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A Shameless Movie Rec (Mainly for Horror Fans)


Published February 5, 2009 at 9:45 a.m.

OK, so I reviewed a bad movie called The Uninvited this week. (The Unexcited was more like it in the theater where I saw it. Teens were texting and giggling throughout.) And I spent most of my allotted words raving about the superior 2003 Korean horror film it was (very loosely) based on, A Tale of Two Sisters.

I would never have heard about this movie, but someone bought it for me along with a bunch of other Asian horror flicks. When I viewed it with a couple of fairly jaded folks, we were all royally freaked out. After a recent second viewing, I think I understand what happened, more or less, but parts are still cloudy. Parts of the film are dream-like and don't fit easily into the logical explanation offered at the end. The whole thing, however, is a feast for the eyes — for horror, which tends to be dark, it's an amazingly rich, vibrant, sumptuous film. Just the wallpaper patterns in the house where it takes place are gorgeous. Sisters reminded me of David Lynch in both its semi-incoherence and its beauty — and, like his work, it makes more emotional sense than rational.

OK, done plugging. But I hate it when people dismiss the whole Asian horror genre on the basis of remakes that don't even remotely convey the nature of their source material. (It's not just ghosts with long black hair!)

And if you rent the two-disc special edition, you can see some funny interviews with the director, who smokes the whole time as he offers half-hearted defenses of the movie against his apparently very stringent Korean critics.

You'll find more stills here.