Blu-ray: Parasite (2019)

STUDIO: Universal | DIRECTOR: Bong Joon-ho | CAST: Song Kang-ho, Yeo-jeong Jo, Woo-sik Choi, So-dam Park, Seo Joon Park, Hye Jin Jang
RELEASE DATE: Jan. 28, 2020 | PRICE: DVD $17.99, Blu-ray $22.99
BONUSES: Q&A session with director Bong Joon-ho
SPECS: R | 132 min. | Foreign language drama-comedy-thriller | 2.39:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 | English, French and Korean subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall 

A genre-shifting parable about social strife and personal greed and prejudice, Parasite, the latest from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho (Snowpiercer, The Host), has been a sensation, winning accolades and great box-office returns throughout the world.

The story centers on an impoverished family making ends meet by folding pizza boxes in their tiny Seoul basement apartment. The college-educated son (Woo-sik Choi, Okja) devises a shady way to get a job tutoring a young teen at the sleek house of her wealthy family. It’s not too long before his sister (So-dam Park, Ode to the Goose) gets another tutoring job, while mother (Hye Jin Jang, Poetry) gets the maid gig and father (Song Kang-ho, Memories of Murder) is enlisted as the family’s driver. But before the family gets comfortable with their new careers based on phony pretenses, a secret is discovered about the house that leads to a series of disturbing complications.

Like a pinball machine, Parasite zips all over the place, touching a serious bumper here, a satirical bumper there, and a horrific bumper whenever the opportunity presents itself. The film threatens to spin away, into the gutter lane, but it never does thanks to the filmmaker’s control amidst wild mood swings and unsettling chaos. To give more details would be unfair.

The film took off like a lightning bolt, taking the coveted Palme d’Or prize at Cannes, breaking box-office records in its native South Korea, and receiving a nice American reception with nearly $30 million at the box-office (unheard of for a foreign language films these days), six Oscar nominations, a Golden Globe win for Best Foreign Language Film and a proposed Showtime spin-off.

The clamor for Parasite, a sharp, unpredictable saga of the differences between the haves and have-nots, will continue its clamor well into its post-theatrical life.

Buy or Rent Parasite (2019)

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.