Blu-Ray Review: A Tale of Two Sisters

The happy family?

The first wave of modern Asian horror hit the rest of the world at the turn of the century, with the likes of Ringu, Battle Royale, Audition and Pulse wowing and terrifying unprepared and unsuspecting new audiences. Genre filmmaking borrowed generously from national folklore, legends and superstitions. Where Japan led, South Korea soon followed. Whispering Corridors, The Host and A Tale of Two Sisters attracted global audiences. The latter still remains the highest grossing Korean horror film of all time.

After being released from a psychiatric institution, Soo-mi (Lim Soo-jung) returns to her childhood home, a secluded countryside estate, with her father (Kim Kap-su) and younger sister Soo-yeon (Moon Geun-young). They are greeted by their step-mother Eun-joo (Jung-ah Yum), who the pair dislike. This antipathy only grows when Soo-mi discovers injuries on her younger siblings and makes a startling discovery about the past.

A Tale of Two Sisters is a creepy and atmospheric psychological thriller which keeps its audience guessing until the very end. What makes Jee-woon Kim’s film so successful is a mix of mystery with and folklore, beautiful cinematography from Mo-gae Lee and a cast whose performances add an extra edge to the drama. It all makes for a visually appealing and eerily compelling experience. A Tale of Two Sisters remains one of the greatest Korean horrors.

Special edition contents:

  • High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) presentation
  • Original DTS-HD MA 5.1 and DTS 2.0 audio
  • Optional English subtitles
  • Brand-new Audio commentary by Korean Cinema historian Pierce Conran & critic James Marsh
  • Audio commentary by writer/director Kim Jee-woon, lighting cameraman Oh Seung-chul and cinematographer Lee Mo-gae
  • Audio commentary by writer/director Kim Jee-woon and cast members Im Soo-jung and Moon Geun-young
  • Always on the Move: The Dynamic Camera and Spaces of Master Stylist Kim Jee-woon, a brand-new visual essay by Korean Cinema historian Pierce Conran
  • Spirits of the Peninsula: Folklore in Korean Cinema, a brand-new visual essay by cultural historian Shawn Morrisey
  • Imaginary Beasts: Memory, Trauma & the Uncanny in A Tale of Two Sisters, a brand-new visual essay by genre historian and critic Kat Ellinger
  • Behind the Scenes, an archival featurette shot during filming
  • Outtakes, archival footage from set
  • Production Design, archival featurette about the intricate look of the sets
  • Music Score, archival featurette
  • CGI, an archival featurette
  • Creating the Poster, an archival featurette about the iconic original poster
  • Cast Interviews, archival interviews with Kim Kab-su (Father), Yeom Jung-a (Stepmother), Im Soo-jung (Su-mi), and Moon Geun-young (Su-yeon)
  • Deleted scenes with director’s commentary
  • Director’s analysis, an archival featurette in which Kim Jee-woon discusses the complexity and ambiguities contained within the film and why they were important to him
  • Director’s thoughts on horror, an archival featurette in which Kim Jee-woon discusses his feelings about the horror genre
  • Psychiatrist’s Perspective, an archival featurette exploring the psychological reality behind the story of the film
  • Theatrical Trailer
  • Stills galleries
  • Reversible sleeve with original and newly commissioned artwork by Sister Hyde

FIRST PRESSING ONLY: Illustrated booklet featuring new writing by critics Stacie Ponder and Anya Stanley, plus a new translation of the original Korean folktale that inspired the film.

A Tale of Two Sisters is released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 16 August. 

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