Two individuals seek reprieve from repression: one catholic, the other atheist. Where Park falls on the issue, favouring the moral framework of religion, might be iffy were not undercut by the moral fascism of the catholic character anyway. It's thematically messy, but he never makes saying mise en scene feel dirty. An apartment thriller that breathes when it hits empty city streets, a hot mess that's mainly hot.
3-3.5. Really intriguing as a vampire film because Park Chan-Wook seems to be using film noir tropes to pump some fresh blood into the genre (Tae-Ju is pure femme fatale, for example) with odd splashes of surrealist (and even slapstick) humor here and there. It's a very juicy movie as far as creating intrigue and suspense, but I can't say it really seemed to evoke too much more than the sum of its parts.
(...)Warum faszinieren uns Vampire so? Ich erlebe am Videotresen der Filmkunstbar Fitzcarraldo immer wieder die Frage nach Vampirfilmen, die ein bisschen anders sind als der Mainstream. Ist es deshalb, da Vampire nicht aus Grausamkeit handeln, sondern weil sie müssen?(...)
I don't know if this film is good or bad. It is pretentious, overlong, melodramatic. It is cheap, vulgar, gross. It is odd, weird, grotesque. But I like it. I like the style in every frame, the original and surprising direction, the superb acting, the way the film takes vampirism literally, the unashamed romanticism of the end. This film is really something else.