Welcome to the Heavy Spoilers show, I’m your host Deffinition and you’re now locked into the channel where we breakdown all the latest movies, new game releases, tv shows and comic books. Throughout this, we’re gonna be breaking down everything that you need to know about the 2019 Korean film: PARASITE as well as it’s ending.
There will be heavy spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to watch the movie yet and don’t want to know what happens then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With that out the way I just wanna give a huge thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our breakdown of Parasite.
Parasite Plot Recap
Parasite centres around the Kims, a family that live on the poverty line, barely getting by, living in a bug-infested basement and forced to do all kind of menial jobs in order to get enough money to live day to day. At its core, Parasite is a tale of two families, well three which I’ll get into later but primarily it centers around an extremely poor Father, Mother, Son and Daughter and a very wealthy one, made up of the same archetypes.
The Kims are made up of Ki-taek, the father, Chung-Sook his wife, son Ki-Woo who later becomes known as Kevin and Ki-Jeong the daughter. One day, Ki-Woo’s friend gives them a large rock that is supposed to bring them luck and wealth. Whilst doing this he also informs Ki-Woo that he’s leaving to study abroad and one of his clients, Da-Hye, requires English Tutoring.
Ki-Woo hasn’t got any qualifications in this, as his friend knows, however, he says that Ki-Woo knows enough English to fake it and after Ki-Woo falsifies documents with his sister he gains employment with the Parks, mainly by impressing Mrs. Park. Ki-Woo who now goes as Kevin really catches the eye of Da-Hye and he also massively impresses Mrs. Park who divulges that she is struggling to find an art teacher for her son Da-Song who she believes is a genius.
Da-Song has had a pretty messed up childhood due to the fact that when he was younger he saw a ghost in the house and this has scarred him for life. Kevin tells Mrs. Park that he knows of a brilliant art tutor that he will enquire about and along with his sister, they carry out the same scam. The title Parasite comes from the fact that by the midpoint of the movie, Kevin has managed to get his entire family roles in the home by each member recommending the next one and they concoct devious ways in order to get the workers at the Park’s fired in order for them to take their place.
The con is on and the first hour of the film has a really dark sense of humor to it as we watch the group faking TB infections and sex scandals in order to basically develop a parasitic relationship with the family in with the Kims can live off their wealth.
Watching them manipulate The Parks is fascinating and early on the movie will really get its hooks into you and I found it hilarious seeing how much doubt they seeded in the Parks by simply placing tomato ketchup on tissues and so on. It’s a really unique and original premise and it’s no surprise that the film is getting high praise across the board.
I’ve never really seen a film that could be described as both a thriller and a comedy and Parasite is extremely innovative whilst possessing characters that you can really relate to. Kevin gets Da-Hye to fall in love with him and each family member gains trust in The Parks which all leads to one fateful night when they decide to go on a camping trip.
Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous
They leave the property in the care of Chung-Sook who along with the rest of the family, decides to spend the night, checking out how the other half lives. However, the household’s previous cleaner arrives, saying that she left something in the basement and that she will only be a moment whilst she goes and gets it. Moon-Gwang, the cleaner reveals that there is actually a secret bunker under the building that the Parks don’t know about and that her husband has been hiding down there for years, operating light switches and so on to make the house seem like it runs automatically.
He sends subtle messages such as morse code that subliminally let the occupiers know that he is there and it keeps him happy, providing a safe place for him to live as he hides from loan sharks who have been after him all this time.
It’s where the film takes a real sharp term and I was open-mouthed throughout the reveal of it. I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about people secretly living in attics and so on for decades without the occupiers knowing and watching it play out in the film was brilliant. Moon-Gwang discovers that the Kims are also pulling a scam on the Parks and she attempts to blackmail them, saying that she won’t tell the family as long as they sneak her husband food and don’t tell the Park’s about him.
What’s Really Going On?
This blows over into a big fight with the Kims managing to delete the footage off the phone that Moon-Gwang takes as evidence but just as they look like they’re in the clear, The Parks call and say that they are coming home early due to a bad storm in the area and this has bigger repercussions later. There’s a mad dash to clean up the house like when you were a teenager and had a house party and your parents said they’d be home earlier than expected so you rushed around clearing things. I’ll never forget that one bottle cap I left out that got me caught.
There’s sort of two sides to it with the mad scramble going on behind the families back whilst Chung-Sook paints out that everything is fine, even going so fark to kick Moon-Gwang down the stairs in order to get her out the way. It’s hilarious for all the wrong reasons and during this scene, Mrs. Park informs Chung-Sook about Da-Songs ghost who at this point we now know is Moon-Gwang’s husband.
The other three Kims hide under a large table in the living room and The Parks crash out on the sofa, which is where Mr. Park reveals that Ki-Taek has a smell about him that makes him stink. It’s a poor smell, smells of rags, smells worse than this channel that just goes about spoiling movies, anyway they do a bit of fondling and crash out and the Kims are able to escape. However, they’re not out of the woods yet and the group gets home to find their basement home flooded, probably with that guy’s urine who keeps weeing next to their house. Do they say weeing in America?
