I actually wrote most of this a few weeks ago, but then couldn't find the txt file. Oops. Anyway, better late than never...
Having liked all of the Chan-Wook Park films I'd seen so far (JSA, Oldboy, Mr Vengeance, Lady Vengeance), I was eager to see this one, but couldn't find it online. I normally don't bother with the cinema due to the ridiculous prices, but with no other option I gave in and stumpted up £11 ($18) to see Thirst at a small arthouse cinema 2 bus rides away.
Thirst is a film about a selfless priest who is dedicated to helping the needy. He hears of an illness that killing people, and how a hospital is looking for people to help cure it by taking part in risky medical experiements. He volunteers.
The medical experiments go badly wrong, and everyone dies. Or so it seems, as the priest actually turns out to be alive despite the doctor's initial findings.
For anyone who has seen a lot of Korean films (so just me then, basically) actor Kang-ho Song is a very familiar face. He was the son in The Quiet Family, the lead cop in Memories Of Murder, the North Korean sergeant in JSA, and the father in Sympathy For Mr Vengeance. Here he plays the priest, who goes by the name of Sang-hyeon.
Upon returning home, Sang-hyeon is hailed as a miracle worker due to his survival, and people constantly approach him for help. This leads to him meeting a family, who he ends up moving in with. Around the same time, the illness that he was infected with in the hospital returns, and he discovers that the only way to get rid of the symptoms is to drink human blood. Being a moral individual, he starts off with small amounts from a coma patient, but that doesn't last, particularly when he gets involved with the wife of the family.
Thirst was pretty good film, but I disliked most of the characters. Obviously that isn't always a bad thing, but I guess it made it hard for me to empathise with the priest (who I did like) when he was agonising over the right thing to do in certain instances.
Having said that, it was entertaining and had quite a bit of depth to it, and is a clear notch above the recent fad of vampire films and TV shows aimed at stupid teenagers.