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Overall Rating
4.27

Awesome60%
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 Peter Sobczynski

"There isn't an original idea or scare to be had in its 115 minutes"
2 stars

Thanks to the success of things like “The Ring” and “The Grudge”, multiplexes are quickly filling up with Americanized remakes of the top hits of the current wave of horror films that has been sweeping Asia; the early part of next year alone promises retreads of “The Ring 2” and “Dark Water” and I suppose it is only a matter of time before someone announces a remake of “Audition” to feature Mandy Moore. In a parallel development, many of the original films are now making their way to arthouses so that fans of the genre can see them on the big screen instead of on a fifth-generation videotape. Unfortunately, the drawback has been that while many of these films have sounded promising in theory, the actual films have rarely lived up to the hype.

The latest to make it to these shores is“A Tale of Two Sisters”-another film (this time from South Korea) in which innocent people in remote houses are terrified by ghostly children, whose hair invariably hangs in front of their faces, who like to jump out of nowhere and scare people while seeking revenge for the sins of the past. This time around, a pair of sisters return home to their distant father and evil stepmother after an unexplained hospital stay. Before long, stange things begin to happen; closests are filled with mysterious clothes, a dinner guest goes into hysterics for no reason and there appears to be a little girl hiding underneath the kitchen counter. Most, but not all, of the proceedings are explained in a series of revelations that will come as a surprise to precious few viewers.

A pastiche of such hits as “The Sixth Sense”, “The Ring” and “Ju-On: The Grudge”, there isn’t an original idea or scare to be had in its 115 minutes. It has been put together with a certain amount of style, I suppose, but that only goes so far before it becomes apparent that, like too many recent examples of the genre, the filmmakers apparently have no other scare tactics at their disposal other than having people suddenly pop into the frame while the soundtrack goes nuts. Fans of such films might get a kick or two out of it but for anyone else, the recent rumor that the upcoming American remake (Dreamworks has already snagged the rights) may be turned into a star vehicle for the Olsen twins will prove to be something far scarier than anything on the screen.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8251&reviewer=389
originally posted: 12/10/04 15:58:09
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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 film....best 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 Umeå 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
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Dec-2004 (R)
  DVD: 29-Mar-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  N/A


Directed by
  Kim Ji-Woon

Written by
  Kim Ji-Woon

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



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