Choi Hong-il, Son Na-eun, Seo Young-hee
Dead bodies are inexplicably starting to pile up on an isolated property in the forest, owned by a rich and powerful family whose lineage is threatened when its most recent heirs tragically die on their wedding day. Responsibility for this bloodbath seems to fall on the spirit of a woman who is haunting these grounds, her lamentations being heard for miles around as soon as the sun goes down. Authoritarian family matriarch since her husband’s disappearance, Madame Shin finds a young beggar, Ok-bun, to whom she wants to wed her youngest son in an attempt to break the curse by eliminating the wraith. The results are underwhelming to say the least, as the boy dies under horrible conditions, but not before impregnating Ok-bun with his descendant, making her the new target of the wailing woman in the woods. She’ll attempt to shed some light on the troubling secrets hiding in the dark corners of these ancient lands belonging to her captors.
Each year, the Joseon period inspires many Korean dramas, comedies and epic historical action films, whose sumptuous settings, magnificent costumes and luxurious landscapes provide visual treats for both local and international audiences. With THE WRATH, his second feature film, director Yoo Young-seon, responsible for the excellent, horrific thriller THE WICKED, takes the peninsula’s medieval era as the backdrop for a straight-up horror film that owns up to its multiple excesses. Shamanic prophecies, vengeful ghosts and vampiric possessions afflict characters brought to life by, among others, Seo Young-hee, who’s already known to fans of bloody thrillers for her roles in THE CHASER and BEDEVILLED, and Son Na-eun, member of the popular K-pop band Apink. As is suggested by its visual nods to THE EVIL DEAD, this remakes of 1986’s WOMAN’S WAIL recalls the glory days of VHS horror films, dishing out enough jump scares to rouse the dead, to say nothing of the filmgoers on this emotional rollercoaster. – Translation: Guillaume Desbiens
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