Film Review: The Wrath

Whilst being cursed today would probably either involve a string of invective or uncontrollable laughter, it was no joking matter only a few hundred years ago. Especially in some of the more superstitious societies, and very few could equal Korea during the Joseon period. It is an era captured frequently in films and on TV. It provides the setting for The Wrath, the new movie from Yoo Young-seon.

At a property in the middle of the woods, a curse lingers over the household of a high-ranking official and his male heirs. In a desperate attempt to break the ban, the only remaining male son is married-off to a beggar (Na-Eun Son) by the family matriarch (Seo Young-hee). However, when he dies, he leaves behind a pregnant wife who becomes their only hope. She also becomes the target of the mysterious spirit who resides in the trees.

The Wrath is an atmospheric chiller where the tension rises as soon as the sun goes down. Whilst the premise is not exactly original, what makes it such an effective genre film is the attention to detail of the period drama and the unnerving forest setting. It’s cleverly filmed using a variety of techniques which draw the viewer in before unleashing the terror. The Wrath is a superior historical supernatural horror.

The Wrath joins US, UK and Canadian Shudder on 5 September.

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