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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 22.11%
Average: 6.32%
Pretty Bad: 8.42%
Total Crap: 3.16%

5 reviews, 65 user ratings

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Tale of Two Sisters, A
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by Jason Whyte

5 stars

Here is proof that it's still cool to go see a good horror movie in a packed, wound up audience, the thrills hitting right where they should, the cinema patrons going completely bonkers. "A Tale Of Two Sisters", hailing from South Korea, is about two very very spooked sisters, and is simply so creepy, so beautifully well made and so cryptic that it deserves to become a cult classic...and probably never will. And the audience that I saw it with was wonderful.

But more on that later. I had so much fun with "A Tale of Two Sisters" from its delightful creepy moments, to the horrific performances of the leads, right down to the atmospheric production design, which stands on a world of its own. The house that occupies "Two Sisters" is ominous; we never know what is RIGHT around that corner. Or that one. Or what is lurking under that fridge. (I'm getting goose bumps now just writing this.)

The setup involves two ailing sisters (Im Soo-Jung and Moon Geun-Young) returning from the hospital to their country home, only to be greeted by her eccentric stepmother Eunjoo (played by the lovely Yeomg Jeong-A, whose right eye always seems to be obscured by her hair). Of course, they don't get along, and their fighting and bickering eventually turns worse. Oh, and they are living in a Gothic house, and nothing is really what it is supposed to be.

Maybe a lot of this doesn't make sense, and there are plot contrivances abound, but so what: from the nighttime spooks that occur while the characters sleep, or the sequence where the wicked stepmother is slowly looking under the kitchen table for that hidden creeper, "A Tale of Two Sisters" feels fresh and inventive right until the end, conjuring up plentiful scares and twists that somehow, after every horror film I've seen, still work in 2003. To call this fun is a massive understatement: it's a blast. And, of course, the American rights have already been purchased for a remake, a'la "The Ring" (which I wasn't a fan of) and I'm more than positive that it will not hold a candle. Shocked?

The audience was THRILLED by this movie, screaming at the sudden jolts and biting their nails in suspense in the quieter scenes, which are equal in atmosphere. I could feel a complete shiver come from the audience, and you know what? It was deserved. I normally don't mention audience experiences in my reviews, but it was a welcome pleasure. "A Tale of Two Sisters" may not be on my best of 2003 list, but it is certainly a memorable horror picture in a sea of too many PG-13 horror flicks.

