Brilliant Korean director Chan-wook Park (Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengeance) decided to tackle vampires for his 2009 film and as usual came up with something different.

Kang-ho Song (the father from Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and the weird from The Good, the Bad, the Weird) stars as a priest who volunteers at a hospital. He has doubts about his faith so he volunteers for a risky vaccine to the deadly Emmanuel Virus. Things go horribly wrong and he is believed to have been killed by the virus. Instead a blood transfusion cures him. Soon everyone thinks that he is a healer. He runs into an old childhood friend, Ha-kyun Shin, and goes to visit him and his family. He finds himself attracted to Ha-kyun Shin’s wife, Ok-bin Kim and then he has a relapse. Song soon discovers that he is vampire because of the experiment and he can’t stop himself from drinking human blood.

Song’s attraction to Ok-bin Kim leads to her discovering his secret. And then things get nasty. The movie is mostly based on Émile Zola’s book Thérèse Raquin and it surprising follows the novel pretty closely. Except of course the whole vampire part.

This isn’t Chan-wook Park’s best work but it’s still light years ahead of most of the current stream of films from Hollywood. A nice, creepy, gory, sexy horror story.