Bong Joon-ho names his favorite modern horror movie
A true pioneer of the new South Korean film wave, Bong Joon-ho has established himself as a creative force to be reckoned with. Revered by fans around the world for his gripping socio-political thrillers such as Murder memories and Parasite, Bong’s unique sensibility quickly propelled him up the ladder of contemporary filmmakers to watch.
For this spotlight on Far Out Fear Club, we revisit the time when Bong Joon-ho revealed the modern horror film which is not only his genre favorite but also his first choice of 2019. Bong chose Environment, Ari Aster’s recent psychological masterpiece, claiming that Aster’s artistic vision had brought him into an overwhelming sense of horror.
Bong didn’t just praise Environment, focusing on Aster’s fantastic beginnings Hereditary as well as including Aster on his personal list of 20 directors who will shape the future of cinema. From Bong’s superfluous comments on Ari Aster’s genius, it’s clear that the South Korean maestro sees Aster as a top talent destined for big things.
“[Hereditary] goes beyond the pitfalls of the genre and offers true and deep horror ”, Bong noted. “A horror that is primitive and inescapable. In order to survive this overwhelming horror, we cast a spell on ourselves. We hope that the horrific moments we witnessed eventually settle into a neutral view of the crash, like a harmless painting made up of adorable miniature figurines.
Bong Joon-ho isn’t the only one who thinks this way about Aster. Another pioneer of cinema, Martin Scorsese, wrote: “A few years ago I watched a first film called Hereditary. From the start, I was impressed. Here is a young filmmaker who obviously knew the cinema. The formal control, the precision of the framing and the movement within the frame, the pace of the action, the sound, it was all there, immediately evident.
While discussing the influences that helped shape the end product that is the version Environment we know well, Aster stunned everyone by insisting he wasn’t even thinking of the horror genre. Instead, Aster and his team focused on the transformation Environment in a visual experience by studying some of the most beautiful films ever made.
Aster claims: “The films I was talking about with my cinematographer were Powell and Pressburger films [which often have fantastical, dream-like elements], especially when we were talking about color, or how we were going to “paint” this community.
“So we were talking about Black narcissus and Tales of Hoffmann. We didn’t really watch other horror movies. We painted with these broad, fanciful strokes.