MIFF #7: Despite the fact that I’m not generally a fan of horror movies, every year at MIFF I seem to gravitate to at least one Korean horror film (oh god, the nightmare of the octopus-eating scene in Old Boy). This year’s offering was the creepy Hansel and Gretel with its evil twist to the fairytale.
Eun-Soo crashes his car and finds shelter in the woods when he is led to a beautiful house ‘House of Happy Children’ which is inhabited by picture-perfect parents and three cute children. The next day when he tries to leave, he discovers that the parents have disappeared, the bright colours hide shadows in the house and the adorable kids have started to become stranger and angrier. Things become increasingly bizarre as Eun-Soo discovers secret doors in the woods, violent story books and the terrible secret of the children, culminating in a violent confrontation.
Althought RM thought The Orphanage did the oeuvre much better, the film reinforced the kind of aesthetic that I like about Korean films – the dark storylines, the twisting plots and the shadowy aesthetics.