The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra
PARK Syeyoung South Korea 65 mins NC16 (Some Disturbing Scenes) Southeast Asian Premiere
A quirky, melancholy body horror that mixes genre kicks with playful formalism as it follows the life of a mattress-dwelling fungus.
Through love, sickness and death, the bed is a constant witness to sadness, anger and despair. But what if such feelings foster the growth of something in our beds? This melancholy creature feature traces the life cycle of a mattress-dwelling fungus that not only thrives on its guests’ negative energies, but snatches their spinal parts to shape its own body. As it moves from a couple’s apartment to the edge of North Korea, we come to pity this being that seems doomed to mirror our modern malaise, even as it outlives our inhospitable times. With electric visuals, twitchy creature effects and quirky synth music that mixes the otherworldly with schmaltz, this genuine oddity will surprise even the most sophisticated genre fan.
PARK Syeyoung is a South Korean filmmaker. His experimental shorts have earned him the reputation of being one of the most exciting new directors on the local festival circuit. The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra is his third feature. It won Best Director and the Audience Award in the Korean section of Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival.