Written by: Michael Den Boer on October 10th, 2016
BluRay released: October 4th, 2016
Approximate running times: 156 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Korean, Dolby Digital Stereo Korean
BluRay Release: Well Go USA
Region Coding: Region A
Retail Price: $29.95
Synopsis: A remotely located little village becomes paranoid when a mysterious illness overtakes several of the locales. Unable to solve the origins of the outbreak, a policeman whose own daughter has also becomes sick takes matters into his own hands. With a stranger who lives deep in the woods being his prime target.
The Wailing was written and directed by Na Hong Jin whose other notable films includes, The Chaser and The Yellow Sea. Key collaborators on The Wailing include, composer Jang Young-gyu (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Dasepo Naughty Girls) and cinematographer Kyung-pyo Hong whose other notable films as a cinematographer include, Save the Green Planet!, Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, M, Love Exposure, Eye for an Eye and Mother.
What is scary? The evolution of the boogey man and things that go bump in the night have drastically changed since the dawn of cinema. With the Horror’s from real life far too often eclipsing the modern Horror movie monster. Fortunately, when it comes to the Horror genre its most potent asset is the fear of the unknown. And it in this regard where The Wailing transcends countless modern Horror films.
Another area where this film often excels when it comes to delivering the chills is religions key role in the story at hand. In fact, there are a few key moments that were characters’ faith is put to the test. Other strength includes, visuals that reinforce the mood and strong performances from the entire cast, most notably Jun Kunimura (Audition, Ichi The Killer) in the role of forbidding stranger. Other performances of note include, Do Won Kwak (The Man from Nowhere) Jong-Goo of a police officer who becomes obsessed with The Stranger and Kim Hwan-hee in the role of Jong-Goo’s daughter Hyo-jin whose body has been taken over by demonic forces.
At just over two and half hours there are many mountains and valleys along the way. With the opening act doing a superb job setting the tone and establishing all the main characters. The same cannot be said for the lengthy middle act which at times retreads ground previous covered. Then there is final act which gets things back on track for a tension filled act that builds to a fever pitch by the time the last image fades off-screen.
The Wailing comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels remain strong throughout and the image always looks sharp. Also there are no issues with DNR or compression.
This release comes with two audio options, a DTS-HD 5.1 mix in Korean and a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Korean. The audio sounds clear, balanced, robust when it needs too and the more ambient aspects are well represented. Also included with this release are removable English subtitles.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 52 seconds, in Korean with English subtitles), two brief featurettes – The Beginning of the Wailing (1 minute 49 seconds, in Korean with English subtitles) and Making of (4 minutes 54 seconds, in Korean with English subtitles.
The two featurettes are your standard press promos where the director and cast parsing each other and discussing their roles in the making of this film.
Rounding out the extras are trailers for other releases also available from Well Go USA. Overall another solid audio / video presentation from Well Go USA.
Note: This film is also being released by Well Go USA on DVD.