Thursday, October 19, 2017

Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku - DAY 19: Thirst (2009) [dir. Chan-wook Park]

Greetings, Boils & Ghouls...

... and welcome to 'Day Nineteen' of "Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku" in which I will suggest my top picks of the fright flicks from the carefully curated catalogue of macabre movies available via the 'Shudder UK' streaming service - any of which can then be streamed to your television using the magic of Roku player - so, let's dim the lights... and prepare for more frights! :-O

If you read my Hallowe'en blogathon preview - FOUND HERE - published on 30th September, then you will know that I plan to post one Hallowe'en / Horror related article every day, throughout the month of October, each featuring one horror movie from the current 'Shudder UK' content library. With recommendations for thirty-one of the best fright flicks I can find, by the end of the month, this means you should have plenty of great choices for your macabre movie viewing as we count down the days to Hallowe'en... as well as ensuring some top-notch cinematic scares come October 31st! ;-)

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [South Korean Poster - Widescreen (Landscape) Version]

For my nineteenth instalment in this series of posts I'm going to suggest a South KoreaN film from the director of "Oldboy" (2003) and "Lady Vengeance" (2005), namely Chan-wook Park, who added this fang-tastic vampire horror thriller to his filmography back in 2009. Originally called "Bakjwi", it is (perhaps) better known to both British and American audiences under the worldwide English title of "Thirst"... but, just for the record, the original Korean title directly translates as "Bat" so, it's no wonder they went with something different for our benefit. Anyway... with a screenplay written by the director together with Seo-kyeong Jeong (as Seo-gyeong Jeong) the film, which was inspired by inspired by Émile Zola's nineteenth century novel, "Thérèse Raquin", tells the story of a Catholic priest: Sang-hyeon (Kang-ho Song) who, while working for a hospital, selflessly volunteers for a secret vaccine development project intended to eradicate a deadly virus. However... the virus eventually takes over the priest, who nearly dies, but he makes a miraculous recovery thanks to an accidental transfusion of vampire blood. Stricken with vampirism, he is forced to abandon his ascetic ways and soon realises his sole reason for living: which is to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh! :-O

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [USA Poster]

If you haven't seen the film before, here is a brief taster in the shape of an original trailer for this most excellent South Korean fantasy drama, courtesy of 'TheMovieJunk' and their 'YouTube' channel:-

If you'd like to know more... there's a full list of the cast & credits on the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) listing for "Thirst" (2009), FOUND HERE, which also includes a full storyline / plot summary as well as box office stats, technical specs & much more. For die-hard fans, there's even more info to be had from the Wikipedia Page for Chan-wook Park's "Thirst" (2009) VIA THIS LINK, which may help to fuel your appetite for (yet) another screening. Although, if you're as much of a fan of this film as I am, or happen to enjoy the work of Chan-wook Park in general, it probably won't take too much persuading for you to watch this mad, crazy thriller of a vampire love story again! ;-) :-)

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [South Korean Poster]

Anyway... you probably guessed already but, if not, this film (like the others from this series of posts) is also available via the 'Shudder' streaming service and can be easily viewed on any Roku device via their dedicated channel (app) for these streaming media players. There are no other opportunities for UK Roku users to watch "Thirst" (2009) so, if you don't yet subscribe to 'Shudder', now might be a good time to take advantage of their FREE TRIAL offer - although, if you've already done so before, I'd suggest taking a look at some possible free alternatives instead, because (unless they're trying to tempt you back again) these promotions are usually reserved for "new blood" only! And, you never know, there may be some free sources available online that are compatible with Roku. However, as my original idea for this month-long blogathon was to suggest thirty-one great Hallowe'en / Horror themed movies from the fang-tastic 'Shudder UK', I recommend you stream it there if possible! ;-) :-)

