Parasite is the seventh feature film from the acclaimed Bong Joon Ho, following on from Barking Dogs Never Bite (2000), Memories of Murder (2003), The Host (2006), Mother (2009), Snowpiercer (2013), and Okja (2017). The modern-day classic Memories of Murder delves into the investigation behind a well-known serial murder case that was never solved, depicting the authoritarian era of the time with satire and sharp insight. The Host takes as its basis the abduction of a young girl by a strange creature that crawls out of the Han River, turning the monster movie genre on its head while also issuing stinging social commentary. Mother, the story of a woman trying to protect her son from a murder charge, is a dark portrait of motherly love taken to the extreme, while the sci-fi film Snowpiercer portrays the last remnants of humanity in a future world that has been frozen over due to mankind’s overdone efforts to fix global warming. Finally Okja tells of the country girl Mija’s adventure to rescue the genetically-engineered “super pig” she raised from the profit-driven corporation that owns it.
Known for his cutting, socially incisive wit and twisting of genre conventions, Bong Joon Ho has continually raised questions about social institutions and the inequities of society with his unique blend of humor, emotion and suspense. In this sense, Parasite is both highly characteristic of Bong Joon Ho’s work, while at the same time evolving to a new level.