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The Kim family lives in unremitting poverty in Seoul, South Korea, though it’s not for lack of trying. Still, they subsist on meager wages from a pizza box folding job, and the most exciting part of their day is scoring free Wifi for their phones. That is, until son Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik) scores a job tutoring for the wealthy Park family. He sees a good opportunity–not only for himself but the rest of the family–and starts plotting to insinuate his parents (Song Kang-ho and Jang Hye-jin) and sister (Park So-dam) into the Park family’s life as well. Complications ensue.
Confession: When this movie was getting a lot of critical acclaim earlier this year, I was intrigued but also unmotivated to watch it because I thought this was a horror movie about literal parasites. Not my cup of worms, erm, tea. However, once I realized that the parasites depicted are of a metaphorical nature, I watched it, and I’m so glad I did because this is a phenomenal movie, one that well earned its Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay wins at the Oscars earlier this year.
Parasite is advertised as a black comedy, but I was pleasantly surprised by what a masterful blend of humor, drama, and horror that it is. In a way, it is like a dark fairy tale–but a really funny one–and that amplifies the disturbing aspects of the story even more.
I’m being vague on plot details because I don’t want to give too much away, but the movie takes some unexpected detours and results in one of the most tense, suspenseful scenes I’ve watched in a long time. It’s also a thought-provoking movie, one that probes issues of class and society in modern-day South Korea, and questions exactly who are the parasites in the story.
Though the movie is certainly well-written, its real standout is its cast. Everyone does an excellent job with these characters, none of whom are really likable, but they are all immensely compelling.
This is not a feel-good movie and is definitely not for the squeamish, but it’s well worth watching. One of those movies that will be on your mind long after you finish it.
Have you watched Parasite? What’s your favorite South Korean movie? What have you been watching lately? Tell us in the comments! You can find more information on this item or place a hold on it through our online library catalog.