The Wailing (film)

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The Wailing
The Wailing (film).png
Theatrical release poster
Hangul곡성
Hanja哭聲
Revised RomanizationGokseong
McCune–ReischauerKonksŏng
Directed byNa Hong-jin
Produced by
  • Suh Dong-hyun
  • Kim Ho-sung[1]
Written byNa Hong-jin[1]
StarringKwak Do-won
Hwang Jung-min
Chun Woo-hee
Music byJang Young-gyu
Dalpalan[1]
CinematographyHong Kyung-pyo[1]
Edited byKim Sun-min[1]
Production
company
Side Mirror
Fox International Production Korea
Distributed by20th Century Fox Korea
Release date
  • May 12, 2016 (2016-05-12) (South Korea)
Running time
156 minutes[1]
CountrySouth Korea[1]
LanguageKorean
Japanese
BudgetUS$8 million
Box officeUS$51.3 million[2]

The Wailing (Hangul곡성; Hanja哭聲; RRGokseong) is a 2016 South Korean horror film directed by Na Hong-jin about a policeman who investigates a series of mysterious killings and illnesses. It was both a commercial and critical success.[3]

Plot[edit]

A Japanese man has recently arrived at a little village in the mountains of South Korea, living in a secluded house. A mysterious disease starts spreading among the villagers, causing a rash which precedes violent murderous outbreaks followed by stupor and eventually death.

Police officer Jong-goo, who is investigating the case, meets a mysterious young woman called Moo-myeong (“no name” in Korean), who tells him about the Japanese stranger, and later disappears. A local hunter tells Jong-goo that he saw the near-naked stranger eating a deer, with glowing red eyes. Jong-goo is unsettled, as he has had dreams about this stranger, which the hunter had described to him. He enlists the help of another police officer, and a Japanese-speaking deacon to serve as an interpreter, and they investigate the stranger's house while he is away. The other police officer finds pictures of the infected and murdered residents and their belongings. He is too shocked to say anything to the others. The stranger's house guard dog attacks the deacon and Jong-goo. The stranger arrives and pacifies the dog, and the other three leave.

The police officer tells Jong-goo of what he saw, and hands over a shoe which belongs to Jong-goo's daughter, Hyo-jin. Soon, Hyo-jin becomes sick and displays similar symptoms as the other infected villagers. Jong-goo makes his way to the stranger’s house with the deacon in anger, but finds that the pictures and evidence have been burned. Infuriated, he destroys the stranger's worship room and kills the dog when it attacks him, ordering the stranger to leave the village.

Distraught about Hyo-jin's condition, Jong-goo's mother-in-law seeks help from a shaman, Il-gwang. As Il-gwang performs a ritual to exorcise the demon, the stranger performs a ritual in his house simultaneously. Jong-goo finds his daughter in pain and interrupts the ritual, taking her to a hospital instead. The following day, he gathers his friends to hunt down the stranger, believing that the stranger is responsible for the disease and murders. Jong-goo and his friends go after the stranger, and are attacked by another infected villager. After a chase they eventually end up hitting the stranger with their vehicle. They dispose of his body as Moo-myeong watches from the hills. When Jong-goo returns home, he finds that Hyo-jin's condition has seemingly improved. Il-gwang suspects they killed the wrong person; he later encounters Moo-myeong, and starts vomiting blood. He calls Jong-goo, telling him that Moo-myeong is the real demon.

Jong-goo finds Moo-myeong near his house. She requests Jong-goo to believe her, telling him she had set a trap for the demon, but the trap will not work if Jong-goo goes back to his house. Il-gwang calls Jong-goo and tells him not to believe Moo-myeong, while she in turn tells him Il-gwang is actually in league with the real demon. Confused and hesitant, Jong-goo eventually leaves to save his family, but Moo-myeong grabs him, her skin turning a ghostly white as he notices that she is wearing the personal items of some of the victims. He pulls himself away, and as he crosses his home's threshold, the floral trap withers.

The deacon encounters the still-alive Japanese stranger in a cave. After being photographed by the stranger, the deacon witnesses the stranger evolving into a demon. Back at his house, Jong-goo arrives to find that Hyo-jin has murdered their family. He calls out to her, but she stabs him and falls into a stupor. Il-gwang arrives at Jong-goo's house and takes photographs of the family. While returning to his car, he unintentionally drops a box filled with photos of the other victims.

As Jong-goo lies dying in his home, he sees visions of happier times with his daughter and assures her he will protect her.

Cast[edit]

  • Kwak Do-won as Jong-goo
  • Hwang Jung-min as Il-gwang
  • Chun Woo-hee as Moo-myung
  • Jun Kunimura as Japanese stranger
  • Kim Hwan-hee as Hyo-jin
  • Her Jin as Mother-in-law
  • Jang So-yeon as Wife
  • Kim Do-yoon as Yang I-sam
  • Son Kang-gook as Oh Seong-bok
  • Park Seong-yeon as Kwon Myeong-joo
  • Kil Chang-gyoo as Park Choon-bae
  • Jeon Bae-soo as Deok-gi
  • Jeong Mi-nam as Heung-gook
  • Choi Gwi-hwa as Byeong-gyoo
  • Baek Seung-cheol as Friend
  • Kwon Hyeok-joon as Friend
  • Park Chae-ik as Friend
  • Kim Gi-cheon as Dispatch captain
  • Yoo Soon-woong as Chief of police
  • Jo Han-cheol as Detective 1
  • Kim Song-il as Police
  • Bae Yong-geun as Police
  • Im Jae-il as Police
  • Lee In-cheol as Father
  • Jo Seon-joo as Bar hostess
  • Lee Chang-hoon as Doctor
  • Kim Ji-won as Nurse

