They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” - Luke 24:37-39
A 2016 Korean horror, The Wailing opens with this Bible passage, which instantly gives us some kind of an unsettling feel. Easily one of my favorite Asian horrors, The Wailing didn’t just scare the hell out of me. It made me reassess my faith.
Siguro, kaya masyadong effective ang Asian horrors sa atin ay dahil madalas sa hindi, umiikot ang kuwento sa pamilya. You won’t just get affected by the jump scares, the gore and such but you will also be invested in the relationships and the dynamics of a close-knit family. And being Filipinos, we relate too much to this.
The movie revolves around the four main characters - Jong-Goo, isang pulis na magiging masyadong ‘involved’ sa mga insidente ng pagpatay sa kanilang bayan, si Hyo-jin, ang anak ni Jong-Goo na magiging biktima rin ng possession, The Jap or The Stranger, ang dayong Hapon na siyang itinuturong dahilan ng mga nangyayaring kababalaghan sa kanilang bayan, at ang isa pang importanteng karakter - isang misteryosang babae na makikita sa simula na may mahalagang papel sa kabuuan ng pelikula.