A Tale of Two Sisters Reviews

  • Mar 29, 2021

    Beautifully shot; the blues and greys of the hospital room giving way to vibrant colours of memory as the story starts to be told. So much atmosphere - the secrets held, the tension in the house. The unhappiness is palpable, though nothing is said. Striking imagery - the woman in black, the hand, that dinner party. It just gets unbearable. Bleak, tangled and intense. And horrible! I love the structure - it adds to the whole feel. This is outstanding.

    Beautifully shot; the blues and greys of the hospital room giving way to vibrant colours of memory as the story starts to be told. So much atmosphere - the secrets held, the tension in the house. The unhappiness is palpable, though nothing is said. Striking imagery - the woman in black, the hand, that dinner party. It just gets unbearable. Bleak, tangled and intense. And horrible! I love the structure - it adds to the whole feel. This is outstanding.

  • Feb 22, 2021

    When it comes to horror movies we, as Westerners, have pretty much seen it all, so it's only natural for us to look overseas to our Asian cronies to come up with something a little more authentic than another Michael Myers or Jason Voohries. Hollywood has been eyeing nations like Japan and Korea for years now, borrowing their tales of fear and reinventing them for domestic audiences. In fact, one of the latest remakes was this year's The Uninvited, a story told six years prior in South Korea's most successful horror feature to date, A Tale of Two Sisters. Directed and scripted by Kim Ji-woon, Two Sisters is not original fiction either, itself based on Joseon Dynasty's folktale "Janghwa Hongreyon-jon," which roughly translates to "Rose Flower, Red Lotus." It tells of Su-mi (played by Im Soo Jung), a young woman haunted by the deaths of her mother and younger sister Su-yeon (Moon Guen Young), which triggers a psychological downward spiral that summits with an abrupt twist that'll catch anyone offguard. One scene in particular, a two-minute dream sequence set in Su-mi's daylit bedroom, must be amongst the creepiest and most disturbingly beguiling displays in the history of horror movies, evocative of Japan's Ju-on: The Grudge. It sets a nightmarish atmosphere, despite being cast in the light of day, perfectly stirring up long-forgotten fears that have been dormant since they've become immune to the tactics of American cinema. These unnerving scenes are few and far between, but are well-worth sitting through the two hours of subtitled ingenuity, using thought-provoking terror to entice viewers rather than blood-shedding butchery. I won't give away the ending of Two Sisters, or even the character development for that matter, so that you can go into this foreign excursion incognito, expecting nothing but a riveting tale of love lost, blanketed by uneasy oppression. Its Korean-language format may be a distraction at first, but you'll settle in just fine, that is until you find yourself stricken with the jitters from that aforementioned dream episode. Sleep tight! *This review was originally written in 2009.

    When it comes to horror movies we, as Westerners, have pretty much seen it all, so it's only natural for us to look overseas to our Asian cronies to come up with something a little more authentic than another Michael Myers or Jason Voohries. Hollywood has been eyeing nations like Japan and Korea for years now, borrowing their tales of fear and reinventing them for domestic audiences. In fact, one of the latest remakes was this year's The Uninvited, a story told six years prior in South Korea's most successful horror feature to date, A Tale of Two Sisters. Directed and scripted by Kim Ji-woon, Two Sisters is not original fiction either, itself based on Joseon Dynasty's folktale "Janghwa Hongreyon-jon," which roughly translates to "Rose Flower, Red Lotus." It tells of Su-mi (played by Im Soo Jung), a young woman haunted by the deaths of her mother and younger sister Su-yeon (Moon Guen Young), which triggers a psychological downward spiral that summits with an abrupt twist that'll catch anyone offguard. One scene in particular, a two-minute dream sequence set in Su-mi's daylit bedroom, must be amongst the creepiest and most disturbingly beguiling displays in the history of horror movies, evocative of Japan's Ju-on: The Grudge. It sets a nightmarish atmosphere, despite being cast in the light of day, perfectly stirring up long-forgotten fears that have been dormant since they've become immune to the tactics of American cinema. These unnerving scenes are few and far between, but are well-worth sitting through the two hours of subtitled ingenuity, using thought-provoking terror to entice viewers rather than blood-shedding butchery. I won't give away the ending of Two Sisters, or even the character development for that matter, so that you can go into this foreign excursion incognito, expecting nothing but a riveting tale of love lost, blanketed by uneasy oppression. Its Korean-language format may be a distraction at first, but you'll settle in just fine, that is until you find yourself stricken with the jitters from that aforementioned dream episode. Sleep tight! *This review was originally written in 2009.

