“The Wailing (Goksung)” (2016)
Directed by Hong-jin Na
Running Time 156 Minutes, Rated R.
4 Mitch’s out of 5
This is a hellishly bonkers film and one heck of a treat.
Korean filmmaker Hong-jin Na has expertly crafted a topsy-turvy supernatural thriller that is purposely confusing at times but miraculously never boring for a second in this 156 minute foreign affair. Continuously building bigger insanity off the previous scene’s insanity, “The Wailing (Goksung)” is a daft mixture of Coen brothers dark inept humor, eye scorching gore, and a mystery worth chasing after.
After a slew of homicides in his small mountain village, a not-up-for-the-job police officer named Jong-gu, played with early comedic slapstick that transforms into dramatic tragedy by Do Won Kwak, gets the case. Horrific crimes mixed with a mysterious Japanese man living in the woods could be the work of just mushrooms or something much more sinister. Eventually Jong-gu’s daughter is possessed, and a shaman is called upon for exorcism.
There’s a lot to unravel in this film, and I’ll gladly give another viewer some other day but a little google research from my wife helped out a bit and I’ve been deciphering it ever since. I encourage you to decipher it for yourself.