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Mario's Shrine to Movies, Video Games, and Animation

A Tale of Two Sisters
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Movies like A Tale of Two Sisters are hard to review because it's one of those films that you could watch many times over and over and still not be sure what the heck just happened.  But it sure is pretty to watch.  A Tale of Two Sisters plays sort of like an Asian Cinderella.  It tells the story of two sisters who return home from a sanitarium for reasons that are only revealed later on in the movie.  Their father has married somebody else after the death of his first wife.  The sisters are distant towards their stepmother, and the stepmother's behavior ranges from obviously forced cheerfulness to downright abusiveness towards the girls.  The stepmother also thinks the girls are doing things to make her life more difficult on purpose.  But the similarities to Cinderella end there when the dead start walking and some truly whacked out freaky things start happening.  The movie tosses out some oddities that may leave you scratching your head.  Even now I still have no idea what happened, what's real, and what's not.  But it all works.  For scares, you can find no better movie.  Director Jee-woon Kim knows how to slowly milk every last bit of tension before springing the goods.  And even outside the scares, the actors masterfully deliver their lines with Shakespearean force, and the narrative suggests deep levels of character interaction and emotional bonds.  Even when you don't know what the heck is going on, A Tale of Two Sisters is truly a work of art.  Korean with English subtitles  Grade: A

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