Spoilers need to spray for bugs.
Sometimes I just walk into the theatre without knowing what to expect. I knew going in it was something about mold. I can’t say I learn a lot more than that after watching it. We’ll get into it but be warned I might not do it justice. The harder the movie is to process the harder it is to properly review. It is not a loss, but I can’t quite call it my kind of film. Let’s get into it.
THE FIFTH THORACIC VERTEBRA (2022) was written and directed by Park Syeyoung. A young woman is moving into a place where she’s brought in a new mattress. After a number of days, something starts growing from within it. Its motivations are unclear, but it does seem to end up hurting the people that lie on top of a nasty growing mold. The mattress is handed down from pristine condition to used and rotting away, where it encounters other owners or perhaps victims.
It’s an everyday object that seems to have gained sentience and takes from each individual for a mysterious goal. The storyline is never threatening but it is hurting folks to accomplish its goal. The storytelling is slow paced and close to zero exposition. I felt it lacked enough engagement to keep me interested but mercifully its runtime is modest. Considering its scarce budget the filmmakers do achieve a remarkable feat in crafting this feature from beginning to end.
Recommended for fans of experimental films. The slow pacing and the use of a mattress as a conceptual protagonist combined with minimalistic narrative leaves little entertainment value and no dramatic fuel to engage most audiences. The concept is well defined for a small independent production. Only watchable for audiences of experimental films.
That will do for now.