Thirst (image 1)

A truly original take on the vampire film from a true cinematic master blessed with a stellar cast.

Todd Brown, Twitch

Screened as part of NZIFF 2009

Thirst 2009


Directed by Park Chan-wook

Korean auteur extraordinaire Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) unleashes his frenzied take on a ravenous vampire priest movie. “A truly original take on the vampire film from a true cinematic master.” — Twitch

South Korea / USA In Korean with English subtitles
133 minutes 35mm / CinemaScope



Park Chan-wook
Ahn Soo-hyun


Park Chan-wook
Chung Seo-kyung


Chung Chung-hoon


Kim Sang-bum
Kim Jae-bum

Production designer

Ryu Seong-hie

Costume designer

Cho Sang-kyung


Jung Gun


Cho Young-uk


Song Kang-ho (Sang-hyun)
Kim Ok-vin (Tae-ju)
Kim Hae-sook (Mrs Ra)
Shin Ha-kyun (Kang-woo)
Park In-hwan (old priest)
Oh Dal-soo (Young-du)
Song Young-chang (Seung-dae)
Mercedes Cabral (Evelyn)


Cannes (In Competition) 2009


Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2009


Incredibly Strange opens its doors to unleash the ravenous vampire priest flick Thirst, the latest from Korean auteur extraordinaire Park Chan-wook, the disturbed mind behind fan-favourite Oldboy.

Thirst is a torrid expression of predatory instinct and insatiable, all-consuming love, embodied through its protagonist’s difficulty in holding his day job as a priest-cum-miraclehealer, and his night shift as an accidental vampire and fornicating murderer… Park takes his famed eroticization of violence, pain and cruelty to new, feverish heights, and garnishes it with deliciously sadistic gallows humor… Song Kang-ho turns in another forceful yet controlled performance as Sang Hyun, a provincial priest who volunteers to undergo an experiment in Africa to find a cure for a deadly virus. He survives, but becomes a vampire through an unknown blood transfusion. Unlike conventional vampires who only crave blood, Sang Hyun discovers that he ‘thirsts after all sinful pleasures’. He develops a flair for mahjong, justifies his way of obtaining blood supplies, and covets his childhood classmate, Kang-woo’s wife Tae-ju.” — Maggie Lee, Hollywood Reporter

“It’s liberating to watch a film… that strips the moorings from genre expectations and leaves viewers asking whether the film has lost its mind or they have. Our advice… when Thirst goes nuts, go with it… Blending plot elements of Double Indemnity and Natural Born Killers with the ripe sensuality of Francis Coppola’s take on Dracula, the film has made festival critics sit up in startled pleasure, as if they’d just received the most luscious neck-bite.” — Richard Corliss, Time