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Chiller night: Review The Wailing a.k.a. Gokseong (2016) and Review The Medium (2021)

genre: horror, mystery

Review The Wailing a.k.a. Gokseong (2016)

It took me several attempts to get into this film. And this was especially because of the lead and his goofiness at the start. In hindsight it was necessary for the film to have this character been shown in this light because during the course of the film his demeanor will change and become a far more serious character. Since you will find out quite a lot is at stake.

So yes, if like me you find yourself biting your nails not liking how the film starts I promise you that the film will improve significantly. It will be thrilling and absolutely chilling at certain points. In that regard The Wailing is absolutely relentless. The comedic start is almost like a trick to make you think you shouldn't take things too seriously while in fact it's to remind you how fast things can go wrong if you let evil prevail.I won't reveal how this evil manifests. It's safe to say that just as in real life it has different forms and it's just as bad or good as you allow it to be.

I went in expecting a zombie film. Maybe this was because of the current trend where they are prevalent in South Korean horror flicks but was surprised to find out that this is not that. Most of the horror here is pretty subtle. And there will be many times where you are going to wonder if certain people aren't imagining things. But the brilliance of the film is that it never lets up tension and suspense wise. It might be slow it does amp up the chills and creepiness big time towards the end.

A must watch for sure!

Review The Medium a.ka. Rang Song (2021)

Then there is the faux-documentary, The Medium, from the same people who brought you The Wailing and Shutter. It takes place in Thailand with Thai actors. Or if you choose to believe with real people. I have to say that they did an excellent job with the casting because for the most part they look and act like people you see in documentaries. Mind you they are mainly focussing on town folk and rarely show you (what I assume) more grounded city people.

Like with The Wailing a lot of time is taken to get to the good stuff. However this is needed since you do have to get a feeling for the culture and atmosphere the characters are situated in. Especially concerning Mink played by Narilya Gulmongkolpech. Narilya has never acted in films before and manages to convince you quite well that something is wrong with her. I did wish they would have give us scenes of how the character was before since it does make it hard sometimes to care and root for a character who is pretty strange from the minute you are introduced to her. 

The Medium is pretty daring in it's approach. If you had no knowledge about this film then you could have easily mistaken it for a real documentary. Wait, that is not what I signed up for! But gradually it's very clear that you are indeed watching a film. And to be honest that is the way I prefer it. There are limitations to the POV perspective and the film very conveniently breaks the rules that come with it. But what really takes the cake is in how it treats the main character, Nim. But of course I won't spoil why and how. Just take it from me it will add to the horror experience.

Overall The Medium does a good job in bringing you genuine terror and horror but compared to The Wailing is not as strong. I think it's because it sort of deals with a very similar kind of evil. I had wished they would have at least introduced a new kind of monster. Still, there are plenty of times you will be surprised in a good way and these days that counts for something. So yes, definitely one to check out.

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