A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
Critic Consensus: Restrained but disturbing, A Tale of Two Sisters is a creepily effective, if at times confusing, horror movie.
South Korean filmmaker Kim Jee-Woon directs the psychological thriller Janghwa, Hongryeon (A Tale of Two Sisters), loosely based on an oft-filmed Korean folktale. Following the suicide of his wife, Mu-Hyun (Kim Gab-su) takes his two daughters out of hospitalization to stay in a remote country home with their stepmother, Eun-joo (Yeom Jeong-ah). Elder sister Su-mi (Im Su-Jung) is mean to her stepmother, while younger sister Su-yeon (Mun Geun-Yeong) is mostly silent. After a series of creepy disturbances, Eun-joo locks Su-yeon in the closet, which enrages Su-mi even more. When Mu-Hyun goes into town, Su-mi finally confronts her stepmother in a painfully revealing fight. … More
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Critic Reviews for A Tale of Two Sisters
The atmosphere of mounting dread is matched by just-right performances, design and camerawork.
The film feels haunted by the relationship between Im and Moon, who cling to each other in the face of a hostile hostess, even though that may not be their best option.
There's a reason why Hollywood has been so busy in recent years remaking Asian horror movies. Scare for scare, they're generally better.
It may not be a pretty picture, but A Tale of Two Sisters is definitely a satisfying piece of less-is-more cinematic horror.
Audience Reviews for A Tale of Two Sisters
Unfolding like a Grimm fairy tale channeled through David Lynch, A Tale of Two Sisters is dreamlike, haunting, and thought provoking. Some of its plot points are disjointed. but the film works overall as a ghost story mixed with psychological thriller.
The original South Korean movie that The Uninvited, an American horror movie from a few years ago, was based on. Both movies are about two sisters who have a very antagonistic relationship with their stepmother, who was once a nurse charged with the care of their sick (and now dead) mother, and was the catalyst for a tragic event that happened in their lives.
A Tale of Two Sisters has much more of a supernatural element than The Uninvited, which is a more straight-forward movie. The endings are very different, as well. Which one you prefer probably will depend on how much "psychological" you like in your psychological horror. A Tale of Two Sisters takes the concept seriously and may confuse the viewer a bit along the way, but it all ties together neatly in the end. I liked the movie, but it probably would have had more of an impact on me if I had seen it back when it was first released in 2003, or at least before I had most of the story spoiled from watching The Uninvited.
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