Na Hong-jin, between the time of his earlier films -- The Chaser (from 2008, a mostly first-class, if very dark and ugly thrill ride about kidnapping and murder) and The Yellow Sea (from 2010, an even darker but much quieter and more subtle exploration of the entwining of love, need and evil) -- and his latest effort, THE WAILING (Goksung)? I ask because Na's new film is the biggest embarrassment to South Korean cinema I've encountered since I first caught wind of that country's enormous moviemaking prowess around the turn of this past century. Since then, TrustMovies has watched most everything Korean he could find and had time for (including even the recent itty-bitty cable series, DramaWorld).
Bong Joon-ho, achieved with his own first-class try at a sci-fi thriller, 2014's Snowpiercer.
Kwak Do-won, above, right, and below, who proves as good as he's able to be as the not-terribly-bright policeman whose little daughter (below) comes under the spell of the principal bad guy. Of course, our burly cop is determined to get to the bottom of things -- which will take endless time for him (and endless patience on the part of us viewers).
Well Go USA Entertainment and running an unconscionable 156 minutes (yes!), The Wailing opens this Friday, June 3, in cities all across the country. In New York City, it is said to be playing the FSLC, the IFC Center and the AMC Empire 25; in Los Angeles, look for it at Laemmle's Monica Film Center and Playhouse 7 and at the AMC Atlantic Time Square. Here in South Florida? Nowhere at all. (Guess we don't have a large enough Korean population). Elsewhere in the USA? Absolutely. Click here and scroll down to see all currently scheduled playdates with cities and theaters.