Horrorible Review: “The Wailing”

Enjoy this Monday with Mildred!

The Wailing movie poster

The Wailing

Trailers are a great thing, especially the ones at the front of a DVD because they’ll show you treats you might otherwise never find. That’s how I found this South Korean story of a haunted town. It’s portrayed as a straight up ghost story, but it was more like a really black comedy. At first.

Police sergeant Jong-goo goes through clean uniforms like tissues as he is drawn deeper and deeper into a gory and terrifying mystery in the small town of Goksung. Stories about a mysterious Japanese man being the cause of the savage murders gets personal when Jong-goo finds one of his daughter’s shoes at the man’s house and she begins to exhibit some horrifying behavior.

I made the mistake of not reading the fine print on the DVD sleeve and right around the hour and a half mark and no end in sight I finally took a peek to see that it’s 2 HOURS AND 37 MINUTES.  They could have made a fine black comedy with a cruel ending, but right about that mark the film takes a dive deep into the dark and it’s not funny anymore. I can’t give many specifics, because to say much of anything about the plot would be spoilery, but I can say that the sense of being lost in time didn’t make it feel long, but rather enhanced the ramp up to the end.

The Wailing reminded me a little of The Exorcist, only with the father/daughter relationship tested in this version and the mom on the periphery. The loving dad is a not overly bright coward who can’t even find a place to have sex with his wife without the kid finding them and whose boss berates him every time he shows up late to a crime scene. There is a priest, and also a shaman and they don’t compete against each other, except maybe in showmanship. Hands down the shaman wins.

If this movie is any indication, South Korea’s favorite fish is red herring. Plus, for a western viewer, the very, very….very end of the movie is a world class bad pun.

If you liked The Exorcist, you’ll love this. It didn’t seem like I was watching a very long movie, and when things get rolling in the second half the action gets seriously creepy.


The Wailing Official Trailer 1 (2016) – Korean Thriller HD

CFR: In Addition: Yeah, I wanna see this. A lot.

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