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Bakjwi (Thirst) (2009)

tomatometer

81

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 108
Fresh: 88 | Rotten: 20

The stylish Thirst packs plenty of bloody thrills to satisfy fans of both vampire films and director Chan Wook Park.

70

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 8

The stylish Thirst packs plenty of bloody thrills to satisfy fans of both vampire films and director Chan Wook Park.

audience

74

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 18,559

My Rating

Movie Info

Song Kang-ho, Shin Ha-kyun, and Kim Ok-bin star in Oldboy director Park Chan-wook's frightener concerning a priest whose life takes a turn for the worst after he participates in a medical experiment to find a cure for a deadly disease. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Nov 17, 2009

$0.3M

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All Critics (109) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (88) | Rotten (20) | DVD (5)

A rollicking, hysterical splatter-sex-comedy only confirms 'Thirst' as one of the year's more extreme, enjoyable entertainments.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What the film is saying, so far as I can tell, is that, if cut, you will bleed. And bleed.

September 10, 2009 | Comment (1)
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thirst is a grim antidote to the sanitized, pale young things of Twilight, Supernatural and True Blood.

September 9, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thirst begins with great intellectual and artistic promise, then devolves into a repetitious mess of teeth, blades, necks, bites, arterial sprays, sex, sex, sex and death.

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Thirst keeps coming up against the limitations of its various inspirations like a bumper car on a crowded court. On almost every other level, the film's audaciously entertaining, at times even quite moving. You just have to have the stomach for it.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Park aficionados are assured their fix of lurid imagery and baroque plotting, though straight-up horror buffs may get restless during the sluggish and murky middle section; Twilight fans need not apply.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kiddie shows like Twilight and Blood: The Last Vampire pale (you'll excuse the expression) in comparison.

August 29, 2011 Full Review Source: East Bay Express
East Bay Express

Boldly erotic and playfully ponderous about sins of the flesh, "Thirst" rips open its bodice, and various veins, with arterial sprays of carnage and carnality. It's a savage, frank, fanged fusion of "Double Indemnity" and "The Postman Always Rings Twice."

October 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

Perhaps no auteur is as suited to the vampire genre as South Korean director Park Chan-wook, a man who has made a career out of films full of sexual perversity, doomed romances and a seemingly insurmountable volume of blood.

October 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Quickflix
Quickflix

The degrees of shock, the foreshadowing and throwbacks throughout (both visual and in dialogue) all seem diminutive next to the amazing performances by the male and female lead.

April 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

click to read full review

March 26, 2010 Full Review Source: Movies for the Masses
Movies for the Masses

A splendid grand guignol that thankfully avoids the Hallmark Card sensibility of the Twilight series.

January 1, 2010 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Begins as a film about a crisis of faith and ends up with a crisis of identity itself.

December 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

The story of a noble priest resurrected as a vampire and plunged into a life of desire is opulently brought to the screen by one of South Korea's leading filmmakers.

December 11, 2009 Full Review Source: Screenwize
Screenwize

Something must have bored writer/director Chan-wook Park, because the second and third acts of Thirst play like scenes out of a totally different and much more incoherent film.

November 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Examiner.com
Examiner.com

What sets Park's film apart from the standard vampire picture has more to do with its tone, characterizations, and its strange blend of lyricism and pitch-black comedy.

November 4, 2009 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Just when you thought you'd seen everything that could possibly be done with vampires, along comes something like Thirst.

October 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

A truly bizarre movie, a tragicomedy that Graham Greene might have written in collaboration with Bram Stoker. But it's repetitive and overstays its initial welcome.

October 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Park is clearly an exceptional director capable of being weirdly funny, quirkily fantastical, brutal and sexy, sometimes at one and the same time. There's no one quite like him.

October 20, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

Park directs with his usual eye-catching skill and attention to gruesome detail, and creates a story with strong emotional resonance.

October 20, 2009 Full Review Source: Shadows on the Wall
Shadows on the Wall

With its rapacious appetites and forceful directing style, is definitely a vampire film for grown-ups.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Not one of Park's best films, but it has bite.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

This fervid extravaganza is easily Park's best film since Oldboy.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Red blood and black humour spurt hard as Thirst reveals itself to be one of the most deliciously skewed incisions into the vampire romance subgenre.

