Soon after a stranger arrives in a little village, a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman, drawn into the incident, is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.

Director:

Hong-jin Na

Writers:

Hong-jin Na (screenplay by), Hong-jin Na
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Popularity
2,429 ( 116)
31 wins & 56 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Do-won Kwak ... Jong-goo
Jung-min Hwang ... Il-gwang (as Jeong-min Hwang)
Jun Kunimura ... Japanese Man
Woo-hee Chun ... The Mysterious Woman
Hwan-hee Kim ... Hyo-jin
Jin Heo Jin Heo ... Mother-in-Law
Jang So-Yeon ... Wife
Do-yoon Kim ... Yang Yi-sam
Kang-gook Son ... Oh Sung-bok
Seong-yeon Park ... Kwon Myung-joo
Chang-gyu Kil ... Park Choon-bae
Bae-soo Jeon ... Deok-gi
Mi-nam Jeong ... Heung-gook
Gwi-hwa Choi ... Byeong-gyoo
Seung-chul Baek ... Friend
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Storyline

In the small village Goksung in South Korea, police officer Jong-Goo investigates bizarre murders caused by a mysterious disease. His partner relays gossip that a Japanese stranger, who lives in a secluded house in the mountains, would be an evil spirit responsible for the illness. Jong-Goo decides to visit the stranger along with his partner and a young priest who speaks Japanese. They find an altar with a goat head, pictures on the walls of the infected people that died, and an attacking guard dog that prevents their departure until the stranger arrives. Jong-Goo finds one shoe of his beloved daughter, Hyo-jin, in the house of the stranger, and soon she becomes sick. His mother-in-law summons the shaman Il-gwang to save her granddaughter while a mysterious woman tells Jong-Goo that the stranger is responsible. Who might be the demon that is bringing sickness to Goksung? Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

From acclaimed director Na Hong-jin


Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The Wailing is Jun Kunimura's first Korean film in his 35-year acting career. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Jong-Goo: It's okay... my baby. You know Daddy's a policeman. I'll take care of everything... Daddy will.
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User Reviews

A movie that almost makes sense, but not quite, and this may be the whole point
10 January 2017 | by oddevenevenSee all my reviews

Some movies have a coherent plot that is told in a non-straightforward fashion, or that is open to several interpretations, or that leaves out some parts requiring the audience to fill-in (e.g. an open end), and possibly this filling-in can be done in more than one way. These movies require several viewings and considerable thought to make sense.

After watching The Wailing for the first time, I had the impression that it was this kind of movie. However, after watching it again, pondering it, and then reading and watching attempts by various people to interpret/explain it, I have come to a different conclusion. Namely, this movie does not have a coherent underlying plot. No matter how you shift the pieces of the puzzle in an attempt to recreate a coherent narrative, some pieces will never fit together, and not due to your incompetence, but because the underlying story is - possibly intentionally, possibly not - fundamentally inconsistent. It's like one of those optical illusions or Escher drawings that appear to describe a physical object, but in fact don't make physical sense.

Accordingly, whether one enjoys this movie or not boils down to whether one can be content with a movie that is technically well-made (cinematography, acting, costumes, etc.), but (a) its plot makes no sense, and (b) it is told in a deceptive way as to lure you into thinking that the plot would make sense if only you gave the matter sufficient thought, thus leaving you with a lingering, irritating feeling of dissatisfaction and confusion.

And maybe this is precisely the point of the movie: rather than telling a story, its purpose is to instill in the audience a feeling of confusion in the face of a sequence of events that almost, but not quite, makes sense. Much like life at times, no?


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Details

Country:

South Korea | USA

Language:

Korean | Japanese

Release Date:

3 June 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wailing See more »

Filming Locations:

South Korea

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,420,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$77,892, 22 May 2016

Gross USA:

$786,633

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,851,770
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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