Two sisters return to their abusive home after spending time in a mental institution. Unfortunately, supernatural forces appear to interfere with their recovery.
Revisiting the much-filmed South Korean folktale, ‘Rose Flower, Red Lotus’, this eerie chiller is a triumph of sustaining atmosphere — right until it springs its surprise.
Thereafter, Kim Jee-woon has some explaining to do and resorts to more generic means to unravel the relationship between sisters Im Soo-jung and Moon Geun-young and their stepmother, Yeom Jeong-a.
Recalling Rebecca’s Mrs. Danvers and Jack Torrance from The Shining, Yeom gives a bristling display of unhinged malevolence as she fails to cope with Im’s hostility.
But what lingers is the memory of Lee Mo-gae’s camera prowling the creaking house so cannily designed by Jo Geun-hyeon that it virtually becomes the central character. Masterfully manipulative and bloody scary.
Masterfully manipulative and bloody scary.