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The Wailing - a review - 45

Genre: Horror; mystery; thriller
Rating: 8/10

I enjoyed this movie a lot, and one of the marks of a good movie for me is the fact that I find myself still thinking about some of the moments in the movie weeks and weeks later.

It's generally well-regarded, but I think that it may hold a special place in my heart, and do the same for my cultural bedfellows, because the cultural boundary presents a new take on something that I've become very familiar with due to the religious perspective around here - possessions.

In the Christian mythos, I know pretty much how an exorcism goes, and while a few movies have done a few different things in this vein, they fit inside of a general framework that I know enough about to undercut some of the novelty of what a creator may be aiming for. The Wailing has something new for me. It's exorcism ritual is bright and powerful, and nearly festive, almost diametrically opposed to the gloomy and somber exorcisms I'm accustomed to seeing in media over here.

Some of the symbolism is a little on the nose. The stranger presents an almost existential threat to the villagers he lives near, which is an apparent exploration of the racist attitudes that Koreans hold towards the Japanese. But the twists that the creator throws out, for this character, for the demon and its capabilities, for the priest, and for other supernatural entities, and in particular for some of the relationships that all of these characters have with one another, is intriguing and refreshing. It's a level of complexity that the Christian mythos for these same kinds of movies don't have, regardless of whether or not they have that potential.


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