AKA: Janghwa Hongryeon, Rose Flower Red Lotus
Directed by: Kim Jee-woon
Starring: Im Soo-jung (Su-mi), Moon Geun-young (Su-yeon), Yum Jung-ah (Eun-joo, the step-mom), Kim Kap-soo (Dad)
Country: South Korea, Asian Cinema
Language: Korean (English Subtitles)
Genres: Horror, Domestic Abuse, Siblings-Family
Plot – Spoilers:
Like a lot of Asian cinema, A Tale of Two Sisters is a rich experience in colours and aesthetics, apart from the fantastic horror.
Two sisters, Su-mi and Su-yeon, head to their countryside home and are greeted by their young step-mom, Eun-joo, who initially seems eager to please. Su-yeon who is younger, follows Su-mi’s cues and the new family’s dinner table interactions are awkward and tense with the girls hostile to step-mom while Dad remains distant and weary.
Su-yeon is weaker and more susceptible to intimidation and often complains of torment at the hands of Eun-joo when Su-mi is not around to protect her. As the hours and days pass, it becomes clear to all that something’s not right with the house and perhaps even Eun-joo.
The horror in A Tale of Two Sisters is sophisticated and though you might be familiar with many of the angles and jump moments, the rich visual imagery and beautiful music makes it refreshingly fresh for a movie that is over 15 years old.
Yum Jung-ah as Eun-joo is quite entertaining with her expressions when she goes through wild mood swings and the dinner conversation with her brother and sister-in-law is the best of them all.