Recently, a good friend recommended that I watch the movie “Parasite.” I trust his suggestions, and it didn’t hurt that the movie has 99% positive reviewer ratings on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s appeared on dozens of best-of-2019 lists.
However, this may be the first time in a long time that I’ve been baffled by a movie that was both recommended by a trusted friend and positively reviewed by the overwhelming majority of critics. It’s not that I didn’t like it; rather, I’m just surprised that I didn’t love it as much as everyone else.
I’ll delve deeper into that below the spoiler warning, but before I get there, I’ll say that Parasite is a finely crafted film with some twists and turns that may make you a bit squeamish. If you don’t mind that in a movie, I definitely think it’s worth watching.
I was rather entranced by the first half of Parasite. One family pulls a meticulous and brilliant con on a much wealthier family, the type of con where they’re not really hurting anyone, so you don’t feel bad rooting for them.
But then there’s the twist: They aren’t the only con artists in the movie! There’s a man living in the basement who comes up for food every night.
If that was the only twist, I think I would have really enjoyed the movie. But things take a bloody turn in a movie that previously showed no signs of violence. I have no problem with blood and violence in movies if it fits, but as it escalated in Parasite, it felt more and more like the director was doing it for more for the shock factor than anything else.
But here’s the deal: A lot of people really, really love this movie, and I respect their opinions. I wanted to like it. I can tell it’s a meticulously crafted film. It’s just an odd experience to not quite understand what elevates the movie over so many others this year. Usually I get it. This time I don’t.
Have you seen Parasite? What did you think? Have you had an experience like the one I’ve had with this movie?