Although A Tale of Two Sisters has some excellent suspense sequences, it falters badly during the dramatic parts.
Stream A Tale of Two Sisters
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
It's a stunningly creepy specimen of Asian horror.
Masterfully manipulative and bloody scary.
Quite restrained for what's basically a horror movie, and very well acted.
It manages to suspend disbelief without over-taxing the viewer's patience, and boasts at least one terrific performance, by actress Yeom Jeong-ah as a scary stepmom.
No hack job. It has more impact than your Rings, Grudges, Eyes, Dark Waters…out there and it does it with a minimum of actual on-screen scares. Finally, a real filmmaker gives it like it should be given...and it hurts so good.
While all the pieces don't quite add up in the end, as memory, fantasy and delusion collide, the film succeeds again and again at pulling you to the edge of your seat and keeping you there.
Awkward storytelling and spotty exposition reduce it to a string of rude shocks--not even the eventual denouement provides a lucid enough account of where this is all coming from.
Either way, Kim's rather clumsily acted film remains monstrously effective ookiness, with crepuscular cinematography (by the Hollywood-destined Kim Byeong-il) that suggests a nightmare endured from inside a suffocating velvet pillowcase.
Kim weaves these clichés into effectively nerve-wracking setpieces, though between the jumps, A Tale Of Two Sisters becomes mired in ponderous melodrama.