“Parasite” paves the way for international movies


Official Parasite Poster, Youtube, Creative Commons

Parasite was released in theaters on October 5, 2019 and went on to win multiple Oscars. It is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Ava Krueger, Staff Writer

Everyone has experienced some sort of false reality. We’ve all fantasized about something or another— winning a big game, being famous, having a lot of money, etc. “Parasite” is an Academy Award-winning film rooted in fantasy, exploring the false hope these fantasies can give a person. This positively gut-twisting South-Korean thriller is full of unexpected twists and turns that shock the viewer when everything had seemed to be going right according to plan. 

The film opens with the impoverished Kim family in despair over their neighbor’s changed Wi-Fi password. The son, Ki-woo (Choi Woo-shik), scrambles around their cluttered basement apartment trying to find a signal while the rest of the family folds boxes for cash in a haze of fumigation– which the father, Ki-taek (Kang Ho-song), claims is “free disinfectant.” Despite their obvious poverty, the light-hearted opening scenes imply that the family is generally happy and have a strong connection. 

“Parasite” is more mind-prodding and stunning than scary.”

— Ava Krueger

The real excitement begins when Ki-woo cons his way into the job of tutoring the daughter of the wealthy Park family. From here, the rest of the Kim family parasitically insert themselves into the Park family as workers through various ‘connections’ and well-placed suggestions. While we are happy for the Kims’ success, however, it’s hard to disregard the workers whose positions the Kim family stole– these are real people as well, people who are wives, fathers, and sons. But at the end of the day, the Kims’ actions, while immoral, are relatable; they display the Darwinist attitude of those struggling to gain a step up in a capitalist society separated by extreme wealth inequality. It’s hard to not imagine taking advantage of the gullible wealthy, overflowing with riches, even when that means undermining other working-class people.

Throughout the film, the Kim family is blinded by their fantasies– especially since these fantasies seem to come true for a while. “Parasite” exposes a truth that no one wants to reckon with: that hope is far too addictive to give up, even when the fantasy has been shattered forever. It also explores the societal structures that keep the poor living downstairs and the rich living upstairs.

While labeled a thriller, “Parasite” is more mind-prodding and stunning than scary, with a mind-blowing plot twist towards the end. Overall, the film was very engaging, with a unique storyline and a well-selected cast. I would definitely watch the film again, as there are new hidden meanings that may be discovered with each viewing.