‘Thirst’ directed by ‘Oldboy’ Chan Wook-Park is in my opinion a film Noir Vampire Story.
Right off the bat what I like about the story is that it tries to set it in a realistic world where Hominis Nocturna is born out of a Vaccine for EV. What’s also the real crunch of the story is that the first Vampire is a Priest. Park Chan Wook cleverly puts the birth of the Vampire from a literal stand point since Vampires themselves were born out of Christianity’s fear of the supernatural and it was God and the symbolic power of the cross that kept Vampires at bay. It’s ironic then that a man who spent his life in the service of a God and doing good should become the devil incarnate with a thirst for blood and more.
Some people have compared this to the original version of ‘Let the Right One in’. A bit unfair as the stories are quite different. On the Vampire level I like ‘Thirst’ more just for the audacity of making the first Vampire a Priest. I find that concept far more intriguing with room to explore in finer detail. Symbolism aside it deals with inner conflict and the eventual downward uncontrollable spiral of life brought on by temptation of the body and blood. The film takes a turn in plot from a Vampire movie into an affair, with the femme fatale desiring to off her husband and become a Vampire herself. This is when the Film Noir aspect kicks in and the Vampire plot takes a back seat.
It’s not the definitive Vampire Movie. I don’t know if there has been something really definitive yet. But as for the Vampire image, I find Christopher Lee to be the iconic image of Dracula and Vampire in the Hammer Horror series. It’s the visual I grew up with and I’m glad I grew up with that as my Vampire image than say Pale Teenage boys in ‘Twilight’. It’s not very dressy for Halloween.