The Housemaid (2010)
Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 65
Fresh: 48 | Rotten: 17
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 7.1/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 3
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 5,236
Eun-yi is an innocent young woman who is hired as an upper class family housemaid, and is tasked to take care of the family's small daughter and her pregnant mother, Hae-ra. Byung-sik is an older housemaid who has been with this family for a long time and holds many secrets. But soon enough, the master of the house, Hoon, takes advantage of his social position by slipping into the new housemaid's bed. Hoon's visits become frequent and Byung-sik reports the affair to Hae-ra's mother Mi-hee, who
Jan 21, 2011 Limited
Jun 7, 2011
IFC Films - Official Site
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The situation continues to fester, the balance of power shifts back and forth among some wonderfully defined characters.
The graphic sex scenes radiate an uncommon heat, and Im can pull off a hugely effective shock when he wants to.
The movie kowtows to the old truism that the rich are different - but it does it with a sardonic smile.
Writer-director Im Sang-Soo injects a certain sense of otherworldliness in the proceedings -- the final scene is straight from David Lynchland --- which may not make things mesmerizing, but does deliver a consistently odd angle.
"The Housemaid" scores on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin.
"The Housemaid" glitters coldly, with its marble surfaces and scheming eyes, as it builds to its dramatic, unexpected climax.
Quick to show its characters' skin but less inclined to explore what lies beneath it.
With the honourable exception of a film-saving Byung-sik, the characters are too unpleasant and two-dimensional to keep it together.
...an echo of the 1960 film perhaps, but it's an echo that has been compressed and processed, run through the stomp box that is director Im Sang-soo's imagination.
Im Sang-soo's The Housemaid either doesn't know what it wants to be, or is trying to be too many things at once. Few films can claim to be over-ambitious and half-hearted at the same time, but there you go.
Evil seems to lurk in every shadowy corner and the director's choice of a primarily brown palette imposes a layer of foreboding over even the most apparently innocent of scenes.
The Housemaid isn't all that deep, but it's consistent fun, on the cusp between art and softcore nonsense.
It's like a contemporary, even more heightened version of one of those Bette Davis movies that still show up on late-night TV.
Im creates a seductive and disquieting thriller in which overt violence is rare but ruthless manipulation and a callous lack of concern for people are commonplace.
This South Korean thriller owes a lot to the late Claude Chabrol - its damnation of the idle rich, its imprisoning interior designs, even poisoning - but Sang-soo Im doesn't delve as deeply as Chabrol could and his film eventually implodes.
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