwicke launched the teen-scream franchise with a decent enough teen vampire/civilian moody blue love story.

The franchise has gone down thrill ever since.

The acting is more stilted with each outing, even from capable Dakota Fanning in her second cameo in this one as Jane, a member of the Volturi (a vampire ruling group).

British director David Slade, who takes over the franchise with No. 3, made a real movie (with real dialogue, real drama and stuff) titled "Hard Candy" in 2005.  He followed-up with the eerie vampire monster mash "30 Days of Night" in 2007 and should have left his bloodsucking horror helming at that.

There's nowhere to go with the "Twilight" franchise, except to orchestrate the further slide down the slippery slope into a perfect storm of pop culture phenomenon, young teen girls with a crush on a dreamy big-screen, milk-faced imaginary boyfriend ("Oh, he bites?  Well, nobody's perfect.") and peer pressure to jump on the latest pop bandwagon.

In Episode 3, based on Stephenie Meyer's novel "Eclipse" and once again adapted by Melissa Rosenberg, the folks of Forks, WA are gearing up for high school graduation.  Bella (Kristen Stewart) isn't sending out invitations or applying to any colleges, though.

The forever glum "Twilight" ingénue spends her time sitting in a field of wildflowers discussing when she and 100-year-old teen vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) are going to "do it," which, of course, means to turn her into an immortal so they can live happily ever after and after and after.

Now this is shocking.  I mean, a vampire able to sit comfortably outside in broad daylight?  Who signed off on a complete disregard for vampire rules?  Is nothing sacred in schlocky monster-horror flicks anymore?

Putting that monumental problem aside for a second, nothing much of interest happens in the second "Twilight" sequel.  Edward and ab-noxious, muscle-flexing werewolf rival Jacob Black (decent actor Taylor Lautner) are forced to form an uneasy alliance, which is no big whoop.

A Newborn Army of blood-thirsty vampires is strolling down through the woods from Seattle to have a go at ripping Bella to shreds.   She has little time to worry about such things.  Bella has more pressing problems, like juggling bracelets given to her by each of her beast beaus.

The jugular will just have to wait until the next sequel.

That one should be titled, but isn't, "Twilight's Last Gleaming."


Trouble, any way you 'Splice' it

As creature features go, "Splice" spills blood on the intelligent end of the sci-fi/horror/thriller scale.

Highbrow or not, the fear factor pegs the red into mayhem when an unauthorized experiment mixing human and animal DNA bursts out of control like Frankenstein's monster stomping through the countryside after a jolt of captured lightning.  

Director/co-writer Vincenzo Natali is correct when he refers to "his baby" as a genetic Frankenstein monster movie.  The question is whether or not such a thing is worth our time and money.  The answer is yes, especially for those who enjoy slightly futuristic semi-possibility eeriness in the cinematic dark.

Note to unsuspecting movie-goers:  Know that things are bound to get messy in any sci-fi thriller story that begins with benign blobs.

Natali, who hit with the mystery sci-fi thriller "Cube" in 1997, probably wouldn't attract lead actors like Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley if "Splice" had little to offer as a jolt to both the gut and the brain.

Genetic engineers Clive Nicole (Brody) and Elsa Kast (Polley), a couple in and out of the lab coats, are the darlings of the scientific community.  And why shouldn't they be after creating the aforementioned DNA masses nicknamed Fred and Ginger.

When the public display turns into a cozy waltz, Clive and Elsa launch their own secret experiment to introduce human DNA into the mix.  As we'll all find out later, though, Fred and Ginger know more than one dance.

From this aisle seat, Brody, an Academy Award winner for "The Pianist" in 2003, and Polley, a double-threat as filmmaker ("Away From Her") and actress ("My Life Without Me"), don't spark a great deal of on-screen chemistry.

The story is so compelling, though, and oftentimes oddly goofy that it's no use fighting it when the creature Dren is "born" and begins to draw us into one of the creepiest creature-features in years.

Brody, of course, has taken on monsters with some degree of intelligence before.  He had a go with the big gorilla in the remake of "King Kong" in 2005.  As I recall, though, Brody's character was never approached romantically by the creature in that one.

"Splice" is more sophisticated in visual effects than you might expect from an indie picked up by a major movie studio (Warner Bros.).  Natali continues to impress as a filmmaker of the macabre.  The creature, which quickly matures from a gnarly glob to semi-sensual teen, then adult, is full of mutating surprises.

