British Board of Film Classification

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THIRST artwork


Type of media Film

Approved Running time 133m 48s

Release date 16/10/2009

BBFCInsight Contains one use of very strong language, strong bloody violence and sex

Genre(s) Drama, Horror

Director(s) Park Chan-wook

Cast includes Kang ho Song, Ok Vin Kim, Hae Sook Kim

Cut This work was passed uncut.

BBFCinsight publication date 06/10/2009

Note: The following text may contain spoilers

THIRST is a subtitled Korean horror drama about an altruistic priest who volunteers for a medical experiment to find a vaccine that will cure a disease that is killing hundreds but is unfortunately transformed into a blood-craving vampire when he receives infected blood.

It was passed '18' for one use of very strong language, frequent instances of strong bloody violence and horror, and strong sex and nudity.

Here, the aggressive use of very strong language directed by a man at a woman during a row exceeds '15' guidelines which say the strongest terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context; and that aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.

Strong bloody violence and horror include the sight of blood pouring out of a flute that the priest has been blowing, an unconscious woman with a blood-streaked face with blood pulsating through the blood-soaked bandage around her neck - implying a throat slash, a corkscrew being plunged into a man's chest, then twisted, causing a huge blood spurt which the priest sucks at greedily while the camera dwells on the victim's suffering, and the priest using a large shard of glass to slice his own tongue before he lets the blood drip into a dead woman's mouth as he kisses her. Such gory horror and violence exceed '15' guidelines which say that violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury; the strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable; and strong sadistic or sexualised violence is also unlikely to be acceptable.

There is a graphic and sustained sex scene when the naked priest - his genitalia masked - thrusts repeatedly at a naked woman, whose breasts are exposed throughout. The scene also contains consensual violence, in that part of the pleasure for the couple is that the priest is biting the woman's neck and enjoying the blood he can taste. Such details in the scene exceed '15' guidelines that say that sexual activity may be portrayed without strong detail; and nudity may be allowed in a sexual context but without strong detail. Sight of exposed female breasts juxtaposed bloody horror occur in other scenes.

There are two scenes of strong threat / violence that is bloodless. A woman holds a small pair of scissors and jabs it into the open mouth of a sleeping man but stops short of actually stabbing the mouth. This is done repeatedly and the entire sequence is captured in medium close shot, in continuous real time. The scene is repeated later. They are contained under '15' guidelines that say strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.


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Metrodome Distribution
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133m 48s
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