Thirst (2009) Poster

Thirst (2009)

  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 14,638 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Romance
  • Release Date: 30 April 2009 (South Korea)
  • Runtime: 133 min | South Korea:145 min (director's cut) | Canada:148 min (Blu-ray Disc)
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Thirst (2009)


Thirst 2009tt0762073.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Thirst (2009)
  • Rate: 7.2/10 total 14,638 votes 
  • Genre: Comedy | Drama | Fantasy | Horror | Romance
  • Release Date: 30 April 2009 (South Korea)
  • Runtime: 133 min | South Korea:145 min (director's cut) | Canada:148 min (Blu-ray Disc)
  • Budget: $5,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: $227,873(USA)(16 August 2009)
  • Director: Chan-wook Park
  • Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim and Hae-suk Kim
  • Original Music By: Yeong-wook Jo   
  • Soundtrack: Ich habe genug
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: Blood | Priest | Vampire | Virus | Lust

Writing Credits By:

    (in alphabetical order)

  • Seo-Gyeong Jeong  screenplay
  • Chan-wook Park  screenplay
  • Émile Zola  inspired by the book "Thérèse Raquin"

Known Trivia

    Plot: Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways. Full summary »  »

    Story: Sang-hyun, a priest working for a hospital, selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project intended to eradicate a deadly virus. However, the virus eventually takes over the priest. He nearly dies, but makes a miraculous recovery by an accidental transfusion of vampire blood. He realizes his sole reason for living: the pleasures of the flesh.Written by Pusan International Film Festival  


    Synopsis: Beloved and devoted priest from a small town volunteers for a medical experiment which fails and turns him into a vampire. Physical and psychological changes lead to his affair with a wife of his childhood friend who is repressed and tired of her mundane life. The one-time priest falls deeper in despair and depravity. As things turns for worse, he struggles to maintain whats left of his humanity.

    Sang-hyun (played by top Korean star Song Kang-ho, of The Host) is a priest who cherishes life; so much so, that he selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project meant to eradicate a deadly virus. But the virus takes the priest, and a blood transfusion is urgently ordered up for him. The blood he receives is infected, so Sang-hyun lives but now exists as a vampire. Struggling with his newfound carnal desire for blood, Sang-hyuns faith is further strained when a childhood friends wife, Tae-ju (Kim Ok-vin), comes to him asking for his help in escaping her life. Sang-hyun soon plunges into a world of sensual pleasures, finding himself on intimate terms with the Seven Deadly Sins. [D-Man2010]


    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Soo-hyun Ahn known as producer
    • Joon H. Choi known as associate producer
    • Hak-beom Kim known as co-associate producer
    • Katharine Kim known as co-executive producer
    • Miky Lee known as executive producer
    • Ki-moon Nam known as co-associate producer
    • Chan-wook Park known as producer
    • Bob Seh known as co-associate producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Kang-ho Song known as Priest Sang-hyeon
    • Ok-bin Kim known as Tae-ju
    • Hae-suk Kim known as Lady Ra
    • Ha-kyun Shin known as Kang-woo
    • In-hwan Park known as Priest Noh
    • Dal-su Oh known as Yeong-doo
    • Young-chang Song known as Seung-dae
    • Mercedes Cabral known as Evelyn
    • Eriq Ebouaney known as Immanuel
    • Hee-jin Choi known as Nurse
    • Woo-seul-hye Hwang known as Girl with a whistle
    • Hwa-ryong Lee known as Professor Ku
    • Mi-ran Ra known as Nurse Yu



    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Jong-hee Song known as hair designer
    • Jong-hee Song known as make-up designer




    Production Companies:

    • CJ Entertainment (presents)
    • Focus Features International (FFI) (presents)
    • Moho Films
    • Benex Movie Expert Fund (in association with)
    • Company K Movie Asset Fund No. 1 (in association with)
    • Green Non-Life Insurance Company (in association with)
    • MVP Capital Culture Investment Fund (in association with)

    Other Companies:

    • AZ Works  post-production
    • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
    • Focus Features  funding
    • HFR  dailies
    • HFR  digital intermediate
    • Milan Records  soundtrack
    • Universal Pictures  funding


