Twisted siblings in unnerving Korean horror
OPENS AUGUST 13, CERT 15, 115 MINS
Asian horror-unsentimental, intelligent and deadly serious?is pretty much unimpeachable right now, so no surprise that this dark gem should emerge from Korea. Kim Ji-woon has previously dealt in black comedy (The Foul King), but here adopts the language of horror to spin a tangled tale of grief, dysfunction and regret. The outline is slight: sisters Soo-mi (Lim Su-jeong) and Soo-yeon (Mun Geun-yeong) return home after an unspecified illness and are soon squabbling with their despised stepmom (Yum Jung-ah). Not long after, strange things start to occur, half-seen shapes and scary noises about the house, as the past refuses to go away. It’s a classic premise that the director calmly twists inside out, messing with time and reality as he finds the menace in the everyday while events get darker and minds get damaged. An unsettling ride that demands a second viewing-though perhaps not in the form of the inevitable Hollywood remake that’s already in production.