Sunday, March 14, 2010

The MARCH of Death, Day 13: A Tale of Two Sisters

If ever there was an apt film title, this is it. Remade in The States as The Uninvited, Ji-woon Kim’s A Tale of Two Sisters is a movie that explains itself in the title card, but not so much on celluloid. Centering around (of course) two sisters, the plot slowly begins to engulf and confuse both the siblings and viewer. Having been away at a “hospital,” you open with the kids returning home to their father and stepmother. In many ways little sis is just happy to be home, but as she is very easily influenced by her older sibling, she soon begins to resent the current family arrangement as well. To say that this stepmother is wicked is perhaps not accurate. This particular version is much more conniving and secretive. You see, there is an unspoken evil/ill inside this family’s home, a cloud hanging mercilessly overhead. Strange things are seen, felt, and heard. And although this is a Korean film, it is not wise to lump it into the Asian ghost wave of filmmaking. Don’t think of The Ring, The Grudge, or even The Eye. Two Sisters has none of their kinetic energy or camerawork. The cinematography is stunning, with color bringing to light some exceptional visual queues. The pace is slow, deliberate, frustrating at times. If you’re looking for crap your drawers scares, you probably wont find it here. What you will find is a profound sense of dread and a tremendous amount of fear for the well being of our two young protagonists. A Tale of Two Sisters won’t quite shock you, but it will creep it’s way up and down your spine with equal parts tension and tease.

A Tale of Two Sisters

Director: Ji-woon Kim
Starring: Kap-su Kim and Jung-ah Yum
7/10 Farmhouses ~ Chris Conduit

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