IMDb > A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
Janghwa, Hongryeon
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) More at IMDbPro »Janghwa, Hongryeon (original title)

Photos (See all 5 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   34,443 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 66% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Kim Jee-woon (screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for A Tale of Two Sisters on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 June 2003 (South Korea) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Our sorrow was conceived long before our birth See more »
Plot:
A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
15 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
So solid in construction, so consistent in tone and so beautifully disorienting See more (223 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order)
Kap-su Kim ... Bae Moo-hyeon (Father)

Jung-ah Yum ... Eun-joo (Stepmother)
Su-jeong Lim ... Bae Soo-mi (Janghwa)

Geun-Young Moon ... Bae Soo-yeon (Hongryeon)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Seung-bi Lee ... Mi-hee
Park Mi-Hyun ... Mrs, Bae (Su-mi's and Su-yeon's Mother)
Create a character page for: ?

Directed by
Kim Jee-woon 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Kim Jee-woon  screenplay

Produced by
Jae-Won Choi .... executive producer
Jeong-wan Oh .... producer
Jung-Wan Oh .... executive producer
Ki-min Oh .... producer (as Oh Gi-Min)
 
Original Music by
Byung-woo Lee 
 
Cinematography by
Mo-gae Lee 
 
Film Editing by
Hyeon-mi Lee 
 
Art Direction by
Geun-hyeon Jo 
 
Costume Design by
Soo-Kyung Ok 
 
Visual Effects by
Wook Kim .... visual effects supervisor
 
Other crew
Alex Panagakis .... publicist
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies
Create a character page for: ?

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Janghwa, Hongryeon" - South Korea (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for some violence and disturbing images
Runtime:
Korea:115 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Australia:MA | Australia:R (DVD rating) | Brazil:12 | Canada:14A (Alberta/Manitoba) | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Finland:K-18 (self applied) | France:-12 | Germany:16 | Hong Kong:IIB | Ireland:16 (original rating) | Ireland:18 (re-rating) (2005) | Japan:PG-12 | Malaysia:U (re-rating) | Malaysia:18SG (uncut version) | Mexico:B15 | New Zealand:R13 | Peru:18 | Philippines:PG-13 | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:R

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Gianna Jun refused the role of Su-mi because she thought the script was too scary. Ironically, her next project was another horror film, Uninvited (2003), which was translated into English as "The Uninvited." Coincidentally, "The Uninvited" is the title of the American remake of this film.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: In the hospital scenes, there is no scar on the back of Su-mi's hand.See more »
Quotes:
Mi-hee:There was a girl under the kitchen sink.See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Is this based on a novel?
Who are the ghosts that keep appearing around the house? (I.E. from under the sink, the window, etc.) Also explain their presence in the film.
See more »
149 out of 181 people found the following review useful.
So solid in construction, so consistent in tone and so beautifully disorienting, 25 August 2004
Author: Brian Thibodeau from Sarnia, Ontario

A TALE OF TWO SISTERS goes the furthest of any Asian horror film in proving that Asian horror films are the only horror films you really need to watch. As someone whose grown to love Asian chillers, and as someone who lives for those precious moments when a film actually surprises with a twist ending that I didn't see coming (or at least suspect), I was totally blindsided by this film's intricate plotting.

The set up is simple. Two girls return from the hospital after an extended illness with their father to an imposing, rural, Korean-Gothic house. Almost immediately, their snarky, vaguely condescending and suspiciously omnipresent stepmother (Yeom Jeong-ah, who played a pivotal character in TELL ME SOMETHING) is on them, welcoming them and criticizing them in equal measure (a not-unfamiliar Korean trait, though it deliberately borders on parody here). The tension between the three women only grows thicker from there, as the stronger sister (Im Su-jeong) protects - and increasingly, harmfully overprotects - the weaker sister (Mun Keun-yeong) from the stepmother, who may be a stronger threat than either of them can handle and who blithley informs them that life's a bitch sometimes and she ain't gonna go away!

Obviously, relationships in the household have deteriorated to the point of open hostility and mindgames to which only the puzzlingly sedate father seems immune. Just when one wonders how much better - or worse - things were before the girls were sent away, the filmmakers drop the first of two twist-bombs that instantly provide clues to the pre-story, hints at a possible murder in the very recent past and makes the viewer replay the preceding hour in their mind from a whole new perspective. Absolutely brilliant, but it doesn't end there.

The feud continues - and the hints at prior foul play multiply - until the father decides enough is enough and finally turns to outside help to smooth things over, at which point the puzzle starts to become diabolically clever.

I can see where just about anyone reviewing this film has to remain frustratingly vague in regards to its psychological underpinnings, so solid is its construction, so consistent is its tone and so beautifully paranoid and disorienting is its atmosphere that upon a second viewing, you'd be hard-pressed not to stare at your companion's face (or the collective faces of an audience, preferably) instead of the screen as the realization sets in.

Structurally, comparisons could be made to similar supernatural American thrillers (one in particular from recent vintage) where the ending forces you to reevaluate all that has gone before - and, of course, to rescreen the film to see if the director was sharp enough to include the visual cues you obviously missed. Only this time out, supernatural explanations are not required to understand the bizarre, seemingly paranormal goings-on inside the house. Quite the opposite, really, as suspension of the audience's belief in the supernatural is the film's ultimate goal (after gleefully, necessarily trading in spook show delights for the better part of two hours, no less), and a more clever mechanism by which to do it I've yet to see, even in the consistently intelligence-rewarding pantheon of Asian horror.

Truly a fantastic, artistic piece of movie-making. Highly recommended. (Incidentally, if you purchase the Korean Special Edition DVD, there's a lengthy series of deleted scenes that, while fascinating and informative in their own right, ably demonstrate how tricky this film must have been for the director to pull off . Though several of the scenes clearly give away just a teensy bit too much information, once you've seen the film, it's nice to see how they actually further support the psychological intentions of the filmmakers yet, at the same time, had to go.)

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (223 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Closet fell down with doors open oriental-sniper
Audition vs. A Tale of Two Sisters paperline
The stepmother (contains spoiler) thomvic
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Who Saw Her Die? La corta notte delle bambole di vetro Torso Cure The Cat o' Nine Tails
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb South Korea section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.