If you haven't already added it to your channel selection, you will find "Shudder" listed among the "Film & TV" channels in the "Official" Roku UK Channel Store. You can easily add it to your Roku player(s) by navigating to the built-in 'Channel Store' (accessed via "Streaming Channels" from the home screen on your Roku device) and scrolling through the options until you see the channel icon (pictured above). It's completely FREE-TO-ADD so, once you've located it in the list of channels, just click the "OK" button on your Roku remote to select it and then click "OK" again where it says 'Add channel' to install it on your Roku player(s). Having done that, it's simply a case of launching the channel via the 'Go to channel' option and navigating the on-screen menu to log-in (if you already have an account, but haven't yet done so) or start your free trial (if you are new to the service) and, once you see 'Shudder TV' playing on the screen, just push the "DOWN" arrow on your Roku remote to get to the main menu... from where you can "Search" for "Thirst", and then press "OK" on your remote to select and 'Play' this fantasy horror thriller which, for the record, runs to 2h 13mins.


Unfortunately for Roku users in the USA, this film is (currently) not available for streaming via the 'Shudder' service in the United States... although, there are options to rent "Thirst" (2009) for only USD $2.99 (SD) or USD $3.99 (HD) from either 'Amazon Video' or 'Fandango Now' and then watch it on your TV through their respective Roku channels. Conversely, there's good news for Canadian streamers because, as in the UK, this film can also be streamed via the 'Shudder' subscription service in Canada. However, should you prefer to rent this film (rather than subscribe to watch it) there are no Roku-compatible services through which to stream this movie in Canada. That said, as suggested for UK Roku users above, there could well be one or two other streaming resources you can use, so it might be best to check for free alternatives online if you're not eligible for a 'Shudder' trial. Should you get stuck, message me via Twitter: @ukrokuchannels and I'll try to sort out a link for you! ;-) :-)

Meanwhile, for that full cinema experience, here's a few movie posters and other related images film fans in 2009 (or more recently) would've encountered depending on their location around the world:

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [Turkish Poster]

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [South Korean Poster #2]

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [Japanese Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Amazon (Japan)

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [French DVD Poster]
PHOTO CREDIT: Finger in ze nose

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [German Poster]

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [South Korean Poster #3]

Thirst [aka Bakjwi] (2009) [Alternative Poster]

Finally, to round-off this nineteenth instalment in my month-long blogathon on 'Day Nineteen' for this edition of the 'Countdown To Halloween', here's more FRIGHTENINGLY FUN FILM FACTS... for example: did you know this was the first mainstream Korean film to feature full-frontal male nudity? Or that, as well as being inspired by (and borrowing several elements from) novel, Tae-ju (Ok-bin Kim) is named after Thérèse and Lady Ra (Hae-suk Kim) is named after Madame Raquin from the book? Meanwhile, here's the cover, in case you'd like to track it down & have a read! ;-) :-)

Cover of French Novel "Therese Raquin" by Emile Zola - Published in 1867

Other interesting tidbits of trivia include too much detail for me to mention here, because they feature significant "spoilers" about the plot which I don't wish to reveal due to the fact that some of you will not have seen it yet. However... if you are already familiar with the film and/or the novel on which it was based, there are some additional factoids on the IMDb webpage which may be of interest!?! ;-)


Anyhow, that's all I've got time for today... but do remember to come back again tomorrow, for my next macabre movie recommendation from the 'Shudder UK' streaming library, when I will suggest my film for 'Day Twenty' of "Awesome Horror Streams for Hallowe'en Screams on Roku" right here on this blog. Meanwhile... please be sure to visit the Countdown To Hallowe'en website & show your support for this annual online Hallowe'en extravaganza PLUS don't forget to use the links you find there and check out all the other 'Cryptkeepers' taking part this year. I know they'll appreciate it, if you visit their blogs and share your thoughts on the contribution(s) they've made.


ONE LAST THING, BEFORE I GO: Don't forget that, aside from the Hallowe'en / Horror-themed ghastliness going on around these parts for the next month, you can also keep up with the UK Roku action (as it happens) by following the companion Twitter Feed: @ukrokuchannels where you will find that up-to-the-minute info on all things Roku-related is posted on a daily basis (well, almost).

Until the next time, then...

That's all folks !!

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