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Hansel & Gretel Review

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When Eun-son (Jeong-myeong) has a car accident he find himself in the care of three strange children in the depths of a forest. His new guardians turn out not to have his best interests at heart...

★★★★

Yim pil-Sung’s feature is the stand-out Korean film of the year — combining the left-centre whimsy of Park Chan-Wook’s I’m A Cyborg with the haunting darkness of Pan’s Labyrinth. The story, which filters that most traditional of European fairy tales through Asian sensibilities, traces the (mis)fortunes of a man whose car crash leads him into the care of three terrifying kids in the “House Of Happy Children” deep in the woods. Though the middle section sags, the candy-kitsch production design by the much-lauded Ryu Seong-Hee (The Host, Oldboy) and a creeped-out score keeps the tension cranked up. Genuinely ghoulish and grim in the best Brothers Grimm tradition.

Genuinely ghoulish and grim in the best Brothers Grimm tradition.

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