Set in contemporary South Korea, director Park Jung-woo’s “Deranged” centers on an outbreak of parasitic worms that begin to invade humans. The creatures first trigger in their hosts an extreme increase in appetite, then thirst; then the victims drown themselves.
Before long, the government discovers that a single pharmaceutical company has an antidote to the infestation but seems to be holding the health of the nation hostage.
More like the recent international virus movie"Contagion” than the Korean monster hit “The Host,” “Deranged” is sharply interested in process, how things happen and why.
A low-level pharmaceutical salesman (Kim Myung-min) is desperate to find a cure for his infected family, flailing from one failed scheme to another, as the authorities scramble to piece together what is really happening.
Director Park does a fine job finding the right balance between the film’s two sides, alternating between corporate espionage thriller and body horror movie — guess the two ways the worms leave a host? He’s created a contemporary disaster film with just the right touch of reality to ground the outre genre flourishes.
“Deranged.” No MPAA rating; In Korean with English subtitles. Running time: 1 hour, 49 minutes. At CGV Cinemas, Los Angeles.