Without giving too much away, let's just say that Dren, portrayed in adult form by budding French actress Delphine Chanéac ("The Pink Panther" remake), is one wild mutating mama.

And that's barely the half of it.


A 'Nightmare' on a film screen

The scariest word associated with the new "Nightmare on Elm Street" is not fright, sleep, blood or even die.

The word that sends chills up my spine is "reinvention."

Wes Craven's 1984 original wasn't perfect, but it combined two monumental elements of cinematic fright night -- slasher gore and the notion of killer nightmares -- with grisly comic one-liners.

Samuel Bayer's do-over with the unfortunate Jackie Earle Haley under the melted-skin makeup as gleeful nightmare rider Freddy does absolutely nothing to advance the horror staple.  If anything, the new "A Nightmare on Elm Street" could condemn the franchise neighborhood itself.

Once again, a Springwood teenager named Nancy (Rooney Mara of "Youth in Revolt" in for Heather Langenkamp of the original) and a gaggle of her classmates are having disturbing nightmares.

A horribly melted-skin guy with knives for a hand, a red and green sweater and a battered fedora (Robert Englund in past installments) taunts and haunts them in their sleep.  They try to stay awake.  As they discover one by one, however, Freddy Krueger's serious about wielding revenge for an event that occurred years earlier, when the teens were Badham Preschool students in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Veteran screenwriter Wesley Strick ("Final Analysis" in 1992) and first-timer Eric Heisserer combine efforts for this flat, flimsy revision.  The biggest victim here is not the young actors who are, for the most part, stalked and slashed into bloody oblivion by the vengeful Freddy, but the actor under the scarred makeup.

By reinventing the Freddy Krueger back-story, first-time director Samuel Bayer (Need I say it?  A music video and TV commercial helmer) and the writers allow Haley, their leading man-slayer, to suffer the most.

Haley, the former 1970s child star ("The Bad News Bears," "Breaking Away") and San Antonio, TX resident, re-emerged as an actor to be reckoned with and drew his first Oscar nomination as Ronnie, the sex offender, in "Little Children" of 2006.

This is a step back (way back) for the gifted Haley (also behind a mask in "Watchmen").  That's primarily because this restructured plot borrows heavily from one of Haley's recent past performances to move this plot forward through the blood-and-gore sludge.

Despite Haley's effort, Freddy's "comic" lines are as stale as this entire lifeless, humorless failed "reinvention."

Note to new filmmakers looking to make a name for themselves:  If you must "reinvent," take a lousy old film and make it sparkle.

Even in the horror genre, gutting a classic for a quick buck just doesn't cut it anymore. 


The saga of the reluctant corpse

Although creepy enough, the stylized psychological thriller "After.Life" plays like a student film with A-list lead actors.

First-time writer-director Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo successfully takes her audience to perhaps the scariest moment of human existence; that blurred line between life and death.  Sadly, she doesn't play fair in the cinematic arena she's created.

If you think Christina Ricci was in a tough spot when she was chained up in her shorty-shorts by Samuel Jackson in "Black Snake Moan" in 2007, wait until you see what her character is up against here.

Anna (Ricci) teaches middle school in a small Midwest town (although "After.Life" was lensed in New York).  She's got a boyfriend named Paul (Justin Long) she may or may not be about ready to marry and a nasty habit of driving off from an argument in a huff and a pelting rainstorm.

You've heard the expression "waking up dead"?  That's exactly what happens to the groggy accident victim.  When Anna stirs, she's about to be given last "wrongs" by creepy funeral director Eliot, portrayed with just the right amount of deranged sleaze by Liam Neeson.

According to the script that Wojtowicz-Vosloo wrote herself, Anna is quite deceased.  Or is she?  Maybe she's just stirring on the prep room slab because Eliot is a corpse whisperer of sorts.

I say "After-Life" doesn't play fair with its audience because the filmmaker could provide some clues as to whether her leading lady in a red slip is still among the living, but chooses not to.  If she's alive, then why isn't she cold in the chilled room with nothing on most of the time other than a slip or, uh, nothing at all.

Frankly, I'm not sure "After.Life" could have been brought to the screen by a male filmmaker.  Ricci's nudity isn't just blatant, it's flaunted to the camera more like a celebrity peep show than drama.

Ricci, a skilled actress, deserves better.  She should choose roles more wisely next time unless she's really got some bills that must be paid.

