Parasite is a 2019 suspense thriller film co-written, produced, & directed by Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, The Host, Mother, & Okja). It was co-written by Jin Won Han (Take Point & Okja). It was produced by Min Heoi Heo (Blade of the Phantom Master, 2036 Apocalypse Earth, Armor Hero Atlas, & Wiretap). The project was first developed in 2013. It premiered at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival where it became the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or. It has been nominated & won various awards during The Golden Globes, BAFTA Awards, & Screen Actors Guild Awards. It has been nominated for 6 Oscars. The budget was $11 million. It has grossed $163 million worldwide so far, becoming Bong’s highest-grossing release & the third highest-grossing film in South Korea!!!!
The Kim family which includes father Ki-taek (played by: Kang-ho Song from Snowpiercer, The Host, Thirst, & Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance), mother Chung-sook (played by: Hye-jin Jang from Crash Landing on You & Mothers), son Ki-woo (played by: Woo-sik Choi from The Divine Fury, Okja, Train to Busan, & Set Me Free), & daughter Ki-jeong (played by: So-dam Park from The Silenced & The Throne) live in a small basement apartment. They are all working low-paying temporary jobs & struggling to make ends meet. Ki-woo’s friend Min-hyuk (played by: Seo-joon Park from The Divine Fury, Midnight Runners, & Chronicles of Evil) gifts the Kim family with a scholar’s rock that is supposed to bring them wealth. Talking with Ki-woo, Min-hyuk suggests that he pose as a university student to take over his job as an English tutor for the wealthy Park family’s teenage daughter Da-hye (played by: Ji-so Jung from The Tiger). Ki-woo is interviewed by Da-hye’s mother & impresses her with his talent. As he is leaving for the evening, Mrs. Park (played by: Yeo-jeong Jo from Vampire Cop Ricky, The Target, Woman of 9.9 Billion, & Beautiful World) mentions her son Da-song’s (played by: Hyun-jun Jung) fascination with art. Ki-woo tells a lie claiming that he knows an “art therapist” named Jessica.
In reality, it’s Ki-jeong scamming the family. Ki-jeong impresses Mrs. Park & gets hired as Da-song’s teacher. The family sets a plan in motion to pose as sophisticated skilled workers unrelated to each other & integrate themselves into the lives of the Parks. Ki-taek is hired as a chauffeur for Mr. Park (played by: Sun-kyun Lee from 2036 Apocalypse Earth, Paju, A Hard Day, & Pasta) & Chung-sook is hired to replace the current housekeeper Moon-gwang (played by: Jeong-eun Lee from The Wailing, Mother, Okja, & Strangers from Hell). When the Parks leave on a camping trip, the Kims occupy the mansion in the Parks’ absence. That night, Chung-sook is shocked to find Moon-gwang who claims that she left something in the basement before she was fired. Chung-sook catches Moon-gwang attempting to open a secret bunker & Moon-gwang reveals that her husband Geun-sae (played by: Myeong-hoon Park from Steel Flower & Tidal Wave) has lived there for years to hide from loan sharks. The Kim family is now threatened by these old visitors exposing their dangerous secrets so they do anything to survive this recent problem. The Parks surprise them by coming home early & the Kims are forced to clean up their mess quicker than expected. Can they keep living these double lives? or Has their luck finally ran out????
This one proves never make your top 5 list until you seen everything for the year, this easily makes that list after finally checking it out. It’s rare that something actually lives up to the hype but Parasite is just as good as everyone claimed it to be. It’s kinda a hybrid between two different sub-genres. It starts out as a family drama then the other half gets really dark when the mood starts to change. It’s reminds me of a Hitchcock film, it’s a top notch suspense thriller once everything is set in motion here. You get conformable then it hits you out of no where with something that you didn’t expect. I didn’t know much about Parasite going into it besides all the praise for it’s overall quality but I think that actually works better for the viewer as the story progresses into a different beast as it digs deeper. Let’s be honest, none of the characters in this are likeable at all so you don’t feel sorry for anyone when the shit hits the fan. It shows the worst from both the rich & poor. I’ve enjoyed everything from Bong Joon-ho so far especially Snowpiercer & Parasite manages to be even better than that. The cinematography & production design really set the tone for the overall visual style of this production. The script keeps you on your toes until the very end & you never know what’s going to happen which makes it such a exciting experience. The casting was on point for this, each actor was perfect for their character. Not a single weak performance from anyone here, nothing but quality. I can’t believe it took so long to check this out, I already can’t wait to revisit it again. I can see this getting remade in a few years. I know lots of people are not fans of foreign cinema & reading subtitles but this is worth it, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation & special features from Universal! This 1080p (2.39:1) transfer looks stunning on blu ray. Like I mentioned above, the cinematography & production design is top notch here. The main location is beautiful, the Parks house really stands out. I know this might cause a little controversy especially for being a modern day film & releases but there’s no English dubbed track for this feature. It only has the Korean: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track on the disc. The dialogue is very clean, all the suspense is elevated, & the music sounds great on it. It also has English subtitles so you can follow everything. “Parasite – Fantastic Fest 2019 Q&A with Director Bong Joon Ho” is a little over 19 minute chat with the filmmaker. He breaks down a few scenes. He tells some stories about the film & his personal experiences. He chats about the production design. He talks about the characters. He says the title “Parasite” was very controversial in his home country. He also says it caused some confusion & it had them thinking it was similar to his previous film “The Host”. Most assumed this was a science fiction when it was first announced. He goes over the meaning of the title for the film. He answers questions from the moderator & the crowd from Fantastic Fest. He has a English translator while doing this event. It has two different “Trailers” for the film. It also has a slipcover & a digital code. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!