    • Mediatres Estudio (2011) (Spain) (all media) (Distributor)
    • Mediatres Estudio (2011) (Andorra) (all media) (Distributor)
    • Alliance Films (2009) (Canada) (theatrical)
    • AmaFilms (2008) (Greece) (theatrical)
    • CJ Entertainment (2008) (South Korea) (theatrical)
    • Cathay-Keris Films (2009) (Singapore) (theatrical)
    • Focus Features (2009) (USA) (theatrical) (subtitled)
    • Independenta Film (2009) (Romania) (theatrical)
    • Le Pacte (2009) (France) (theatrical)
    • Maywin Media (2009) (Russia) (theatrical)
    • Phantom Film (2010) (Japan) (theatrical)
    • Tour de Force (2009) (Norway) (theatrical)
    • Wild Side Films (2009) (France) (theatrical)
    • Alliance (2009) (Canada) (DVD)
    • Avsar Film (2009) (Turkey) (all media)
    • Canana Films (2010) (Mexico) (all media)
    • Discovery Channel International (DCI) (2009) (Yugoslavia) (all media)
    • EDKO Film (2009) (Hong Kong) (all media)
    • EcoFilmes (2009) (Portugal) (all media)
    • First Look International (2010) (USA) (DVD)
    • MFA Filmdistribution (2009) (Germany) (all media)
    • Madman Entertainment (2009) (Australia) (all media)
    • Madman Entertainment (2009) (New Zealand) (all media)
    • Madman Entertainment (2010) (Australia) (all media)
    • Metrodome Distribution (2009) (UK) (DVD)
    • NonStop Entertainment (2009) (Sweden) (all media)
    • Palisades Tartan (2009) (UK) (all media)
    • Paris Filmes (2009) (Brazil) (all media)
    • Prisvídeo – Edições Videográficas (2010) (Portugal) (all media)
    • Universal Studios Home Entertainment (2009) (USA) (DVD)



    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • CJ Powercast

    Visual Effects by:

    • Sunghun Cha known as visual effects artist
    • Kang Chang-bae known as visual effects artist
    • Kang Changbae known as visual effects
    • Hyun-Cheol Chung known as visual effects
    • Yuseop Ham known as visual effects
    • Changbae Kang known as visual effects
    • Jeon-hyeong Lee known as visual effects supervisor
    • Jihyun Nam known as head of effects
    • Kwang-Ha Ryu known as visual effects
    • Jeong Hun Seong known as digital effects artist

    Release Date:

    • South Korea 30 April 2009
    • France 13 May 2009 (Cannes Film Festival)
    • France 15 May 2009 (Cannes Film Market)
    • Australia 25 June 2009 (Sydney)
    • Canada July 2009 (Fantasia Film Festival)
    • Czech Republic 4 July 2009 (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival)
    • USA 31 July 2009 (limited)
    • Canada 7 August 2009 (limited)
    • Singapore 10 September 2009
    • Finland 18 September 2009 (Helsinki International Film Festival)
    • Brazil 25 September 2009 (Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival)
    • France 30 September 2009
    • Spain 2 October 2009 (Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival)
    • South Korea 10 October 2009 (Pusan International Film Festival)
    • Germany 15 October 2009
    • Poland 15 October 2009 (Warsaw Film Festival)
    • Ireland 16 October 2009
    • UK 16 October 2009 (limited)
    • Brazil 23 October 2009 (São Paulo International Film Festival)
    • Norway 25 October 2009 (Bergen International Film Festival)
    • Greece 18 November 2009 (Thessaloniki International Film Festival)
    • Sweden 25 November 2009 (Stockholm International Film Festival)
    • Czech Republic 5 December 2009 (FilmAsia Festival)
    • Norway 26 December 2009
    • Sweden 19 February 2010
    • Turkey 19 February 2010
    • Japan 27 February 2010
    • Greece 11 March 2010
    • Brazil 2 April 2010
    • Portugal 15 April 2010
    • Netherlands 17 April 2010 (Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival)
    • Romania 23 April 2010 (B-Est International Film Festival)
    • Mexico 9 July 2010
    • Denmark 15 July 2010
    • Philippines 1 December 2010 (Cinemanila International Film Festival)
    • Argentina 12 January 2011 (DVD premiere)

    MPAA: Rated R for graphic bloody violence, disturbing images, strong sexual content, nudity and language



    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , , .


