Greetings, and welcome back to Horror Business. We have one awesome episode in store for you guys. In this episode we’re talking about South Korean horror films: 2003’s A Tale Of Two Sisters and 2017’s The Mimic. We are advising anyone who hasn’t seen the films to watch them before proceeding, and both films are available on the Shudder streaming service.
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We start by briefly discussing what we’ve done lately involving horror. We discuss Shudder’s new series Cursed Films, and Justin talks about seeing the films Housewife and Swallow.
Up first is A Tale Of Two Sisters. We begin by giving our backgrounds in Asian horror films and what we’re familiar with, and Justin talks about how it’s a subgenre he’s not quite familiar with beyond the basics. Liam discusses how terrified of J-horror he is and how affected he was by Ju-On. We then move on to discuss how the film marks the shift away from Japan to South Korea as the epicenter of Asian horror. The distinctive visual style of East Asian horror films as they relate to East Asian concepts of ghosts is touched upon.
We talk about the emotionally crushing nature of the film, and how it blends numerous upsetting strains of tone to makea genuinely albeit horrific to behold film. We dissect how the appeal of the film comes from how absolutely over the top every element of the film is and how if it wasn’t quite so crazy it wouldn’t be that appealing. We discuss how the film utilizes many of the elements American horror cinema has taken and overdone but instead uses them to great effect.
We once again talk about how the film takes elements from “psychological” horror films in which oftentimes the supernatural elements are simply in a character’s head and then adds actual real supernatural elements to it, making it that much more horrifying. We discuss the extremely upsetting twist in the movie and how gut wrenching and heartbreaking the depiction of the event revealed in the twist is. We talk about how the film wants you to feel things and cares about your feelings but makes you very very upset.
The fact that in addition to the main character experiencing some extremely psychological there is an actual ghost haunting her is touched upon. Some of the more visually frightening aspects of the film are touched upon. We conclude by talking about how even though the film is very upsetting and sad, it’s undoubtedly a film that needs to be seen because of how beautiful and moving it is in the end.
Up next is The Mimic. We talk about how the film differs from our first feature in that it is far slyer and more stylistic in upsetting the viewer. We discuss how the central premise of the film, while terrifying, was ultimately one of the less upsetting things of the film.
The karmatic aspect a lot of Korean films have towards spousal infidelity is touched upon. We give a brief summary of the film. Some of the more insidious aspects of the film are discussed i.e. how the genuine innocence of a child is used as the ultimate lure for victims of the titular creature are touched upon. We talk about the effectiveness of the final scene and how genuinely emotionally shattering it is.
We discuss at length the idea of how the girl in the film, despite being a manifestation of the creature, is still a child who is legitimately afraid of her father and the creature itself. The “familiar harshness” of the film is touched upon, as is the paradoxically unorthodox approach the film takes to reveal some of that harshness.
We talk about the acting of the film and how real some of the emotional reactions the characters depict feel, the relentless pacing of the film, and how early on the movie establishes a bleak and utterly depressing tone. We discuss how the movie is a rare example of a character who feels a crushing sense of guilt over something that happened and is justified in doing so because they deserve to feel as guilty as they do.
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