  • Feb 03, 2021

    Pretty boring Japanese horror movie. Going into this I didn't know what to expect but man I thought it would be somewhat interesting. It was such a bore. I did like at the beginning that the one sister is in jail and has to tell her story. But besides that I was invested but the payoff was horrible. Gosh dang it.

    Pretty boring Japanese horror movie. Going into this I didn't know what to expect but man I thought it would be somewhat interesting. It was such a bore. I did like at the beginning that the one sister is in jail and has to tell her story. But besides that I was invested but the payoff was horrible. Gosh dang it.

  • Feb 03, 2021

    Pretty boring Japanese horror movie. Going into this I didn’t know what to expect but man I thought it would be somewhat interesting. It was such a bore. I did like at the beginning that the one sister is in jail and has to tell her story. But besides that I was invested but the payoff was horrible. Gosh dang it.

    Pretty boring Japanese horror movie. Going into this I didn’t know what to expect but man I thought it would be somewhat interesting. It was such a bore. I did like at the beginning that the one sister is in jail and has to tell her story. But besides that I was invested but the payoff was horrible. Gosh dang it.

  • Jan 20, 2021

    I'll admit I looked up an explanation after the movie, but it was more for confirmation as it turned out my understanding was basically correct. This is a very creepy film that effectively uses imagery and plot twists to build and relieve tension. It drags a little bit near the end during all of the reveals, but ultimately it is a satisfying horror film that really scared the hell out of me.

    I'll admit I looked up an explanation after the movie, but it was more for confirmation as it turned out my understanding was basically correct. This is a very creepy film that effectively uses imagery and plot twists to build and relieve tension. It drags a little bit near the end during all of the reveals, but ultimately it is a satisfying horror film that really scared the hell out of me.

  • Oct 13, 2020

    "A tale of two sisters" is an exquisitely crafted psychological horror drama by director Kim Jee-woon. The director wisely chooses to present the story in a slow pace acompanied with gawning pieces of music which perfectly matches the excruciating atmosphere of guilt and grief. The sequence of the film is a bit confusing initially and leaves people with questions without any explaination, therefore, viewers must not miss any even tiny detail. The movie breaks out of the mould shaped by tropes related to invisible and invicible ghosts and touches on more tangible issues: family, ignorance, obsession with the past. The slow camera movements when scenes start to edge towards the horror direction and having every character move slower than paint drying, incredibly effective and unnerving. The reality and imagination blend toghether and enables viewers to decide and have their own assessments. The plot twist is truly calculated but unpredictable, therefore, it is undeniable that the film is a little bit tricky and comlicated but still a masterpiece which pushes viewers' emotions to the climax.

    "A tale of two sisters" is an exquisitely crafted psychological horror drama by director Kim Jee-woon. The director wisely chooses to present the story in a slow pace acompanied with gawning pieces of music which perfectly matches the excruciating atmosphere of guilt and grief. The sequence of the film is a bit confusing initially and leaves people with questions without any explaination, therefore, viewers must not miss any even tiny detail. The movie breaks out of the mould shaped by tropes related to invisible and invicible ghosts and touches on more tangible issues: family, ignorance, obsession with the past. The slow camera movements when scenes start to edge towards the horror direction and having every character move slower than paint drying, incredibly effective and unnerving. The reality and imagination blend toghether and enables viewers to decide and have their own assessments. The plot twist is truly calculated but unpredictable, therefore, it is undeniable that the film is a little bit tricky and comlicated but still a masterpiece which pushes viewers' emotions to the climax.

  • Oct 08, 2020

    One of my favorite movies of all time, I don't know how many times I've seen it, yes, every time I do it it surprises me, something new is always discovered. This movie is loaded with tension and has its good plot twists.

    One of my favorite movies of all time, I don't know how many times I've seen it, yes, every time I do it it surprises me, something new is always discovered. This movie is loaded with tension and has its good plot twists.

  • Jul 10, 2020

    Un poco tediosa, pero entretenida.

    Un poco tediosa, pero entretenida.

  • May 30, 2020

    David Nusair nails it in his review, this movie is infuriatingly vague, I had to read the wiki to even understand the ending, and even then I don't see what they were talking about with the major ending scene. Rotten, rotten, rotten. Avoid.

    David Nusair nails it in his review, this movie is infuriatingly vague, I had to read the wiki to even understand the ending, and even then I don't see what they were talking about with the major ending scene. Rotten, rotten, rotten. Avoid.

  • Feb 17, 2020

    Starts off really slow, but it gets weirder and creepier as it goes on. Really good, every fan of the genre should give it a watch.

    Starts off really slow, but it gets weirder and creepier as it goes on. Really good, every fan of the genre should give it a watch.