Writer-director Bong Joon-ho’s South Korean film “Parasite” is being heralded as one of the year’s best films. The Inside The Film Room staff got a chance to check out the comedy-thriller at Film Fest 919.
Zach Goins: “Parasite” is wild. Talk about a complete tonal shift — a perfect blend of comedy, tragedy and horror. Even without the subtitles, the story would be abundantly clear. It’s so utterly human, and having Bong Joon-ho’s expert direction doesn’t hurt either. Just a tad long, though.
David Sobczak: A cinematic ambush. Like showing a bomb under the table, but the bomb turns out to be a thermonuclear warhead. If you can’t eat the rich, BE the rich. Bong Joon Ho is a master operating at the top of his powers. We are all so lucky.
Josh Martin: “Parasite” – I’m very glad that I went in (mostly) cold: it was thrilling and hilarious to realize what this was really about, knowing next to nothing. And yeah, Bong Joon Ho is a genius. Wealthy society as a fantastical dream and a terrifying prison.
ZG: It has to be the moment everything starts to flip. An incredible one-take, shaky cam shot following the family down the stairs into the basement. The utter suspense, the unknown… it’s *chef’s kiss*
DS: The entire sequence of trying to sneak out of the Park household.
JM: The extended montage where, methodically and precisely, the Kim family take the positions in the Park house, revealing the film’s narrative strategy and eventual endgame.
Most Memeable Moment:
ZG: A lot of strong contenders in this one, but my pick is So-dam Park sitting on the toilet lid smoking a cigarette while her toilet spews sewage water into her house.
DS: Crouching on top of the exploding toilet in the middle of a flood to smoke.
JM: I’ve seen a few memes of Ki-jung blowing the dust off the peach, so I have to go with that one.
ZG: Um… everything? Highly recommend going into this one cold.
DS: The complete shift in tone and style about halfway through the film.
JM: A long and creeping tracking shot, revealing an unexpected surprise…
What You Wanted More/Less Of
ZG: At 132 minutes, “Parasite” is a long one. As incredible as it is, I feel like 10 to 15 minutes could have been condensed.
DS: I could have lived without so much happening after the climactic party scene. Less may have been more in that instance.
JM: It should end one shot sooner. Other than that, it’s marvelous.
Grade out of 100
ZG: 95 out of 100
DS: 97 out of 100
JM: 97 out of 100
Stay tuned for more reviews and exit survey’s from Film Fest 919 all week long.
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Charlotte, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.