June 11, 2008

The Soul Guardians: Jesus Christ, That's Scary

I've seen Catholicism rear its Romanesque head before in Korean films but never as gorgeously as it does in Park Kwang-chun's The Soul Guardians. This K-Horror classic's got a madonna who weeps blood, a child prodigy of white magic, and a succubus who holds her lover literally by the bleeding heart. Talk about imagery! Talk about mysticism! Talk about heavy metal! Bring on that pentagram mapped out in candles already! The Satanic cult has birthed a dear-if-dim soul who only needs to take off her crucifix and lie down on the table to officially become Satan's bride. Subplots involve a trampy roommate doomed to coitus interruptus, a cop so unaware of the other side that he accidentally opens the Gates of Hell, and a flying dagger with abandonment issues. This is an alternate reality to rival Narnia in terms of converting Christianity's battle between Good and Evil into something a little more cinematic than The Bible. (Does anyone really want to see a filmed version of Chronicles or Psalms?) It may be sad that knifethrower Hyun-am (Shin Hyeon-jun) has to stab his soulmate (Chu Sang Mi) to save the world, but sometime a knife isn't just a knife. Symbolism people!

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