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 »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Hye-jin Shim ...
Choi, Mi-sook
Jin-geun Kim ...
Kim, Do-il
Oh-bin Mun ...
Kim, Jin-seong
Na-yoon Jeong ...
Min-ji
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hee-tae Jeong
Jong-hwan Son

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Storyline

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

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Horror | Thriller

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Rated R for violence and some language | See all certifications »

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17 October 2003 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Root of Evil  »

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$2,200,000 (estimated)
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so disappointing
27 July 2005 | by (Scotland) – See all my reviews

Having just watched Acacia, I find that I have to agree with the negative reviews here. I like Asian, and Korean horror, and I had great expectations for this film. Man, was i disappointed. Watching this, I kept thinking "surely they just do this to catch me off guard later on", and for a while I expected something ingenious to happen. However, I slowly realised that the film really is that bad. It is the cheapest cash in into the Asian horror market I have seen so far.

The basic story is perhaps not even that bad, but the way it is filmed it seems like the most laughable plot ever. The tree as a 'scary' device might be okay if used cleverly, but all the filmmaker does is giving us different shots of...yes, a tree, over and over again. He seems to hope that the tree will do all the work for him in terms of tension and build-up, but it just feels like what it is: shots of a tree. For goodness' sake!

Slow build-ups can be very effective, and a film that presents the viewer with only few glimpses of what is wrong might deliver good scares, but not Acacia. Sure, we get a glimpse of a child on a tricycle disappearing around a corner, and, yet again, meaningful shots of the tree from above, or underneath, or the side, but these scenes are just not scary. They feel silly, especially because you realise that the director means them to be scary. They simply aren't.

Apart from that I agree with some of the other reviewers, that the characters are ridiculous. In particular the one character's 'descent into madness' is laughable. However, what really breaks Acacia is the terrible editing. Its hard to see why scenes were cut together the way they are, but it's bad, and it kills any spark of interrest it might have had. It also makes me feel patronised, because I can see what they are trying to achieve with it, but I cannot believe that they think I would fall for such cheap ploys.

There are lots of great Asian ghost films, and lots of bad ones, but this is by far the worst I have seen. They must have been going through the list of 'what to put into ghost movies', and ticked them all off, but in the end they forgot to add the actual movie.


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