But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said unto them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”
--Luke 24: 37-39
With that Biblical quote, Na Hong-jin’s Gokseong kicks off, as a remote mountain village in South Korea becomes the site of brutal incidents of murder.
Sporting some of the conventions of Korean cinema (the tonal potpourri, the largely ineffectual dunce who passes off as the protagonist, the excellent cinematography--courtesy of Hong Kyung-pyo*), Gokseong is a disturbingly effective horror/thriller hybrid.
And while I may not agree with some of the things it ultimately says, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Na kills it with this one…
* Some of the other directors Hong has also shot for include Bong Joon-ho [Madeo (Mother) and Snowpiercer], Kim Min-suk [Cho-neung-ryeok-ja (Haunters)], and Kim Jee-woon [the “Memories” segment from San Geng (Three)].
(The Wailing OS’ courtesy of impawards.com.)