Neeson, appearing as Zeus and releasing the Kraken in "Clash of the Titans" a few doors down in the multiplex, will likely not include this failed creep-out show on his list of credits either.

Some movies demand to be seen.  This one, a blurred cross between psychological thriller and cheesy horror, makes it easy to disregard and move on down the movie house hall to something else.

Almost anything else.


To beast or not to beast

Release the movie-going hounds, "The Wolfman" is a howling success!

Though director Joe Johnston and a couple of screenwriters tweak the characters and story of the classic horror-thriller some, make no mistake, "The Wolfman" spills blood all over the Victorian moors as loving homage to "The Wolf Man" of 1941.

Old school is definitely the way to go when resurrecting the furry manbeast from hell and, of course, the Universal Pictures vaults.

When the moon is full and a transformation from man to manbeast is in order, this "Wolfman" does it -- for the most part -- the old fashioned way.  Rick Baker's hairy, bone-expanding make-up and prosthetics prove effective when the moon glow summons.

Oscar winners Benicio Del Toro ("Traffic") and Anthony Hopkins ("The Silence of the Lambs") go at it as creepy father and prodigal son.

Sir John Talbot (Hopkins) and son Lawrence (Del Toro) have been estranged for many years.  But when Lawrence's son Ben goes missing and ends up a bloody mess in a road ditch, Lawrence doesn't just return home, he vows to get to the bottom of things.

That's a noble gesture, of course, but there is a fair maiden involved.  Gwen (Emily Blunt, recently on screen in "The Young Victoria"), Ben's former fiancée, looks longingly into Lawrence's eyes and wants some answers.

What man wouldn't venture into the woods at night to take on a beast's fury when persuaded by a beautiful woman?  Well, probably quite a few, but there's no time to get into that now.

"The Wolfman" follows monster-thriller etiquette common to vampire flicks, plodding zombie adventures and, of course, werewolf yarns.  Once-bitten , Lawrence tries to will his ungodly transformation away.  To no avail, I'm afraid.  Actually, we wouldn't have much of a horror flick if he was able to pull off the self-cure.

Instead, Lawrence -- fighting his maddening curse all the way -- ravages the 1890 countryside just like the other beast that came before.  Not much mystery there.  Veteran fans of the grisly genre won't be surprised much when it comes to story.

The real thrill here is the dramatic bite Johnston (who directed "Jumanji," "Hidalgo" and "Jurassic Park III") creates with an eerie tone, good acting and a terrific bone-chilling score by Danny Elfman ("Men in Black," "Good Will Hunting").

Generally, I hate it when modern filmmakers tinker with classics.  These filmmakers and actors come to honor what came before, however, not to burn it down and start over.

"The Wolfman" is hair-raising, bloody fun that really knows how to release the beast.

Bring a silver bullet just in case.


'New Moon' falling, not rising

"New Moon" sulks.

Not sucks, mind you, for a couple of reasons, except it kind of does that as well.

First off, frenzied fans of the initial "Twilight" movie last year or those bedazzled by Stephenie Meyer's four best-selling fantasy-romance novels are probably predestined to like, perhaps even gush over "The Twilight Saga:  New Moon."

They'll probably barely notice, if at all, that director Chris Weitz's continuation of the brooding girl-meets-handsome vampire yarn brings nothing more to a movie screen than generally poor acting (especially from younger cast members), worse dialogue ("I guess the wolf's out of the bag now")  and a couple of shirtless hunks-to-wolf computer graphic transitions that grow tiresome quickly.

The other reason "New Moon" doesn't suck is that no humans were sucked bloodless during the making of this motion picture.  At least not where the audience is privy to the grisly process.

It's too bad "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke, the Texas native who called the shots on "Thirteen" and  "The Nativity Story," was separated from this installment over "creative differences."  The second outing, in which the franchise lets the "dogs" out, so to speak, is an overly drawn-out sequel that merely rehashes the human/otherworldly creature attraction that Hardwicke made near-magical last year.

High school teen Bella (Kristen Stewart) flirts with two "guys" and danger in "New Moon."  In a plot twist I fail to comprehend, Edward pushes true love Bella away and even uproots his vampire family from woodsy Forks, WA (but shot mostly in Vancouver) shortly after her 18th birthday.  Why?  There's a vampire price on her head, or to be more accurate, Bella's neck.

