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8. The 'Vengeance' Trilogy
Films: "Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance," (2002), "Old Boy," (2003) and "Lady Vengeance" (2005)
Director: Chan-wook Park
Best of the bunch: "Old Boy," which stands near the very top of everything released during the new wave of Korean cinema.
Weakest Link: "Lady Vengeance," which still manages to pack an amazing satirical gutpunch.
Why it's a great trilogy: Chan-wook Park created three different scenarios in which a desire for revenge seems not only rational but inevitable. You can only push people so far until they break, and when his characters break, it is terrifying to behold. He stages images that are both beautiful and awful, often at the same time, and he isn't afraid to totally demolish his audience after hooking them emotionally. To make tears run hot and blood run cold simultaneously is a gift, one that is on full display in these three films.
- Drew McWeeny