Monday Movie: A Tale of Two Sisters
The name Kim Ji-woon (also written Kim Jee Woon along with other variations) should be at least vaguely familiar to regular readers - I've previously exalted his languid, existential gangster story A Bittersweet Life and his explosive action-adventure The Good, The Bad, The Weird. Cementing Kim as a director who can turn his hand to anything, his earlier A Tale of Two Sisters is an eerie psychological horror film, brimming with atmosphere and tension.
But while a lot of directors can churn out self-effacing genre films, what I really like about Kim is his ability to create vastly different movies and still add his own touch to them - perfectly framed static shots, bold and confident camera movement, an eclectic score, powerful emotions underplayed...
Okay, obviously I'm a fan, and all you really need to know is that this a very clever, very nicely formed horror in the typical East Asian style. The scariest scenes carefully layer dread over ordinary household moments, building and building, until suddenly changing gear and confronting you expertly with what you had hoped would remain unseen.