If it's October, then it's time for scary films to come crawling out from the dark spaces under the seats at your local movie theater. The run-up to Halloween is always filled with spooktacular screenings, with different films aimed at different age groups. This October will have everything from a brand new The Addams Family cartoon to disturbing psychological horror art films like The Lighthouse. But if it's high-end horror you're looking for, look no further than Bong Joon-ho's Gisaengchung, aka Parasite. These Parasite ratings are eye-popping, with a rare agreement by critics: This is the October film to see.
Parasite has been quietly sucking away at critics for reviews since May of 2019 when it premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. It leeched on to the assembled voters so hard it won the prestigious Palme d'Or, the first Korean film to receive this award. Moreover, it won with a unanimous vote, the first time that's happened at Cannes since 2013, when the French romance La Vie d'Adèle (Blue Is the Warmest Colour) pulled off the same feat.
Since then, critics haven't slowed down with their love of Parasite. It's currently sitting at 100% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with 131 reviews logged.
Peter Travers of Rolling Stone hails the film's director, Bong Joon-ho, as a genius:
Let's just say it: the South Korean auteur Bong Joon Ho is some kind of genius and he tops himself with Parasite - it's explosive filmmaking on every level and one of the cinema high points of 2019 . You won't know what hit you.
Katie Rife of The AV Club dives into the film's themes:
If anything, Parasite is a condemnation of choosing to ignore the inconvenient suffering of your fellow human beings, presented in a series of accomplished visual metaphors that'll make you rethink all sorts of ordinary household objects.
And Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times calls the film a triumph:
Parasite begins in exhilaration and ends in devastation, but the triumph of the movie is that it fully lives and breathes at every moment, even when you might find yourself struggling to exhale.
As for how Parasite is expected to do at the box office in America, there are a lot of factors working against it. First of all, it's in Korean with subtitles. Second, it's opening on the "specialty circuit," which is a polite way of saying it's not going to open in every theater. And third, it's coming out against both Will Smith's Gemini Man and cartoon The Addams Family. On top of that, Joker is expected to have a monster second weekend.
But even still, this is a movie worth the money and the drive. So much so, some theaters have already sold out. According to Deadline:
NEON has its Cannes Palme D’or winner Parasite from Bong Joon-ho about an underprivileged family who infiltrates a high class one. Pic’s Q&A showtimes are sold out in New York and Los Angeles, where it’s playing at IFC Center 5, the Landmark on Pico and Arclight Hollywood. Parasite has already grossed $90.4M abroad, 78% of that coming from Bong’s South Korea.
Parasite opens on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019.