Production and release[edit]

Filming began August 31, 2014 and finished February 28, 2015.[citation needed]

The Wailing was released in South Korea on May 12, 2016.[4] The film was shown in the Out of Competition section at the Cannes Film Festival on May 18, and received a release in the United States on May 27.[4]

Reception[edit]

The Wailing received widespread critical acclaim. On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, it holds a "certified fresh" 99% approval rating and a rating average of 8/10, based on 71 reviews. On review aggregator website Metacritic, the film has an average rating of 81/100 based on 19 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[5] Jada Yuan of Vulture.com described the film as "operating on a level that makes most American cinema seem clunky and unimaginative".[6]

Remake[edit]

In January 2017, it was announced that UK-based Scott Free Productions is in talks to remake the film.[7]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result
2016 25th Buil Film Awards Best Film The Wailing Nominated
Best Director Na Hong-jin Nominated
Best Actor Kwak Do-won Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Hwang Jung-min Nominated
Jun Kunimura Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Best New Actress Kim Hwan-hee Nominated
Best Cinematography Hong Kyong-pyo Nominated
Best Art Direction Lee Hoo-kyeong Nominated
Best Music Jang Young-gyu & Dalpalan Nominated
37th Blue Dragon Film Awards Best Film The Wailing Nominated
Best Director Na Hong-jin Won
Best Actor Kwak Do-won Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jun Kunimura Won
Best Supporting Actress Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Best New Actress Kim Hwan-hee Nominated
Popularity Award Jun Kunimura Won
Best Screenplay Na Hong-jin Nominated
Best Cinematography Hong Kyong-pyo Nominated
Best Editing Kim Sun-min Won
Best Art Direction Lee Hoo-kyeong Nominated
Best Lighting Kim Chang-ho Nominated
Best Music Jang Yeong-gyoo and Dalpalan Won
Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival Audience Award The Wailing Won
Best of Bucheon Award Na Hong-jin Won
Fantasia International Film Festival Prix AQCC Won
Audience Award for Best Asian Feature 3rd place
53rd Grand Bell Awards Best Film The Wailing Nominated
Best Director Na Hong-jin Nominated
Best Actor Kwak Do-won Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Hwang Jung-min Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Best New Actress Kim Hwan-hee Won
Best Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo Won
Best Recording Kim Shin-yong Won
Best Lightning Kim Chang-ho Won
Best Editing Kim Sun-min Won
36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards Top Films of the Year The Wailing Won
Korean Film Actor's Association Awards Top Director Award Na Hong-jin Won
Top Star Award Kwak Do-won Won
Korean Film Producers Association Awards Best Director Na Hong-jin Won
Best Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo Won
Best Lighting Kim Chang-ho Won
Phoenix Critics Circle Best International Film The Wailing Nominated
Sitges Film Festival Focus Asia Award Na Hong-jin Won
Best Cinematography Hong Kyung-pyo Won
BloodGuts UK Horror Awards Best International Film The Wailing Nominated
Best Director Na Hong-jin Nominated
Best Actor in an International Film Kwak Do-won Won
Hwang Jung-min Nominated
Best Actress in an International Film Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Molins de Rei Horror Film Festival Special Mention Hong Kyung-pyo Won
Best Film The Wailing Nominated
Saskatoon Fantastic Film Festival Honourable Mention Won
CPH:PIX Politiken's Audience Award Nominated
2017 11th Asian Film Awards Best Film Nominated
Best Director Na Hong-jin Won
Best Supporting Actor Jun Kunimura Nominated
Best Sound Kim Dong-han Nominated
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Awards Best Foreign Language Film The Wailing Nominated
KOFRA Film Awards Best Film Won
Best Director Na Hong-jin Won
Seattle Film Critics Awards Best Foreign Language Film The Wailing Nominated
Korea Cable TV Awards Cable VOD Grand Prize (Film) Won
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards Best Foreign-Language Film Nominated
53rd Baeksang Arts Awards[8][9] Best Film Won
Best Director Na Hong-jin Nominated
Best Actor Kwak Do-won Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Best New Actress Kim Hwan-hee Nominated
Best Screenplay Na Hong-jin Nominated
22nd Chunsa Film Awards[10] Best Director Won
Best Actor Kwak Do-won Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Hwang Jung-min Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Chun Woo-hee Nominated
Best Screenplay Na Hong-jin Nominated
Technical Award Jang Yeong-gyoo and Dalpalan Nominated
Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Films Best DVD/Blu-Ray Release The Wailing Nominated
iHorror Awards Best Foreign Horror Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Lee, Maggie (May 19, 2016). "Cannes Film Review: 'The Wailing'". Variety. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  2. ^ "Goksung (2016)". The Numbers. October 21, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  3. ^ https://variety.com/2016/film/asia/inside-men-the-wailing-korea-blue-dragon-awards-1201926853/
  4. ^ a b McNary, Dave. "The Wailing". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  5. ^ "The Wailing". Metacritic. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  6. ^ Jada Yuan (2016-05-26). "No Chicken Is Safe in the Insane Korean Occult Murder Mystery The Wailing". Vulture. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  7. ^ http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/scott-free-productions-talks-remake-south-korean-film-wailing-967236
  8. ^ "공유·박보검·남궁민·한석규…백상예술대상 男TV연기상 4파전". Star.mk.co. 7 April 2017.
  9. ^ "'Guardian,' 'The Handmaiden' win big at Baeksang Awards". Korea Herald. 4 May 2017.
  10. ^ "'2017 춘사영화상' 나홍진, 최우수감독상…하정우·손예진 남녀주연상". SE Daily. 25 May 2017.

External links[edit]