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originally posted: 10/08/03 16:29:27
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Tribeca Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Boston Fantastic Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Boston Fantastic Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Mill Valley Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Mill Valley Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/17/12 Langano Confusing, boring & unoriginal. Big letdown. 1 stars
8/12/11 jiropan mind blowing korean horror film 5 stars
10/13/10 Mr Bihun Tomyam that's 1 awesome Asian horror movie 5 stars
9/02/07 Markus Really great - actors, colours, soundtrack, set design, story 5 stars
4/12/07 nona s dwirafida very sad story, beauty horror 5 stars
10/16/06 stephen king fan Very well written! For those confused, read imdb forums... 5 stars
10/09/06 carol just didn't get the ending still trying to work it out, can tell who did what 4 stars
8/11/06 Bumfromkorea Excellent, excellent movie, but perhaps too complicated for marketing in U.S. 5 stars
5/29/06 malcolm super-creepy & fun, but confusing, probly hurt by translation 3 stars
4/06/06 Chris Once I realized the Stepmom didn't enter the house until she wore the business suit, it bec 5 stars
11/14/05 Kumble Interesting premise with only middling-to-far results. The explanation is unsatisfactory. 3 stars
7/31/05 Mike More a tragedy than horror imo. In any case, a very, very good film.. 5 stars
7/06/05 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Bought the dvd, and I still don't understand much of it. 4 stars
6/14/05 jameth burketh Decent - Pretty pictures do not horror make. The chills are all in the sound effects. 3 stars
4/29/05 ThroneofBlood Beautifully chilling 5 stars
4/26/05 E-FUNK Scary, engaging and completely confusing. Like an Asian David Lynch film. Loved it. 5 stars
4/09/05 K. Sear Mediocre at best. One of the most patchy plots I've seen in a while. 2 stars
4/02/05 irene diaz Very scary! 5 stars
3/14/05 andrea the saddest movie i've ever seen 5 stars
12/17/04 Max The Silent A visually stunning, emotionally devastating horror masterpiece. 5 stars
12/11/04 Mark Started well but ending left Me in a state of total confusion. 3 stars
10/09/04 LilyM Scary scenes. Mysterious enough to keep you watching. Still don't understand all of it. 4 stars
9/28/04 sakia ilahi wicked movie 5 stars
9/05/04 Kyle Scary as hell. 5 stars
8/31/04 julia good film! it makes you think hard! 5 stars
8/30/04 Sakurazawa I saw it, and it gets better the more you watch it~! 5 stars
8/25/04 Zepherina Not sure i understand whats going on...deffo worth a look tho! 4 stars
8/24/04 paul best thriller ever, Chilling and shocking 5 stars
8/07/04 dimitri pater very disturbing, REAL horror! 5 stars
5/14/04 Cria Lovely and sad 5 stars
4/01/04 Sumi Nice 5 stars
2/26/04 maria cute 5 stars
2/25/04 koy dragging, it's got an unexpected ending 3 stars
2/22/04 piper NICEMOVIE 5 stars
2/22/04 paulyn it's very creepy and shoking 5 stars
2/18/04 Haryanto Im Soo Jung(Su-Mi) is pretty, this movie left me depressed for days 5 stars
2/11/04 elaine meris this movie is quite creepy yet exiting 5 stars
2/09/04 Frances Ellen Alabanza Creepy!!! 5 stars
2/07/04 the Nobleman cool movie! a tale with a twist 4 stars
2/07/04 Marco,Marvin and mimmo A very scary and groovy film 4 stars
2/05/04 chuvaaaaaa! the two girls are some kind of BITCH 1 stars
1/29/04 Ryan Vargas spooky, nice story,.. cool twist 4 stars
1/20/04 Jenn Scary but somehow sad. A slave of guilt can never be free. 5 stars
12/26/03 Jamong beautiful movie 5 stars
12/25/03 jiah siuk 3 stars
12/18/03 Bob gratest movie ever 5 stars
12/12/03 John Watson a very nice movie 5 stars
11/28/03 Jon Warner A horror masterpiece. Beautiful cinematography, genuinely frightening. 5 stars
11/27/03 DA Un Chung it was great!!! 5 stars
11/26/03 maycry take a look at this , a video clip about actors of a tale of two sisters 5 stars
11/14/03 Jon Made the hair on the back of my neck stand 5 stars
11/12/03 zeroth' solaris what asad story... yet keeping you up on your toes the whole screening through.. exquisite! 5 stars
10/30/03 YBS Full of suspense, a credit to the director,excellent!! 5 stars
10/25/03 Airwind I dun get it... is she on 3 personality? 4 stars
10/25/03 Sky People who dont like it must be soo stupid. 5 stars
10/23/03 Sarah Amin excellent 5 stars
10/22/03 Kookoo i find being locked in a cupboard quite a turn-on 5 stars
10/22/03 kelly osbourne my cock smells of cheese 5 stars
10/22/03 Captain bengalaas man i peed in the cinema when i saw this and my mom spanked me when i got home 5 stars
10/22/03 derek the scariest movie i've ever seen 5 stars
10/22/03 Sean Fitzjohn Big let down on the scary bits... could have been a lot creepier...confusing storyline. 2 stars
10/13/03 isaac creepy 5 stars
10/13/03 Jonatan Sandberg Forsgren Saw it on the international filmfestival in UmeŚ it rocked! too bad i can't find itanywhere 5 stars
10/11/03 Kelly Lee It's the lamest movie ever made,can't compare to Local folklore.and it's way typical 1 stars
10/11/03 Foo Seok Hwee Pretty scary 4 stars
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  17-Dec-2004 (R)
  DVD: 29-Mar-2005



Directed by
  Kim Ji-Woon

Written by
  Kim Ji-Woon

  Yeom Jeong-Ah
  Im Soo-Jung
  Moon Geun-Young

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