In this odd, moody, Korean horror film, two young girls return home after having been afflicted with an undisclosed illness. Their father is withdrawn and sullen, and their new stepmother is abrasive and high strung. As tension among the family mounts, it begins to seem that a mysterious, sinister presence is haunting the girls.
I've been meaning to rewatch A Tale of Two Sisters ever since I saw it 5 years or so ago. At the time, I had watched it late at night while very tired and felt I only had a vague impression of it. It seemed atmospheric and creepy, but I had trouble following the story. Turns out that wasn't just because of my sleepiness; the movie is heavy on mood, but it's twisty, turny plot doesn't seem to answer all the questions it raises.
For some films that might be a problem, but in many ways it's A Tale of Two Sisters' greatest strength. It's a little ballsy the way the film is willing to step off the beaten path of coherence, chasing haunting images and injecting melodramatic plot twists left unexplained until much later (and even then the explanation isn't always clear). For long stretches of time, you feel as though you missed some crucial piece of exposition that would provide context for all the eeriness. The effect is to throw you off your balance, but in a gripping rather than alienating way: you want to find out where it is going, in the hopes you'll finally understand.
This was an excellent kick-off to Your Vice is a Horror Movie Marathon and Only I Have the Netflix Queue: The Third My Nerd and I can only hope I find more movies this good. I am also hoping to watch the American remake, The Uninvited, at some point this month for comparison.