A Tale of Two Sisters (Janghwa, Hongryeon)

Yesterday at midnight I started to watch the Korean Horror Flick, A Tale of Two Sisters. The movie was going good but then after some time I got spooked and I turned off the monitor and went to bed. Then I watched the rest of the flick this afternoon.

The structure of this film is easily the most tightly constructed in the history of cinema. I can think of no other film where something vitally important occurs every other minute. Quite literally, Director Ji-woon Kim seems to have made a movie that practically taunts the viewer to dissect it on the most detailed of levels. A seemingly insignificant object may be shown – a rack of dresses, two diaries, a drop of blood emanating from a floor crack, a bottle of pills, etc. – but upon meticulous inspection turns out to be so much more – a clue that helps to make sense of that particular scene (or perhaps the movie in total), which almost always contributes a stirring reflection upon the psychological concepts that lurk in the background until the viewer's intelligence prompts them to spring to the forefront. Such an event might occur a handful of times during any other movie, but in A Tale of Two Sisters such events occur in such a rapid-fire, relentless fashion that the viewer must watch the film in a perpetual state of alertness, lest they miss something important. In other words, the content level of this film is enough to easily fill a dozen other films.

The direction is incredibly good, and the acting is stunning, with the step-mother in particular incredibly good swinging from one mood style to another in the film. The large house adds eeriness, and there are enough points in the film where you will jump out of your seat. This film to me clearly shows why Korean cinema is possibly the best most original in the world at the moment. You simply don't get anything like this in the Western World, sadly,and really i can see it being influential on film makers around the world in the next decade. This definitely is a must watch horror flick.

My Rating: 3.5/5 

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