Vindictive red-headed vampire Victoria, played briefly by Rachelle Lefevre here (and in "Twilight") but who'll be replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard in the next outing, is coming for Bella.  Edward and his night-stalkers appear to offer her the only protection.  So, they exit stage right?

Bella may be unlucky in love, but just as there are other fish in the sea, there are other creatures lurking in the forest (where she wanders a lot despite continual horrific danger).  Conveniently, her old childhood pal Jacob (Taylor Lautner) just happens to be transitioning into his werewolf years.  Killing vampires is what these larger-than-life band-of-shirtless-brother wolves do.  

So screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg ("Twilight," "Step Up") fills time between Edward's absence and his return with angst-filled nights where Bella is prone to screaming fits and daylight hours spent rebuilding an old motorcycle with Jacob.  She needs the bike to fulfill her only link to Edward through adrenalin-junkie rush brushes with danger.  (How many girls do you know who'll jump off a cliff to see a CGI image of their best fella?)

It's all pretty silly, except it won't be for the target audience who can't seem to get enough of Lautner whipping off his shirt at every opportunity.  (Lautner must have been a Matthew McConaughey fan growing up.)

Most of the "Twilight" actors are back.  One thing Weitz ("The Golden Compass," "About a Boy") does well -- one of the only things, in fact -- is cut down on the chalky white makeup on Peter Facinelli, who plays Cullen clan patriarch Carlisle.

By the time "New Moon" makes a mad dash to a rustic village in Italy near the end, I thought I had fallen asleep and woke up in another "Da Vinci Code" sequel because of all the folks in red robes.  I'm glad this plot goes there, though.  Michael Sheen, who played a creature in the "Underworld" series, is creepy enough as head vampire dude Aro.

The real treat is seeing all-grown-up Dakota Fanning as sweet-faced Jane, an innocent-faced vampire that can inflict pain merely by willing it.

That's what this slow-paced, morose franchise needs, a red-eyed Little Miss Sunshine with fangs.

Now that's something to howl at the "New Moon" about.


When the priest is a beast

"Thirst," though raw and edgy, never coagulates into solid entertainment.  It's a vampire melodrama with lots of blood but little heart to pump it.

Directed and co-written by South Korea's Park Chan-wook, "Thirst" weaves a saucy tale of religion, deadly sins and humans dealing with extreme circumstances. 
Park's "Old Boy" took Grand Prix honors at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival.  So it's curious that "Thirst" lacks that mysterious little something that draws us into really good vampire yarns like "Let the Right One In."

In Korean and some English with subtitles, "Thirst" doesn't lack for potential, however.  Song Kang-ho ("The Host"), who's been called "the Tom Hanks of South Korea," is out front as Sang-hyun.  He's a caring priest who volunteers for an ill-fated medical experiment.

Sang-hyun (Song) is well aware that chances are slim that he'll even survive the test to come up with a cure for a deadly virus.  He lives, but not without tribulation.  The virus takes the priest so suddenly that Park's camera shows him spitting up blood (and lots of it) while attempting to calm his nerves by playing his wooden flute.

The humble man of the cloth is soon covered head to toe in cloth bandages.  A blood transfusion meant to save his life is infected, thus turning him into a vampire.  It's almost as silly as the high school romance with a vampire that pumps life into the teen-targeted "Twilight" series.

But Park, working with co-screenwriter Chung Seo-kyung, whom he collaborated with on "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" and "I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK," cranks up the heat with carnal desires.

This rare raging virus that took down the priest doesn't just turn him into a vampire.  It sends him spiraling into a check-list of deadly sins.  When a gorgeous orphan-waif married to an old childhood friend reaches out to him, Sang-hyun responds by hopping into the sack for, shall we say some rough sex.  (He's prone to bite, you see).

The screenplay wobbles into goof-ball comic relief for no reason, really, and never finds a tone it likes enough to maintain.  The priest on a crash course with damnation fights to maintain some humanity by refusing to kill innocents to steal their blood.  Yet Sang-hyun has no qualms about tube feeding on the blood of a comatose patient via an IV.

In all fairness to Park, it should be mentioned that "Thirst" won the Jury Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival.  Certainly, he's a filmmaker who never flinches when it comes to driving his films to the outer-edge of creativity. 
And he works well with leading man Song.  It shows in this, their fourth collaboration.

Park also makes very good use of Kim Ok-vin, a former beauty queen.  She portrays Tae-ju, and convinces as the conniving wife-turned-mistress up for anything.

 And I do mean anything.