Park Chan-Wook is one of my favorite filmmakers working today. The South Korean maestro has crafted such splendid descents into visceral obsession, identity, violence, and sex as Oldboy and The Handmaiden, alongside English-language cult hits like Stoker and the vampire shenanigans of Thirst. Any new Park film is cause for celebration, especially one with the premise of Decision to Leave, which Deadline reports is his next film.
Decision to Leave, written by Park and Jeong Seo-kyeong (his Handmaiden co-writer), concerns a police officer investigating the mountain murder of a man. His prime suspect? The dead man’s wife. What will happen? Probably, luckily, a blending of labels and roles that results in an explosion of dangerous eroticism between these two characters, played by Park Hye-il (The Host) and Tang Wei (Lust, Caution). Other cast members include Lee Jung-hyun (Item), Go Kyung-pyo (Night of 7 Years), and Park Yong-woo (My Scary Girl). The film, produced by Park’s production company Moho Film and CJ Entertainment (Parasite), will begin principal photography this month, and I will wait at the door like a dog expecting Christmas presents until a US release date is announced.
For any western-centric reading this piece, still concerned about the barriers of subtitles, I highly encourage you to make an exception for Park’s work. If you haven’t guessed, it’s all incredibly eye-catching, genre-stuffed stuff, lensed and imagined with immaculate craft, a downright bravura style, and exacting but accessible psychological acumen. It’s powerful stuff, but still kind of popcorn stuff, and his track record makes me beyond excited for Decision to Leave.