THIRST reunites Chan-Wook with the star of that film, Song Kang-Ho- who's probably the biggest star in South Korea, after appearing in such homegrown hits as THE HOST, and THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE WEIRD. THIRST gives him another chance to flex his considerable acting muscle, with his kindly priest character making a very sympathetic protagonist- despite the many terrible things he does later in the film. He's only infected with the Vampire blood due to his own altruism, as he's volunteered to be a guinea pig in some clinical trials meant to stop a worldwide pandemic. He knowingly infects himself with this deadly virus in order to take part in the trials- but, alas, fate has different plans- and he becomes a vampire.
The film takes an interesting turn after about an hour. Initially, the film is almost a kind of black comedy, with Kang-Ho making an amusingly inept vampire. However, once the priest breaks his vow of chastity, and gives into his burgeoning vampire sexuality, the film takes a dark turn. He's forced to turn his lover into a vampire, and while he's happy occasionally siphoning some blood from comatose patients at the hospital he volunteers in, his new companion has a much more voracious appetite.
At 134 minutes, THIRST maybe goes on a shade too long, as the film could probably have been tightened up a bit- but it nonetheless makes for very satisfying viewing. While it's probably no SYMPATHY FOR MR. VENGEANCE, or OLDBOY, it's still a very worthwhile film, and makes me eager to see what Chan-Wook has in store with his next film.