Korean director Park Chan-wook drops the ball with a monotonous vampire picture very loosely inspired by Emile Zola's 1867 novel "Therese Raquin." Song Kang-ho ("The Host") plays Sang-hyun, a much loved small town priest who volunteers to be a guinea pig for a secret vaccine that could help stop a deadly epidemic. However, a batch of infected blood turns him into a vampire whose skin erupts with huge boils unless he drinks the blood that he requires on a regular basis. Sang-hyun becomes an especially horny priest, and he falls into a raucous affair with Tae-ju (Kim Ok-vin), the younger wife of an immature, and perhaps impotent, friend. Just when things should get interesting, the movie slips into a permanent lull that drags across two fairly agonizing acts leading up to a pat climax of limited reward. Far from Park Chan-wook's more interesting efforts (such as "Oldboy") "Thirst" lacks an appropriate atmosphere and tempo to compete with last year's great deconstructionistvampire movie "Let the Right One In."
Rated R. 133 mins. (C-) (Two Stars)