Wilbur Mercer’s review published on Letterboxd:
If you've read any of my reviews, I often bring up the word hype. In the social media age that we are in, as well as being on Letterboxd, it is interesting to see how films can rise and fall because of the internet. A trailer, poster or other promotional material, can tank a film before it sees the light of day. As good word of mouth, can spread like wildfire and become the thing everyone is talking about. I think back to Terminator Genesys and Breaking Bad, as examples of the former and latter respectively.
I try my best to follow the film news of the day, reading as much as I can to keep track of the life of a film. Going from when something is announced to the press tour and eventual release. I'd like to think it can add something to my review, if I write one for that particular film, but I don't know if that's true.
I bring all of this up, because Parasite is one of those films where it got all the hype in the world. I do my best to watch a film without hype colored glasses, trying to view it on its own terms. Sometimes, the eggs on Twitter, for example, get things wrong. The recent Joker film, in my opinion, is an example of the hype not being real, and the Emporer having no clothes. The Last Jedi got so much praise from critics, and others on the internet, but that film is horrendous, on a Star Wars fan level, but also as a standalone film.
Parasite is a rare film, where what everyone says about it, I don't think does it justice. Is it too good to be true? It's too good, too true and I think it's too late to change all the end of the decade lists, because this one deserves a high place on it.
I was planning on trying to write a review of it, but walking out of the theater, the words just aren't there. I am truly sorry for all the people that had to try and write something about this film, because I don't think it's possible to do that. I have a co-worker who wants to talk about Parasite with me, and I don't know what I'm supposed to say other than, "Yeah man, it's really good."
For me, Parasite is a wonderful in theater experience, where the more people try to talk about it, takes away from the awe and wonder of sitting in the dark with the light of the big screen lighting up everyone's face. Each face has the same reaction, and that is a jaw on the floor.
I'll admit that I thought Snowpiercer was overhyped, and I couldn't finish Okja. I stopped it about halfway through, as I found it all so annoying. You don't have to beat me over the head with a meat cleaver, saying that eating animals is bad and that factory farming isn't good either. I know all that because I'm a vegetarian, watching it felt like being a meat eater flanked by vegans spreading their gospel like Jehovah's Witnesses. After watching Parasite, maybe I'll go back and try to give that one another go.
This is so good, the pacing is solid, story has it's own unique twists and turns to the conventional elevator pitch into something terrific, and the performances are stunning as well. Parasite has so much inside, it's a thriller, horror, heist and comedy all wrapped up in one. I had to watch the second act through my fingers. If I watched the film at home, I would have paused it and walked around my apartment, so I could have caught my breath. The family is a little thin at times, in that there isn't as much depth to them as I would have liked, but there's enough there to work with.