The terror of being cursed is you can never be sure if you’ve broken the spell.
In the Shudder Original THE WRATH, a young woman named Ok-bun (Na-Eun Son) finds herself entangled in a family curse after coming to live with the family of the kingdom’s highest-ranking official.
This particular curse has doomed each of the noble man’s sons to die on their wedding nights. However, the only surviving son is certain he can outsmart the evil presence. Going against his mother’s better judgment, he decides to “wed” Ok-bun (or should I say sleep with) and quickly suffers the same fate as his brothers.
Things don’t look too good for Ok-bun in the wake of her new husband’s death. She’s lower class than her sisters-in-law, and her new mother-in-law, Lady Shin (Seo Young-Hee), doesn’t seem too fond of her. But, as fate would have it, it’s discovered Ok-bun is pregnant. Since the family has no heir, Lady Shin begrudgingly decides to let her stay, although not without constant reminders she is not one of them. “You are a surrogate. Remember that.”
The politics of 14th-century nobility would be terrifying enough, but the horror kicks into high gear with the return of the ghost at the center of the family’s curse. This tortured spirit won’t rest until the family is destroyed, and that includes Ok-bun’s unborn child.
As the plot twists and turns, Ok-bun must uncover the mystery of the ghost and find a way to lift the curse to save herself and her child.
I’m so glad THE WRATH is coming to Shudder when it is. With it’s beautiful, saturated lighting and chilling visuals, it’s the perfect film to start the fall horror season.
Director Young-sun Yoo takes a confident approach to this remake of the 1986 film WOMAN’S WAIL, blending shots from the original film with new camera angles and genre tropes that keep things fresh. A great example of this comes when Ok-bun hides from the ghost in the darkness. She blows out her lantern and the screen goes black only to come back a moment later in night vision. For just this brief scene, the film borrows the washed-out found footage style of the early 2000s and it’s completely effective.
Working in harmony with these clever filming choices is the camera work. With wandering, ghostly long takes and Dutch angles galore, Yoo keeps you unsettled through all the nocturnal scenes only to pull back to a more traditional shooting style just as the sun rises.
With excellent performances and gorgeous period production design, THE WRATH knocks it out of the park at every turn.
“A devil’s house is neither grave nor hell,” an exorcist tells Ok-bun. While that might be true, THE WRATH delivers a little bit of both and so much more. Horror fans will rejoice.
THE WRATH comes to Shudder tomorrow.
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