A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

87.

★★★★

Directed by: Jee-woon Kim
Written by: Jee-woon Kim
Starring: Kap-su Kim, Jung-ah Yum and Su-jeong Lim

While torture-porn, shock value, and expendable protagonists have run around with hand-held cameras in horror films of late, the South Korean psychological thriller-horror, A Tale of Two Sisters, takes us back to genuine scares and ostentatious visual sets and costumes that haunt us long after finishing the film.

Just when they thought they were cured…

Released from the care of a mental institution, Soo-Mi (Lim) and her younger sister, Soo-Yeon (Moon), return home to their father and a new stepmother, who makes a cold replacement of their deceased mother. With spine-chilling visions and dreams, Soo-Mi uncovers disturbing truths that make it difficult to discern the boundaries between reality and her own insanity.

With an intriguing look into how death can irreparably rupture the harmony and peace within a family, A Tale of Two Sisters also looks at the fragility of a mind that is broken by guilt, love, and loss. But while Soo-Mi’s psychological imbalance and ambiguous sanity drives the plot, the jumps between her memory, fantasy, and reality, ends up being a little confusing and ultimately disappointing. Nevertheless, in the lead up to the film’s climax, A Tale of Two Sisters masterfully uses colors, textures, and dark spaces, to tickle our imaginations into scaring ourselves more than anything the film actually delivers on a silver plate of reveals.

 

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