    1. yfguitarist from usa
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      If you love Chan-wook Park, you know what to expect. His films arebrutal, poetic, tragic, and artistic, with splashes of very grim humor.THIRST is clearly Park's style, and I loved every second of it, fromthe cinematography (every shot is gorgeous and creative) to the story,which blends Shakespearean tragedy, murderous love, Gothic horror, andlayered character drama. The characters are complex and there is plentyof moral ambiguity to go around. Even the most sociopathic characterevokes sympathy. The direction is restrained and the performances arenuanced – like SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, there are too manysubtleties to take in on the first viewing. Chan-wook Park is anintelligent, bold, consistently surprising filmmaker. It'sunpredictable – scenes go from brutal and heart-wrenching tolaugh-out-loud hilarious in an instant. This is closer to LADYVENGEANCE then SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE as far as being over-the-topand comical. But, like LADY VENGEANCE, it's incredibly rich,thought-provoking, and rewarding.

      If you like beautifully told vampire stories (LET THE RIGHT ONE IN) orare a fan of Chan-wook Park, seeing THIRST should be obvious. Easilyone of the best films of 2009.

    2. tjackson from Boston. MA
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      Not for the squeamish, but the number of twists, inventive uses ofsituations using vampire mythology, gorgeous visual extremes, togetherwith interesting and quirky characters make this one of the moststunning horror films I've ever seen. It descends into utter madnessalong with characters, but never seems exploitative or horrific withoutpurpose. There are copious amounts of bloodletting accompanied by somenasty sucking and squishing sounds, but also subtle moments where youlaugh out loud. As he tends to do, Chan-wook Park keeps you off centerwith leaps in time and plot and situation that you have to fill in foryourself forcing your involvement in the story and characters.

      And there's a lot of literal leaping. Keeping in the vein of vampiremyth (pun intended), they have superhuman strength and can nearly leaptall buildings in a single bound (to coin a phrase). The first time ourheroine is carried by the across the tops of buildings by the troubledvampire priest, it has all the magical romance of Lois Lane andSuperman – but this romance becomes increasingly disturbing – butdriven by a strange and conflicted 'love affair' not by mere horror.

      The acting is superb, particularly OK-vin Kim, the gorgeous actress inthe female lead role who, at 22, shows a range that is remarkable. Thecharacter borders on a kind of black widow film noir type. She careensfrom innocent to impish to vixen to demon with utter conviction. Thisis a really smooth and nervy performance.

      If you love real art in horror, or are a fan of Oldboy – don't wait forthe video, see it immediately.

    3. Simonster from Berlin, Germany
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      Viewed at the Festival de Cannes 2009

      Sang-hyun, a beloved and admired priest in a small town servesdevotedly at a local hospital. He goes to Africa to volunteer as a testsubject, is infected by a deadly virus and dies. A blood transfusionbrings him back to life and turns him into a vampire. Word spreads thathe is a healer and people flock to him. Among them is an old friend,Kang-woo, and his wife, Tae-ju. She and Sang-hyun begin a love affair,which soon spins off into murder. While Sang-hyun tries to hold ontohis humanity (he refuses to kill and has a novel way of getting theblood he needs), Tae-ju really gets into this whole vampire thing,whereupon Sang-hyun realises something has to be done.

      Fans of Park Chan-Wook will have no trouble with this film. Yes, allhis visual tricks and techniques are there, but he sets them in sceneas skillfully as ever.

      The performances, every single one of them, are all top notch. Theblood, when it comes, is red and raw. At the same time, this is stillvery much the thinking person's vampire film. If you're into woodenstakes, bats, garlic, holy water, decapitations etc. then this isn'tthe film for you. If you enjoyed, for example, Abel Ferrera's TheAddiction (1995), then it most definitely is.

      Typically for a park Chan-Wook film, especially coming on the heels ofI'm A Cyborg, But That's OK, there is a lot of humour; black, mordantand very funny, both visual and verbal. The audience at the pressscreening laughed frequently and often loudly.

      The fact it's a vampire film may deter some viewers, which would be apity. It makes me want to say "It's a vampire film, but …" and thentell them why, if that's a problem, they should overcome it and givethe film a chance. It would also be unfair to call Thirst (to use itsinternational title) a horror film, given the connotations associatedwith that label. If you can accept Master And Commander as a buddy /relationship film, as well as an action-adventure, then I hope you knowwhat I'm trying to say.

      If I have one criticism to level against this film, it's the length.133 minutes are just too many. It could lose quite a few of them withno harm to the narrative or characterisations. But that is not a reasonnot to seek out the latest film from this excellent Koreanwriter-director.

    4. allstar_beyond from New Zealand
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      I won't bore you with any synopsis, chances are you already know them.And hopefully you are already familiar with Park Chan-Wook's work.

