Saturday is Horror Day #5 – Unearthed, Thirst, Hereditary (x-posted at Full Moon Dreaming)

Reviewed by: Julie Lynn Hayes

There’s nothing quite like a good horror film, am I right? Sadly, the first film on this list is not a good horror film. I didn’t even finish watching it. I’m only including it on this list as a warning to those who might be interested in watching it to watch at your own risk.

Unearthed (2007) – This movie takes place in the desert, where something is attacking cattle. Let me think, what else? The lady sheriff likes her liquor.. And something strange is going on. I can’t really tell you much beyond that because it bored me so much, I turned it off within half an hour. Bad acting, bad writing, and nothing to hold my interest. The only name I recognized in the cast list is M.C. Gainey, who played Bo Crowder in Justified. Nuff said here.

 

 

 

Thirst (2009)

Father Sang-hyum (Kang-ho Song of Parasite) volunteers to be part of a medical experiment, in order to

help people, despite the fact that most of the volunteers before him have died. Although he lives, he requires a blood transfusion which transforms him into a vampire. Returning home, he is looked upon as something of a miracle, and people look to him to help them, unaware of his true nature. They only know he suffered for them.

Going to the hospital to perform his priestly duties, he encounters a childhood friend, Kang-wood (Shin Ha-kyun) and the friend’s mother, as well as the adopted girl who grew up to marry the friend, Tae-ju (Kim Ok-bin). On leaving the hospital, the priest becomes a part of their lives once again, finding himself drawn to the girl he knew so long ago. Tae-ju is less than happy with her dumb husband and his controlling mother, and it isn’t long before these two begin an affair. Once Sang-hyun reveals to Tae-ju what he really is, she is shocked at first, and more than a little disturbed, but it isn’t long before she embraces her lover’s vampiric nature and revels in the potential power they can wield. 

Too bad she has such a dumb husband and a controlling mother-in-law.

Thirst was directed by Park Chan-wook, the same director who brought us The Handmaiden, The Vengeance Trilogy, and Stoker. It is a very well-made and erotic film, an unusual take on vampires, and is not without its humorous moments.

 Although they are both vampires, the priest and the wife are different in temperament. Sang-hyun 

attempts to keep his appetites under control, only taking from those who have already expressed a desire for death in the confessional. One person he feeds from is a kindly man in a coma, whom he says would gladly agree to feeding the priest if he were able to do so. Tae-ju, though, is the opposite. Her new conditions seems to have brought out the cruelty in her nature, and she is more than happy to do away with her husband. Although, ironically, he becomes like a third wheel in their relationship, even after death

This film was well done and very interesting. I enjoyed it and would give it a solid 4 stars.

 

Hereditary (2018)

Annie (Toni Collette) is an artist who designs and builds miniature rooms, taken directly for her life. She is currently in the middle of working on pieces for her next showing when her mother dies. The death of Annie’s mother is a tragic event for her entire family, especially for Annie’s daughter Charlie, who was close to her grandmother. Charlie is a bit different, not given to being very communicative. Like her mother, she is an artist, both mother and daughter being compulsive in that regard.

 

 

The family attempt to pull together and move on with their lives, but tragedy seems to follow them. Annie tries to secretly deal with her grief by going to a survivor’s group meeting, but she isn’t sure that is helping. And her son, Peter, feels the weight of what has happened.

 

But the worst is yet to come.

 

This film was definitely more than I expected, to be honest. Not your run of the mill horror movie by any means. Gabriel Byrne plays Annie’s husband Steve, trying to hold his family together in the midst of so much tragedy. Annie herself is conflicted about her role as a wife and mother. At the beginning we get a glimpse of the controlling nature of her mother, who practically considered Annie’s daughter Charlie as her own.

Annie’s actions seem rather psychotic at times, and one has to wonder if she’s got mental issues going on, or if there is something seriously strange happening to this family. When Annie is approached by a member of the group, Joan, she latches onto her as though she is a lifeline for the drowning mother.  Joan has known grief too, having lost her husband and son.

Peter is suffering his own guilt and torment over what has happened to Charlie, and his mother’s actions

are not happening, as the tension grows among them, until he begins to see and experience odd things as well.

I will admit to having some wtf moments where my jaw dropped. Director Ari Aster did a great job with this film, the cast was wonderful, and the story is far from average. I won’t give any spoilers, but pay attention, particularly to the opening.

I think by the end of the film, you’ll be ready to scream too. I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars. Well worth the watch.

 

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