Blair Russell’s review published on Letterboxd:
My old school (Illinois State University) getting namedropped in this movie... rather unanticipated by me.
Those that read my scathing review of Terminator: Dark Fate may wonder why I went and saw a dumb Hollywood product that I suspected would be dumb when there are independent movies I could be checking out instead... touche, I say. Central Florida is not like Los Angeles or New York... but various indie/foreign movies usually don't require too long a drive to see. As I mentioned while talking about Dark Fate, some of those pictures do come off as pretentious and even a little bit intolerable to me. Snowpiercer was a big letdown for me, yet The Host was a very good Bong Joon-ho movie so I was hoping I would agree with most film fans and think this was worth checking out theatrically. As you can see with my highest of scores, no one has to get out the pitchforks and hang me in the town square! Those elsewhere around the world, it was only this past Friday that Parasite made it to mainstream cineplexes in the United States and is in more than select locations. I understand that many people got to see this months ago.
I never even saw a trailer for this so I only went into the picture hearing that it dealt with a pair of families, one rich and the other poor, and those two interact with each other. That is indeed correct, and I'll attempt to be vague here to avoid giving away anything important. Naturally, the poor family is desperate so they do some things to try and help themselves-this includes a few little white lies-but... unexpected complications occur. Parasite has plenty of content concerning inequality between the haves and have nots, along with capitalism in general and “fake it until you make it”... this is done as various genres are mixed in together. I'll just say that there are laughs of the satirical and dark humor variety along with some suspenseful moments and yeah, a few bloody ones also.
Perhaps Parasite is benefiting, re: that it was the first thing I viewed after experiencing something I found to be awful... be that as it may, I was very happy to see something that was unpredictable yet not ludicrous or devoid of logic... a picture where the audience can decide how they feel about the various main characters, as nothing is black or white and you can damn the rich family for being naive or not comprehending how “common folk” live... or knowing at least once that things are likely to go wrong... you just don't know when or how this will occur.
I haven't viewed all of the director's movies by any means but this is the best and favorite that I have seen; what a ride this was. I was very happy to see something original that did not insult my intelligence or was overly smug or was way too arch for me to enjoy. Everything about the movie was great, from the story and the performances to the cast and everything behind the camera; if you enjoy what Bong does or even if you want to see a story that deftly maneuvers between several different genres and can view this theatrically... Parasite is a must-see.