The Housemaid Reviews
There's something nicely kinky in this lusciously photographed erotic Korean thriller by Im Sang-soo - at least for those who don't compare it to the far kinkier, out-there 1960 original by Kim Ki-young.
Sang-soo does with "The Housemaid" what many filmmakers do with remakes of influential genre films. He amps up the sex and smoothes down the stylistic edges of the original.
Writer-director Im Sang-Soo injects a certain sense of otherworldliness in the proceedings -- the final scene is straight from David Lynchland --- which may not make things mesmerizing, but does deliver a consistently odd angle.
This high-end softcore thriller is juicily watchable from start to over-the-top finish, but its gleeful skewering of the upper classes comes off as curiously passe, a luxe exercise in one-note nastiness.
...an echo of the 1960 film perhaps, but it's an echo that has been compressed and processed, run through the stomp box that is director Im Sang-soo's imagination.
Im Sang-soo's The Housemaid either doesn't know what it wants to be, or is trying to be too many things at once. Few films can claim to be over-ambitious and half-hearted at the same time, but there you go.