Lee Chang-dong’s BURNING brought to mind no less than Leatherface’s twirl through the golden hour in THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE with the volume turned down, an apocalyptic dance with the zeitgeist flaming on the horizon. Disturbing, potent. It’s essentially a story about vampirism, its vectors the self-replicating violence of social and economic inequality instead of supernatural. It’s a horror movie without any explicit bloodshed. Stephen Yeun makes a mighty fine dead-eyed one percenter vampire despite (or because of) his gentle face, while his potential victims Ah-in Yoo and Jong-seo Jun also put in excellent performances as a man and woman filled with rage and sadness and lacking his financial means, making them both vulnerable to his predations.
March 7, 2019