      I STRONGLY disagree with some of the other commentators in saying that"Park has not moved on from the vengeance trilogy blah blah blah."Because you know what? He HAS!!! The vengeance trilogy were differentfrom each other in style to begin with, how can you even compare thesombreness and subtlety of "Sympathy For Mr Vengeance" with the franticand extravagance of "Oldboy"? Park Chan-Wook has incredible style, buthis movies don't all share the SAME style! That has been true andremains true with the release of "Thirst".

      "Thirst" is an incredible picture, it literally has EVERYTHING you wantin a movie. Jaw-dropping violence, tasteful gore, great humour,incredible suspense and even very realistic sex scenes. The story is socrazy that at no point can you guess what will happen next. I'm sohappy to say that Park is back in top form with this fantasticdark-comic-vampire-love-story. Watch it as soon as you can!

    5. Topher-Liam Froehlich from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am


      I found that this film was beautifully crafted. The cinematography waswell above excellent. I though almost any frame could be frozen, andyou would have yourself an exquisite photograph. The use of colorstands out most. In many instances the camera was gliding through thescene and the work was flawless.

      Park Chan Wook's direction was fantastic. He had me believingunwaveringly in his far- fetched universe. There were several touchesof verbal and visual humor (of a dark nature) that just added anotherdepth to the picture as a whole.

      The acting I would not call outstanding but it suited the film andworked well enough.

      For me, the only place where this film lacked was in the story. Attimes, I will not lie, the goings on between characters just did notmake sense. Sometimes the story flow was clunky. Overall, I wasdisappointed with the subdued narrative, and I felt it ran a little toolong.

      But I still recommend this film, for its vision, its visual flourish,its dark humor, and at the end of the day, it is an interesting filmeven if imperfect. 9/10

    6. akkoziol from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      Now that I have seen it, it was NOT what I was expecting, at least notuntil the very END. I read some of the other reviews before picking upa used copy of this from Amazon and was glad I did. Having been firstintroduced to Park's work via Oldboy, I was curious to how he'd treatthe genre and was rather pleased at the clever manner in which heexecuted it. I think Park has matured in terms of presentation becausewhile Oldboy and some of his other work has very nice and deliberatecamera work, he has some nice innovations in Bakjwi that I had not seenin other vamp movies. For example the scene where Father Hyeon isrealizing the "beast" growing within him as he gives his shoes to thealways barefoot Tae-ju and he is able to SEE the blood pumping throughTae-ju's skin and his eye's widen in blood-lust for it. That was a niceeffect. I was also happy that Park did not CG the crap out of the movieand the is in fact very little CG at all. I came away from Bakjwi beingtotally set up to think one thing was going to happen and get taken fora ride in true Park fashion. Additionally, I liked that Park playedwith a little symbolism and reversal whereas we don't usually get thisis Asia cinema. During the beginning of the movie we see the plotdevelop slowly and get to know the characters and you feel like aninvisible observer to the thing that are transpiring. Park treats you alittle like Ghost of Christmas future coming to show you, albeit a bitboringly, what life is like outside your world. Ah, but then we startto feel a little kinship with the befallen Father and his burgeoninglust for Tae-ju and conflict with duty as a priest. We almost start toroot for them even until Park not so nicely slaps us back into realityand we really see that in the end Bakjwi is a movie about moral dilemmaand right and wrong. It won't spoil it if I tell you to watch Bakjwifrom the mindset of a priest and I think you'll come away from it withwhat Park wants you to come away with. Don't expect Oldboy andstylization because that's not what you'll get here. A very interestingtake on the genre indeed. Those who missed the MANY literary elementsand religious allusions watched some other movie, not Bakjwi. AfterBakjwi, watch Let The Right One IN, it's also not what you'll expecteither.

    7. tyler-and-jack from Edinburgh.
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      Chan-wook Park, you have to hand it to the guy. In my eyes, he's notonly a brilliant director but a brilliant director who can turn hishand to any genre and often provides something refreshing yet stillultimately satisfying.

      Thirst is, essentially, a vampire tale but one that plays fast andloose with some of the "rules" of the subgenre. Kang-ho Song playsFather Sang-hyeon, a man who unselfishly gives himself over to aresearch program and then unselfishly kind of catches the disease theyare trying to cure, dies and comes back. All thanks to the blood he wastransfused with. Being the only one of the subjects to survive, hebecomes quite the celebrity to those who know him and all he wants isto get back to normal. Normal, however, now involves being able to leapgreat distances without injury, wanting to drink blood and gettingseverely hot under the collar when rays of sun get on his skin. It'snot long before he's living with a rather dysfunctional family unit whoknew him in his childhood and while he hides his new, strange lifestylehe finds himself drawn into a complex love triangle, becoming moreacceptable of darker thoughts and sliding down a slippery slope thatcould lead him from man to beast to monster.

