A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
"Janghwa, Hongryeon" (original title)

R  |   |  Drama, Horror, Mystery  |  13 June 2003 (South Korea)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 40,613 users   Metascore: 65/100
Reviews: 233 user | 292 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family.


(as Kim Jee-woon)


(screenplay) (as Kim Jee-woon)
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

15 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Audition (1999)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A widower takes an offer to screen girls at a special audition, arranged for him by a friend to find him a new wife. The one he fancies is not who she appears to be after all.

Director: Takashi Miike
Stars: Ryo Ishibashi, Eihi Shiina, Tetsu Sawaki
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, In-seo Kim
Shutter II (2004)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young photographer and his girlfriend discover mysterious shadows in their photographs after a tragic accident. They soon learn that you can not escape your past.

Directors: Banjong Pisanthanakun, Parkpoom Wongpoom
Stars: Ananda Everingham, Natthaweeranuch Thongmee, Achita Sikamana
Dark Water (2002)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A mother and her 6 year old daughter move into a creepy apartment whose every surface is permeated by water.

Director: Hideo Nakata
Stars: Hitomi Kuroki, Rio Kanno, Mirei Oguchi
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Byung-hun Lee, Woo-sung Jung
Thirst (2009)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hae-suk Kim
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Things go wrong for a high ranking mobster when he doesn't proceed by his boss's orders.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Jeong-min Hwang, Yu-mi Jeong, Ku Jin
Ring (1998)
Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Ruthlessly murdered by her father, the ghost of a seer's daughter kills all those who watch a weird video after 7 days; unless the viewer finds the escape clause.

Director: Hideo Nakata
Stars: Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani, Yûko Takeuchi
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A mysterious and vengeful spirit marks and pursues anybody who dares enter the house in which it resides.

Director: Takashi Shimizu
Stars: Megumi Okina, Misaki Itô, Misa Uehara
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After a thirteen-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a six-year-old boy, Guem-Ja Lee seeks vengeance on the man truly responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An Asian cross-cultural trilogy of horror films from accomplished indie directors.

Directors: Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Bai Ling, Byung-hun Lee, Kyoko Hasegawa


Credited cast:
Kap-su Kim ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Woo Ki-Hong ...
Dae-yeon Lee ...
Su-mi's Doctor
Seung-bi Lee ...
Park Mi-Hyun ...
Mrs. Bae (Su-mi's and Su-yeon's Mother)


Two sisters who, after spending time in a mental institution, return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother. Once there, in addition to dealing with their stepmother's obsessive and unbalanced ways, an interfering ghost also affects their recovery. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Our sorrow was conceived long before our birth See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 June 2003 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

A Tale of Two Sisters  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$94,923 (Hong Kong) (22 August 2003)


$95,697 (Hong Kong) (22 August 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


In the original story, the sisters' names are Janghwa and Hongryeon (Rose Flower and Red Lotus). In the movie, they are Su-mi and Su-yeon (still mean Rose and Lotus). See more »


In the hospital scenes, there is no scar on the back of Su-mi's hand. See more »


Eun-ju: Do know what's really scary? You want to forget something. Totally wipe it off your mind. But you never can. It can't go away, you see. And... and it follows you around like a ghost.
See more »


Remade as The Uninvited (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Better than all the Ringu's, Ju-on's and Jian Gui's together!!
30 April 2005 | by (the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls) – See all my reviews

Perhaps I'm one of the only avid horror fans who thinks that the recent overload of Asian shockers is so over-hyped! Films like "Ringu" or the "The Eye" – which are praised all over the world – simply didn't convince me and they looked more boring than frightening. Well, this blunt opinion doesn't go for the South Korean gem "A Tale of Two Sisters". This is a stylish and utterly complex psychological terror-tale that REALLY gets under your skin! The plot, based on a local folklore tale, might be a little too confusing to get this film listed among the all-time greatest genre achievements, but the atmosphere and tension-building surely provokes feelings of great respect. This is one of those few films that are impossible to label: the events in "Two Sisters" qualify as mind-bending horror as well as intense family drama and a deeply psychological portrait. Besides a mesmerizing story, "A tale of Two Sisters" also has all the great elements that I feel are usually missing in Asian horror films like compelling music, good acting and innovative camera-work. The mansion were the family events take place is brilliantly illustrated like a truly creepy place where secrets and danger lurk behind every door. Several sequences (like the dinner with relatives or the nightly appearance in the girls' room) are pretty much the ultimate in eeriness. They really made me feel uncomfortable and I do like to believe that I've seen my share of spooky horror. "A Tale of Two Sisters" is a terrific movie-adventure and a definite must see for Asian film fanatics. A little warning for people with a short attention-span, though: this movie forces you to have your eyes and ears focused at at all time. It's also a film that requires repeated viewing, even though no one will never really "get it" for a full 100%.

96 of 130 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Audition vs. A Tale of Two Sisters paperline
My review... sam-murphy-1991
Closet fell down with doors open oriental-sniper
Beautiful Movie. doeafternoon
The Original Tale... amandadawnblock
Discuss A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: