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, it’s pretty much a perfectly executed dark fantasy; the Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon-style wire work 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 more elegant examples of the genre but let’s face it, vampires have been done to undeath.