      Deftly blending a number of genres, Park's movie felt much fresher andmore original to me than Let The Right One In (to use a recent example)and genuinely impressed me with it's approach to material that couldeasily have felt as well-worn and rehashed as any number of othervampire movies we've seen over the years. It's a mixture of horror,melodrama and comedy while also pondering ideas such as strength offaith, the power over life and death, the downside of immortality, etc,etc.

      Some people have complained that this genre-blending approach weakensthe movie but I personally found that it was a lively, entertaining andalways enjoyable movie helped by a great central performance from Songas the tortured priest and fantastic turns from a supporting cast withno weak links. Many characters get to move through a range of emotionsand all do so with skill and believability, especially the young woman(played by OK-vin Kim) who becomes the object of the priest's love,lust and affection.

      Fans of Asian cinema (and Park in particular) and also fans of Poe's"The Tell-tale Heart" (watch and learn) should lap this up, it's yetanother classy movie from a man who seems to take everything in hisstride and always manages to put out nothing less than solidentertainment.

      See this if you like: Cronos, Near Dark, Dellamorte Dellamore AKACemetery Man.

    8. kosmasp
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      No pun intended. I'm not going to spoil anything about the story, butit's safe to assume that you already know, what kind of character themain actor portrays. And of course being a priest while being "naughty"exaggerates all that. Plus this is the most erotic movie from Park ChanWook yet.

      If you have seen Wook's previous works/movies you know he is veryvisual (in a good way) and it shows again here. While it strays awayfrom the vengeance theme of his prior movies on the surface, it stillhas quite some heat hidden underneath. And when that boils, quite a fewbad things start to happen. But through all that dark, there alsomoments of light (fun) to be had too. A very stylistic and thoughprovoking movie, that lives outside the mainstream and does a very goodjob …

    9. Indyrod from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      Talk about getting your socks knocked off, this newest amazing moviefrom Park Chan-wook's would be my favorite new take on the vampiregenre, if not for "Let the Right One In", which still remains my fav,but this one is right behind it. A Catholic Priest volunteers for someradical medical experiments, that turn him into a vampire. He tries hisbest to be a good vampire, and not kill anybody, but it's pretty clear,that's going to be rather difficult. Park mixes in some black comedyinto this one, just as he does in most of his earlier films, but thesubject matter is dead serious. It also has one of the best vampire sexscenes I have ever seen. The vampire Priest steals blood from hospitalsand anywhere he can find it, but when he meets his new lover, thingspretty much go downhill, when she wants to become a vampire too. Thisis an excellent entry into the vampire genre, and continues ParkChan-wook's amazing body of work. This is not to be missed, everyminute of the 134 min running time is entertaining as hell.

    10. zetes from Saint Paul, MN
      30 Mar 2012, 2:42 am

      From the director of Oldboy comes this slick vampire flick. Kang-hoSong stars as a priest who is accidentally changed into a vampire whilebeing cured of a deadly, mysterious virus. His vampirism and priesthoodare quite at conflict, but he is able to survive by robbing thehospital's blood bank and unconscious patients who might not mind somesiphoned blood. Because of his supposedly miraculous survival, he comesinto the lives of Ha-kyun Shin's family. Shin has cancer, and hismother believes that Song can cure it. Unfortunately, Song's vampirismraises his levels of lust to a height where he can't help but fall forShin's young wife, OK-vin Kim. Kim is intensely interested in the worldof vampirism, and the two become lovers. The film from there goes inweird directions that I think one should experience for themselves.What really should be mentioned is Chan-wook Park's mastery of themedium of cinema. My God, I've rarely seen such a masterful visualartist at the peak of his powers. The major flaw of the film is thatit's a little incoherent, especially near the beginning. Park isinterested in telling his stories mostly in the visuals, which can bedifficult to follow at times. But when it works, man, does it fly. Thefilm is also perversely hilarious. The final sequence, easily one ofthe best of the decade, is simultaneously heartbreaking anddelightfully ridiculous. OK-vin Kim should become a worldwide starafter this film. She gives one of the best performances of the year.

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