After unsuccessfully trying to have a baby of their own, Dr. Kim Do-il and his father convince his wife Choi Mi-sook to adopt a child in an orphanage. Mi-sook is connected to arts and ... See full summary »
A group of friends whose leisurely Mexican holiday takes a turn for the worse when they, along with a fellow tourist embark on a remote archaeological dig in the jungle, where something evil lives among the ruins.
Four interwoven stories that occur on Halloween: An everyday high school principal has a secret life as a serial killer; a college virgin might have just met the one guy for her; a group of teenagers pull a mean prank; a woman who loathes the night has to contend with her holiday-obsessed husband.
Jûzô Murasaki is a boy miscast in his classroom, being frequently abused, tortured, beaten and humiliated by the bully Tôru Akai and his gang of juvenile punks. After years of repression, ... See full summary »
After unsuccessfully trying to have a baby of their own, Dr. Kim Do-il and his father convince his wife Choi Mi-sook to adopt a child in an orphanage. Mi-sook is connected to arts and chooses the six years Kim Jin-sung that loves to draw trees. The boy becomes close to the eight years old next door neighbor Min-jee and is attracted to an old Acacia tree in their lawn. When Mi-sook unexpectedly gets pregnant, her mother asks her to return Jin-sung to the orphanage, beginning the rejection process of the boy. When the baby is born, Mi-sook does not treat Jin-sung well, who believes the acacia tree is his mother, and in a rainy night he vanishes. Along the next days, the family becomes insane, disclosing a dark secret about Jin-sung. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Acacia is a film that brings new meaning to the definition of 'slow-moving'. It's a South Korean oddity and addition to the ever-popular cycle of ghostly horrors, eschewing the typical long-haired vengeful female spirits in favour of a creepy kid and a decidedly odd tree growing in the back garden. Despite lots of potential and some hints at something genuinely unsettling, this turns out to be one of those films that's all style over substance.
The running time clocks in at one hour forty-five minutes, but there's only enough plot for a half-hour short. Inevitably, that means lots of scenes are d-r-a-g-g-e-d out endlessly while the viewer checks both their watch and growing impatience with the film's steadfast refusal to provide concrete detail or meaning. There's plenty of attempted spookiness, yes, and a couple of half-decent scare sequences thrown into the mix, but it's nowhere near enough to sustain such a long movie.
To make matters worse, the cast and crew don't help. Writer/director Park Ki-hyeong ably handled the high-school ghost story WHISPERING CORRIDORS, but he does badly here, failing to make much of the premise. It doesn't help that his script sucks, failing to provide even one sympathetic character, and those that exist are underwritten. The wife is miserable and unappealing from the start, while we never get to know the husband. The creepy kid is okay, but the film needs more than that to get by.
It all leads to a distinctly underwhelming climax that solves one plot mystery only to leave another half dozen unsolved. Come the end, you're left wondering 'was that it?' instead of having been wowed or impressed in any way.
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