The Housemaid

2011

The Housemaid

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

70%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 70

53%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,585

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

53%
Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

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 plots to give Hae-ra the control over her husband. Soon Eun-yi becomes pregnant by Hoon and wants to keep the baby. This is discovered by the family and Eun-yi is forced by Mi-hee to have an abortion despite the young woman's pleas to let her keep the baby and leave the house. Her forced abortion turns Eun-yi's already fragile mental condition for the worse and she decides to take the matter into her own hands... -- (C) IFC

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Critic Reviews for The Housemaid

All Critics (70) | Top Critics (24)

  • Im Sang-soo can't improve on Kim Ki-young's 1960 original, a jaIm Sang-soo can't improve on Kim Ki-young's 1960 original, a jarring and operatic cult favorite. Still, he does tweak the themes in intriguing fashion.

    Apr 12, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • The situation continues to fester, the balance of power shifts back and forth among some wonderfully defined characters.

    Dec 13, 2011 | Full Review…
  • The graphic sex scenes radiate an uncommon heat, and Im can pull off a hugely effective shock when he wants to.

    Mar 18, 2011 | Rating: 3/4
  • The movie kowtows to the old truism that the rich are different - but it does it with a sardonic smile.

    Mar 4, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 25, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • "The Housemaid" glitters coldly, with its marble surfaces and scheming eyes, as it builds to its dramatic, unexpected climax.

    Feb 17, 2011 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for The Housemaid

*Sigh*, Koreans... they're just so twisted lol. This may surprise you but "The Housemaid" is superbly made. Wow, the cinematography was absolutely gorgeous; excellent camerashots riddled all over this film. It's so sublime in fact that it leaves room for this movie to be identified as an art-house movie, but sadly, there isn't much to the movie except for eerie and surprising perversion, sickening revenge, and a twisted narrative. It's funny because everything about the movie shouts "true filmmaking". Nevertheless, the narrative simply touches upon the characters' struggles and that's it. This movie isn't here to teach people not to do certain things and it isn't here to thematically stir audiences emotions; this movie is simply here to tell its narrative, which is much of the case for a profuse amount of Korean films, but ever more so with "The Housemaid". Once the credits roll, it seems nothing more than just a shallow but twisted movie that is easily forgotten except for its credible filmmaking craftsmanship. So if its absolutely devoid of any substance aside from the production value, how is "The Housemaid"'s narrative? Is it entertaining? I guess so. It's gonna give you thrills, chills, and tension. It's also gonna give you strange goosebumps and surprises not because it's a great horror flick, but because of the audacious and extremely black raw sexuality that it throws viewers. C'mon now... it's almost like a cheap scare. Throw in some taboo-breaking content and you got yourself a shocking movie. That to me, is cheap. It draws you, but I was certainly squirming in my seat -- not cause I'm a pansy, but how deep "The Housemaid" chooses to let characters get sucked into a pitch black world of lies, deceit, hatred, and sexuality. At the end of the day, "The Housemaid" is a stylish but extremely raw sexual movie. It's a movie about sex. That's about it. You think "Black Swan" was raw? LOL "The Housemaid" is stomping all over it, and its all its got: Mesmerizing cinematography and a taboo-shattering narrative. I ain't saying this is a bad movie but it's certainly not even close to what I would enjoy.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

½

The Housemaid is a South Korean thriller about a maid who is seduced by the husband of the family she was recently hired by, and then menaced and manipulated by the women of the house once they find out she's pregnant. It's a pretty good movie, but very sad. 

Lewis C.
Lewis C.

Super Reviewer

½

This Korean sexy thriller film looks gorgeous, a combination of Fatal Attraction. Immediately notable is the immensely gorgeous mansion-set for the film, the beautiful costumes and Im's drenching of every shot in a kind of elegant style that really captures well the world of the elite that Eunyi wanders into. Interestingly enough, it's in stark contrast to the bustle of the "real world" that Eunyi lives in before her move and I think that's a really effective technique. Jeon Do-yeon deserves all the acting accolades she has received thus far for her role, and we feel the pain she has to go through in having traumatic experiences forced upon her just because she's in no position to bargain, until the defining moment in the finale where she gains the upper hand but at what a price at scarring the family for life. Actor Lee Jungjae wraps the cocky arrogance and entitlement of his character so naturally. And An Suhhyun, as the observant daughter, is remarkable for a child actor, capturing a surprising distance with her huge eyes.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

½

Sang-soo Im's The Housemaid is a Korean thriller that doesn't do much in the way of thrilling.

The story is a slow burn and there is be a lot of buildup for every major event. The first portion is heavy on the sexual content, while the consequences of these actions are put to the test in the second half. It isn't that the film lacks any entertainment value, but the surprises are few and far in between.

The luxurious settings of the film are a highlight and the camera work is also a plus. On the flip side, the characters are a problem. Over time the antagonists and the protagonists eventually become clear, yet it is difficult to root for any of the characters.

Do-yeon Jeon's performance is noteworthy. She brings both a mature and a childlike nature to her character. Seo-Hyeon Ahn is adorable as Nami and the rest of the supporting cast deliver acceptable performances.

The Housemaid does deliver a surprise for the finale, which is quite good. Unfortunately, it is a long road to get there. This film isn't a waste of a viewing, but it is not something to alter a schedule for.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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