IMDb > Acacia (2003)
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Acacia (2003) More at IMDbPro »Akasia (original title)

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Ki-hyeong Park (writer)
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Release Date:
17 October 2003 (South Korea) See more »
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... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
1 win & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Never adopt the freaky kid! See more (21 total) »


  (in credits order)
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

Directed by
Ki-hyeong Park 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Ki-hyeong Park  writer

Produced by
Sungkyu Kang .... co-producer
Ki-hyeong Park .... co-producer
Yeong-shik Yu .... co-producer
Original Music by
Man-Sik Choi 
Cinematography by
Hyeon-je Oh 
Film Editing by
Sung-Won Hahm  (as Seong-weon Ham)

DistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Akasia" - South Korea (original title)
"Root of Evil" - USA (video title)
See more »
Rated R for violence and some language
103 min
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Philippines:R-13 | Singapore:PG (edited for re-rating) | Singapore:NC-16 (original rating) | South Korea:15 | Sweden:15 | UK:15 | USA:R


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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful.
Never adopt the freaky kid!, 14 March 2015
Author: BA_Harrison from Hampshire, England

After unsuccessfully trying for a baby, Dr. Kim Do-il (Jin-geun Kim) convinces his reluctant wife Choi Mi-sook (Hye-jin Shim) to visit the local orphanage, where they decide to adopt Jin-seong (Oh-bin Mun), a creepy young lad who draws disturbing Edvard Munch-style pictures (which wouldn't make him my first choice, but then perhaps I've seen way too many horror films). Once at his new home, their new son forms a strange attachment to the sickly acacia tree in the garden, and befriends the equally frail girl next door, Min-ji (Na-yoon Jeong).

Mi-sook struggles to make Jin-seong feel wanted—a task made harder by her unsupportive mother, who openly voices her opinion that adoption was a mistake—but things go from bad to worse after Mi-sook discovers that she is pregnant. When the baby is born, Jin-seong feels rejected and starts to pose a threat to the new arrival, and, as family life becomes more strained, the boy's strange attachment to the acacia grows stronger. After an argument with his adoptive mother, Jin-Seong declares that the tree is his dead mother, and mysteriously disappears.

With their adopted son missing, Kim Do-il and Choi Mi-sook's relationship rapidly breaks down. Meanwhile, Mi-sook's mother coughs up blood after an acacia bloom falls on her face and Kim Do-il's father is attacked and killed by the ants that guard the tree. Is the acacia really the reincarnation of Jin-seong's real mother, taking revenge on those who have wronged her son? And what is the sinister secret that eventually drives Mi-sook to homicidal madness?

Trees can be pretty scary: the ominous tree outside the young boy's bedroom window in Poltergeist, the terrifying trees of The Evil Dead, the baby-eating tree in The Guardian, and even the grouchy apple trees in The Wizard of Oz—all of them decidedly unsettling. The acacia tree in this lacklustre K-horror is rather weak by comparison, striking out with flowers and insects… hardly the stuff of nightmares.

The real horror of this film is not its titular tree, which actually looks rather tranquil and nonthreatening throughout, but rather the twist of fate and chain of events that ultimately results in tragedy and suffering—but it is all told at such a dull pace that it proves totally unengrossing. Director Ki-hyeong Park has clearly spent a lot of effort on making his film look as stylish as possible, delivering some admittedly striking imagery, but with such dreary storytelling, very little in the way of tension, and a muddled ending that required way more concentration and patience than I cared to give, Acacia leaves a lot to be desired.

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