Rated 4.0

We know vampires never die, so it’s safe to assume that the impulse to make movies about them won’t go away any time soon, either. At best, it will diversify, finding newer and stranger ways to make that ever-necessary appeal for our accommodation. Consider Thirst, from Park Chan-wook, the Korean director best known for a trilogy of films about vengeance, who now has made a romantic/horrific comedy-drama about a very reluctantly bloodsucking Roman Catholic priest. The result, with its willfully unbalanced ratio of shock and subtlety, its liberal sampling of choice elements from other genres of film and literature, and its inventive melodramatic delirium, is wonderfully strange. Song Kang-ho is riveting as the afflicted priest, whose dubious involvement with the repressed wife (Kim Ok-vin) of his longtime best friend (Shin Ha-kyun) becomes rather slurpingly sensual. In general, it’s a production of sensational confidence.