October 16, 2009
Little White Lies

There's plenty to get your teeth into - just a shame you've got to wait so long for the main course.

October 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Audience Reviews for Bakjwi (Thirst)

Oh what could have been! In "Thirst" you have a great idea; that of a priest who, while trying to help mankind by participating in a vaccine trial that could save millions of lives, ends up with that tainted blood we all know so well. The moral implications are juicy - a man of God wrestling with the bloodthirsty (literally, he he he) beast now residing inside him - what a film this could be.

Sadly, the moralistic aspects of this tale get thrown by the wayside less than halfway through as the film dissolves into a bloody mess (again, literally). This Korean entry certainly has an odd style going for it, and for a time it works in a very linear and matter of fact way. Director Chan Wook Park has no qualms about showering us in torrents of blood as well as the more mundane human rituals, including farting and relieving oneself - stuff that served no purpose in the film and frankly I could have done without.

I was astounded at the amount of detail and time spent on things that didn't matter, while glossing over or simply blithely ignoring some pretty severe plot holes. The film seems to totally miss the point it was initially trying to make, as absurd sequence follows absurd sequence, so by the time you get to the ultimate scenes you almost laugh instead of taking it seriously. Any moral message has by this time become so buried by pointless scenes and a lack of cinematic focus that all sense of poignancy is lost.

The film is just so uneven, even in its CGI. There are some seamless bits where boils and pustules slowly vanish; vanquished by the vampire blood - but then there are some truly awful Crouching Tiger imitation jumping scenes that are truly laughable, and truly add nothing to the tale - really, this uber strong vampire thing once again glosses over the real meat of the matter - that in order to survive, a vampire requires the blood of the species he used to be. That should have been the focus here, along with how a priest slowly loses his battle with the beast within - suffering a loss of faith in the bargain - a metaphorical gem just waiting to be mined - but not in this film.
December 6, 2012
maxthesax
paul sandberg

Super Reviewer

A beautifull yet brutal vampire film.
September 29, 2012
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

A hyper-sexual and highly stylized meditation on the sins of the flesh. Song Kang-Ho is superb here as a man "living" in a perpetual state of crises. On top of this, one can see a higher level of maturity in the direction when compared to Park Chan-Wook's previous films. There is some very subtle yet amazing camera work in this movie and I give him credit for doing something interesting with the tired vampire genre. All in all, this film is very unique and like all Park Chan-Wook films, worth a watch just for the experience.
August 25, 2011
axadntpron
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

A priest accidentally infected with vampirism struggles with his new found earthly lusts and temptations while engaging in a love affair with an old friend's wife. Chan Wook Park indulges his fascination with the macabre with beautifully artistic visuals and a wicked streak of black humour as the vampire myth is once again deconstructed for the modern audience. Beautifully performed, particularly by Song Kang-ho as the tormented holy man in a nicely understated interpretation of a blood sucking monster who sees his condition as an unwanted curse rather than a gift. In fact technically, there is very little to be faulted here as aside perhaps from a rather slow first half, its pretty much a perfectly executed dark fantasy; the Crouching tiger style wirework of their undead acrobatics are particularly effective. The biggest problem is the source material as the vampire film is so ubiquitous its difficult to find anything here that hasn't been done before. Although this is the more complete film by far, the format is very reminiscent of Guillermo Del Toro's Cronos and the post modern concepts have been explored numerous times over the years. Certainly one of the most elegant examples of the genre but let's face it, vampires have been done to (un)death.
May 10, 2011
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

    1. Sang-Hyun: Grant me the following in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like a leper rotting in flesh, let all avoid me. Like a cripple without limbs, let me not move freely. Remove my cheeks, tht tears may not roll down them. Crush my lips and tongue, that I may not sin with them. Pull out my nails, that I may not grasp nothing. Let my shoulders and back be bent, that I may carry nothing. Like a man with tumor in the head let me lack judgment. Ravage my body sworn to chastity leave me with no pride, and have me live in shame. Let no one pray for me. But only the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me.
    – Submitted by I Am The Vast UNIVERSE I (22 months ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Bakjwi Durst (DE)
  • Thirst (Bakjwi) (UK)
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