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.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • Mr. Im's voluptuous visual palette combined with the dexterity of his cast is enough to hold your interest and, at times, to make you hold your breath.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • The secret weapon of "The Housemaid'' - the reason it works at all - is Jeon in the title role.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Despite eccentric touches, like a handheld street-shot overture and Grand Guignol Omen references, there's little difference between this story and soap-opera intrigue.

    Nicolas Rapold — Village Voice

  • This story is told by writer-director Im Sang-soo with cool, elegant cinematography and sinuous visual movements.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • 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.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • The situation continues to fester, the balance of power shifts back and forth among some wonderfully defined characters.

    J. R. Jones — Chicago Reader

  • While the film grows increasingly preposterous in its final act, the enigmatic performances of Youn and Jeon carry the day.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • "The Housemaid" scores on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • 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.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • 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.

    Justin Chang — Variety

  • It is beautifully shot, with impeccable acting and visual detail. Now, if someone will just explain the brief, head-scratching coda.

    V.A. Musetto — New York Post

  • An unnecessary remake of Kim Ki-young's 1960 Korean masterpiece.

    Liam Lacey — Globe and Mail

  • A flamingly sexy soap opera whose satire on high society is sometimes as savage as Claude Chabrol's La ceremonie.

    Maggie Lee — Hollywood Reporter

  • Even with the piece wobbling between dark psychology and campy soap, the cast is compelling as it navigates the uncertainty.

    Sheri Linden — Los Angeles Times

  • Quick to show its characters' skin but less inclined to explore what lies beneath it.

    Michael Nordine — Film Threat

  • With the honourable exception of a film-saving Byung-sik, the characters are too unpleasant and two-dimensional to keep it together.

    Mayer Nissim — Digital Spy

  • ...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.

    Philip Martin — Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

  • Exudes a surreal sense of deranged domestic privilege.

    Nick Schager — Lessons of Darkness

  • 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.

    Simon Miraudo — Quickflix

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