It is worth watching. In fact, it is worth watching cold, so if you want to do that then you can go on ahead and not read this review. But, if are too curious to turn away, then I will keep this review super non-spoiler for those of you who want to see if this is worth spending your money plus 2 hours on. I think it definitely is.
I won’t talk about the premise, because that is part of the fun of the watch, but I will say that Parasite is kind of like Get Out in both how it takes a moment to get to what makes the show scary and in how it is a look at a society. Just like Get Out looked at race relations in America and the differences between Black and White people, this show looks at poverty in Korea and the difference between rich and poor people. It makes it horror and very watchable and makes you want to be super duper wealthy after turning it off.
The cinematography is lovely. The camera alone pulls you into the life of this family. You know their living condition in the opening shot as well as their lack of income and hustle to make some money. But you also feel their apparent nonchalantness of it all. They are kind of chillin, working hard but chilling.
The team that put the set together for their home did an amazing job making it look very stuffy. Just looking at it makes you want to go run in a field twirling with your arms swinging wide. Though their home isn’t dirty because the mother is on her hands and knees cleaning the floor all the time, it definitely is messy because there are things all around that they probably use to make money and they also don’t have storage place to hide things.
In contrast, the other families home is almost surgically clean and sparse. It feels so open and even is like living in an open field. I love the juxtaposition of the two.
So wonderful. The actors in this show all feel like they belong in this show. I won’t go into too much detail with this because it could give away some story plot lines, but I will say that everyone is good. Even the little boy is wonderful. He doesn’t look like a child actor, he just looks like he belongs in this family.
Each member of the families play off of each other well as if they are really comfortable with each other or hate each other depending on the family member. But it isn’t a character tale, so you just get a nice taste of each person and are left wondering what has happened in their lives to lead to this current story.
And this is the strength of this movie. It is a slow burn to the midpoint, but it is not a boring watch because things are constantly happening that make you think, wow, I cannot believe this is going on. Are they really doing this? I would say it is more like incense burning where you are enjoying the scent as you watch and then boom, the incense explodes and a wall in your house is suddenly missing and you’re left trying to figure out how things just changed so quickly.
Actually, things change so abruptly that it almost increases the suspense because you suddenly remember that you are watching a horror movie. And because this is a horror movie, it hits basic horror story elements, like anticipation and suspense. But the way it builds to that is lovely and spooky on an uncomfortable level. Speaking of uncomfortable, Parasite is a spotlight on one aspect of Korean society that many Koreans said was hard to watch. Especially Koreans who are on or near the poverty line.
I really loved it though I want to take a shower after watching it, especially after that ending. It is so good. It is a bit over 2 hours long, but it did not feel like a long movie to me. I was not looking at the clock to see how much time was left or anything like that. I was literally glued to the screen to just try and figure out what was going on because you know going in that this is going to end badly, since it is horror, but as you watch you don’t really know how badly it could end or if it will at all. Then once things happen you think, wow, yep, this took a turn for the worse, like woah! I really enjoyed that.
So, if you have a chance, try to check Parasite out before the Oscars. In fact, check Parasite and The Joker out because those are the two biggest cultural zeitgeist movies headed in this year and they have been compared to each other a lot. Especially in how both are a spotlight look at current society through a fantasy lens.
RATING: ★★★★★ 5/5 STARS