Anyway back at the Parks home, Moon-Gwang dies from her concussion right in front of her husband who Ki-Taek tied him up.
The Meaning Of Parasite
Everything at the Kims is destroyed, completely washed by the rain and it’s kinda crazy watching them go from this lavish fantasy life to the depressing circumstances of reality. It’s what makes Parasite so endearing and memorable and looking at the desperate situation of the Kims reminds us that anything can go from great to terrible in a matter of moments.
Kevin picks up the rock that brought him wealth and fortune in the home and they have to sleep in a community shelter surrounded by poor and desperate families like them. The picture often portrays the poor as bug-like, crawling around, swarming with one another and whilst that may carry negative connotations, it’s very much the opposite, portraying the human side of how horrible living day to day can be.
It’s a sympathetic view that shows that everyone is desperate to make money, some just happen to be luckier than others. Watching Da-Song wake up in a tent in the garden juxtaposed with the Kims waking up in an overcrowded gym just shows how big the divide of wealth is within the world yet and the subtext definitely makes you feel sorry for the Kims.
This is a situation that is very much about keeping up appearances though and the next day Mrs. Park throws a party for Da-Song and invites many people including the Kims.
Kevin sneaks off and carries the rock down to the basement, intending to give the good luck to others but Geun-Sae, Moon-Gwang’s husband grabs him around the throat with a rope, smashing his head with the rock and then going to the party. He stabs Ki-Jeong and this dramatic appearance triggers Da-Song’s trauma and he has a seizure.
Ki-Taek rushes to stop Ki-Jeong’s bleeding and Mr. Park shouts at him saying that he has to drive Da-Song to the hospital but he doesn’t move, instead throwing the keys to the car at him which are blocked by Chung-Sook who is fighting with Geun-Sae. Chung-Sook manages to kill him but as Mr. Park goes over to retrieve the key he clearly is repulsed by the smell and this reminds him of Mr. Park’s comments which have clearly been playing on his mind and Ki-Taek runs over and stabs him, running away from the situation.
It really goes from 0-100 and this scene is one of the biggest left turns that I’ve ever seen in a film, it really keeps you on your toes and though it is pretty short-lived, it’s very memorable and cements just how unpredictable that Parasite is.
Parasite Ending Explained
Both Ki-Jeong and Mr. Park die from their wounds and Kevin awakens in after receiving brain surgery. He suffers from severe damage and has developed a twitch, laughs uncontrollably and At a trial with his mother the two are found guilty of fraud and put on probation. Ki-Taek is still at large, wanted for the murder of Mr. Park though the authorities have not been able to locate him.
They tail Kevin who still keeps a close eye on The Parks house and one day notices one of the lights flickering, spelling out a message in morse code that he fled to the basement and has been living there. He buried Moon-Gwang. and there have been new occupiers there that Ki-Taek needs to sneak around in order to survive.
Kevin promises to become extremely rich and earn enough money one day to buy the house himself so that he can free his father but this seems to just be a fantasy and in reality, Kevin is still stuck in the basement from the start of the film, much like his father who too remains in one, paying the price for the families lies.
The film is very circular, with the Kim’s, most notably Ki-Taek, once more relegated to living off the wealth of others. Now, will Kevin eventually earn enough money to buy the house?
Did Ki-Woo Become Rich?
Though we don’t know for definite, it is safe to assume from the director’s comments that he will not and that Ki-Taek will be trapped down there until the end of his days. When discussing the film’s ending, the Director stated that he had one of two options for how the close it out, the scene that we saw where the family reunites, or the one in the basement, showing the harsh reality of it. He chose the latter to hammer home that the prior was just a fantasy, dreamed up by Kevin who has discarded the rock, possibly losing the luck that comes with it if there is such a thing. Thus we can draw from this that the downtrodden ending of the film hammers home that Kevin will forever be stuck in that basement, much like his father, unable to escape the trappings of poverty where the two will remain, barely getting by, scrapping on food in order to live one more day.
Now you could have easily cut when the two reunited and this would have finished the film with a happy ending, however, to have it go on longer than that does definitely cement to me that this is a tale of reality, wrapped in fantasy and Kevin will likely never complete his goals due to his fraud conviction, brain damage and inability to move beyond the house. He will likely obsess over it and spend the majority of his time there rather than working in order to build his fortune and his father will be trapped in the basement hiding from the authorities.
Parasite Movie Review
It’s kinda heartbreaking and it’s also what makes Parasite so special. This is a very off the wall movie that is both unique in premise and the way that the plot plays out and it makes for a memorable journey that is laced with sadness throughout that reminds us of just how good and bad that some people have it.
Parasite is incredible and it’s easy to see why this is being labeled by many as the best film of the year. There’s very little to fault here and with there being so much in Hollywood that is formulaic and repetitive, this is a breath of fresh air in terms of storytelling.
Parasite is a masterpiece and it will likely be brought up in many conversations for years to come with people asking ‘have you seen Parasite’ before going into just how good it is to those that are unaware.
This is a brilliant film and one of the best movies of the year so far and that’s why it gets a perfect…
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on Parasite and what you took from the ending.