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"A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23

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"A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23

Old 09-26-12, 04:00 PM
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"A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23






A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)



Selected by ororama



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These "October Horror Movie Challenge" threads are for the discussion of the films in the 31 FILM SUBSET list.

MAIN THREAD | LIST THREAD

The plan is for everyone to watch this film on the October day in the thread title, and to start discussing it the morning of the following day.
You may start discussion early if you want, but the preferred plan is for this to be as much of a group exercise as possible, with all of us viewing it "together" and discussing after.

Of course, you are totally encouraged to participate in these threads even if you haven't watched the movie on the designated day.
Even if you haven't watched it in years, or are not participating in the Horror Challenge, please feel free to chime in.



Spoiler tags are unnecessary in here, so if you have yet to see the film BEWARE OF SPOILERS.

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Old 10-24-12, 08:40 AM
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Re: "A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23

After a brief prologue which establishes that something went badly wrong in a woman's family in the recent past, A Tale of Two Sisters jumps into the middle of these events, but leaves the viewer to figure out the relationships and the source and nature of the family discord which quickly becomes apparent.

The non-linear structure of the plot, the flashbacks, dreams and dreams within dreams, and the deliberate pace require close attention to and quick interpretation of what is happening, but the effort pays off. This is not a movie that will be to everyone's taste. It is necessary to evaluate and re-evaluate the psychology of the characters and re-interpret events as addition details are provided. On more than one occasion, there are revelations that radically undermine expectations of where the story is going.

The cinematography and sound design are outstanding, and the performances are excellent, particularly Lim Su-jeong as the older sister and Yum Jung-ah as her stepmother.

If you're open to something different in horror and are willing to put a little effort into your viewing, this is a movie that I would recommend watching. I would think that fans of Cure, The Eye and The Others would enjoy A Tale of Two Sisters.
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Old 10-24-12, 09:57 PM
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Re: "A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23

I usually am against confusing asian horror movies not sure why but find them hard to follow, however this striked up a huge conversation with my signifcant other and made for a fun experience. This was a well done film, definitely not for people who get confused easily or don't have the patience. I personally loved it but I agree that a 2nd viewing is necessary for understanding the film better as a whole. I didn't even realize until after seeing this that I had already saw the american remake of it under a different name; so I did guess the first twist but the 2nd twist made things really interesting and kept me guessing until the very end. Thanks for your suggestion!
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Old 10-25-12, 01:32 AM
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Re: "A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23

This film is one of my five favorite films--ever. Not just one of my favorite Korean films, or even one of my favorite horror films, but one of my favorite films. Period. Full stop. I've seen it several times since it first hit DVD, and every time that I see it, I respect it more.

If you like the film, you really owe it to yourself to find a copy of the two-disc special edition DVD. The second disc contains a bunch of fascinating interviews with the cast and crew. All of the interview subjects are incredibly self-effacing; at one point, the director says that he thinks that he failed to make A Tale of Two Sisters into a good movie. If you don't think that the actress who played the younger sister was very good, check out her interviews to see the real her. (The actress in question, Geun-Young Moon, was also in the Korean megahit My Little Bride).

I think that A Tale of Two Sisters is one of the saddest movies that I've ever seen. The score by Byung-Woo Lee helps set the melancholy mood early on--the music that underscores the girls' arrival at the house and their run to the lake is my favorite piece of music in the world. If you want, you can hear that piece here:


To me, perhaps the most disturbing thing about the film, and one that I didn't initially notice but later found out about after reading everything I could find concerning the film, is
Spoiler:
the element of incest that occurs. At one point, the stepmother has sex with the father, and he looks rather disgusted and ashamed about the whole thing. It's not until later, when we've found out that Soo-Mi has BEEN the stepmother all along, that we understand why the father had such a look of self-loathing--he'd slept with his own daughter.


By the way, fans of Takashi Miike might find it interesting that Jee-woon Kim, the director of A Tale of Two Sisters, also directed The Quiet Family, which Miike remade as The Happiness of the Katakuris. Kim also made the incredible I Saw the Devil from a couple of years back.

Sorry for the rambling tone of this post, but I get really excited about A Tale of Two Sisters.
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Old 10-25-12, 06:36 AM
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Re: "A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23

I think you missed something big. There was no incest. The father gets up and leaves the SisterMum because he knows it is wrong to sleep with his daughter. He goes downstairs to sleep instead. Later Crazy Sister goes downstairs to check on her dad and gets into a fight with herself playing SisterMum. I don't know if SisterMum wanted to have sex or not but Dad wasn't having any of that.
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Old 10-25-12, 10:42 PM
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Re: "A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23

It's rare that a film can pull off so many twists as ATTS and still be compelling. I'll have to lookup the folk tale it was based on, I wonder how much overlap there is. Maybe the source would illuminate some of the movie for me.
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Old 10-26-12, 01:29 AM
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Re: "A Tale of Two Sisters" Reviews/Discussion - 2012 Horror Challenge: Day 23

Did you guys think the ghost were real? I did for a few reasons. The main reason I think the ghosts are real is the uncle wife seen the girl under sink. I also think the the ghost was possessing the lady basically reenacting the cabinet falling on her.

However, I think the last ghost scene where the step mom dies was all in the sister's head. I have to watch it again though.
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