This week’s screening at the KCC is Kim Ji-woon’s (김지운) stylish suspense / horror flick Tale of Two Sisters (2003). (7 August, 7pm)
Kim’s filmography is varied and of a high quality. He started with comedy – the macabre Quiet Family (1998) and the hugely fun Foul King (2000), and now seems to be in an action / thriller phase, with the post-Oldboy gangster noir Bittersweet Life (2005) and this year’s most anticipated film, “Manchurian western” The Good the Bad and the Weird (2008), which was such a hit at Cannes and which hopefully will be coming to London later this year. In between was his rather gruesome contribution to Three Extremes (2002), and possibly one of Korea’s most successful Ring-style ghost / horror films, which is the KCC’s choice.
Like many of Kim’s films, production values are high, and a lot of attention is paid to the cinematography. The scene is set in a western-style house, strangely dark, oppressive and Victorian in feel. Rich colours and subdued lighting give a slightly eerie quality. There’s enough scary things happening during the course of the film to keep the tension high, plus a satisfying denouement which makes you want to go back over the film in your mind to see if everything makes sense in hindsight.
The two sisters are played by everyone’s favourite younger sister Moon Geun Young (문근영) and Cyborg star Im Su-jeong (임수정). The father is Kim Kap-su (김갑수) and the menacing stepmother is played by Yeom Jeong-ah (염정아). Highly recommended.