LKFF 2022: The Fifth Thoracic Vertebra + Cashbag

  • Director

    Park Syeyoung

  • Cast

    Park Jihyeon, Moon Hyein, Haam Seokyoung

  • Release Date


  • Runtime

    62 mins

  • Cert


  • Awards

    Bucheon Fantastic Film Festival 2022 – Best Director, Audience Award, Distribution Support Award
    Fantasia Film Festival 2022 – Special Mention

Screening accompanied by an introduction


With Death Bed: The Bed That Eats (1977), Possession (1981) and A Ghost Story (2017) as its nearest analogues, Park Sye-young’s experimental fungal slasher tracks a mattress, and the spores growing on it, as they pass through the hands of different owners and users, including lovers at different stages of their relationships and a terminally ill woman. As the fungus rapidly evolves and subtly apes the manners of its human hosts, it vampirically absorbs a vertebra from each to build itself into anthropomorphic form.

A melancholic, monstrous romantic horror with a very unusual take on time, this sets human dramas and dreams against a much broader, more irrational canvas of nature. Episodic and abstract, its utterly gonzo premise drifts to an ending of unexpected sadness and awe. Meanwhile Park’s (non-horror) short Cashbag, which follows a man in a series of nocturnal transactions, ends in a similar waterside location.


Anton Bitel