User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 51
  2. Negative: 3 out of 51
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  1. Nov 26, 2010
    8
    Beautifully crafted, this story stays with you. It's complicated, and it does take a few watchings, but everytime I was able to find a new clue. The unsettling and emotional ride is worth reading some subtitles.
  2. Jun 1, 2012
    10
    I loved everything about this movie. It's one of those movies that will confuse you by the end but after you go back and watch it again things start to make sense. It seems to be marketed as a horror movie but I would say it's more of a drama with some horror elements. Touching story, great cinematography, as well as a great musical score. I can't recommend this movie enough.
  3. KelR.
    Dec 25, 2005
    10
    I intially rented this movie so my girlfriend and I could get some good "scares" for the night, but after watching this movie I was not only scared to death, but highly emotional. This movie messes with your mind, it makes you question what was reality and what was not. I had to watch it a second time to put it all together and in one word it was brilliant. After the second time through I I intially rented this movie so my girlfriend and I could get some good "scares" for the night, but after watching this movie I was not only scared to death, but highly emotional. This movie messes with your mind, it makes you question what was reality and what was not. I had to watch it a second time to put it all together and in one word it was brilliant. After the second time through I couldn't help but tear up, which was embarassing but none the less, that's how powerful the movie was. I loved everything about it, the acting, the music, the special effects and especially the story. If you've liked any asian horror before, such as the Ring, or even if you enjoy a good drama, heck, even if you don't like either I'd still recommend this flick. Expand
  4. M.Daye
    Feb 4, 2006
    10
    Possibly one of the best horror films ever made, but at the same time, it's more of a drama than a horror. Im Su-Jung and Moon Geun-Young, the film's two young leads, are supreme actresses and should be lauded accordingly. The haunting cinematography speaks volumes of beauty. In short, this film is not to be missed.
  5. ErikaM.
    Mar 17, 2006
    9
    The first time I watched this movie, I liked it. The second time, I loved it and it remains one of my fav. movies. People expecting a conventional scary movie will be disappointed. But, if the viewer watches it with an open mind she will be greatly rewarded. Highly Recommended!
  6. AnnikaUnknown
    Sep 13, 2007
    10
    Great film, probably one of my favourites.
  7. ChrisR.
    Jan 15, 2008
    10
    This is my favorite foreign horror film. The cinematography is awesome, the art direction is exemplary, the mood and atmosphere it creates is creepy and very effective. Horror with an artistic soul. The plot is indeed confusing and the ending allows for the viewers own interpretation of "what happened" it is purposely open-ended and yet enjoyable and leaves you transfixed and still This is my favorite foreign horror film. The cinematography is awesome, the art direction is exemplary, the mood and atmosphere it creates is creepy and very effective. Horror with an artistic soul. The plot is indeed confusing and the ending allows for the viewers own interpretation of "what happened" it is purposely open-ended and yet enjoyable and leaves you transfixed and still thinking about it long after it is finished. Employs subtle tension (that bloody bag still haunts me!) Its atmosphere and style is as of yet, unmatched. A work of art. Expand
  8. SariT
    Jan 4, 2008
    10
    Visually beautiful and haunting, and with a great story behind it all. Yes, during the film I was confused, and even frustrated...actually I was confused at the end as well, trying fervently to piece it all together. When I did (and after seeing it again...and again), it became one of my favourite films. It's a crying shame that films like this are almost extinct nowadays, and Visually beautiful and haunting, and with a great story behind it all. Yes, during the film I was confused, and even frustrated...actually I was confused at the end as well, trying fervently to piece it all together. When I did (and after seeing it again...and again), it became one of my favourite films. It's a crying shame that films like this are almost extinct nowadays, and we're given explosions and plasticine actors instead of a plot and a mystery. It's wonderful to see a film that trusts your capabilit yof understanding. An excellent film! Expand
  9. TiarO'S.
    Dec 3, 2005
    9
    Superbly crafted, excellent acting and an intricate web of a storyline that invites the viewers to come up with possibilities and reasons for certain twists and turns. On top of that, this sublime film holds on to some terrifing moments, and shows us that our imagination can cause far more horror than any film ever could. It is also the only film apart from "ringu", in my opinion, that Superbly crafted, excellent acting and an intricate web of a storyline that invites the viewers to come up with possibilities and reasons for certain twists and turns. On top of that, this sublime film holds on to some terrifing moments, and shows us that our imagination can cause far more horror than any film ever could. It is also the only film apart from "ringu", in my opinion, that perfects the overused scene of a dead girl with her hair covering her face. Gave me goosebumps and left me in a state of awe when it finished. An absolute must see. Expand
  10. ChadS.
    Jan 5, 2005
    5
    This sort of film needs a strong denouement that brings into focus all the plot vagaries. "A Tale of Two Sisters" fails to do that. It's hard to tell what took place in the protagonist's mind, and what really happened. Sometimes, there's more than one mentally unstable character; a confusing and unfortunate ploy because we have to distinguish reality from fantasy. A second This sort of film needs a strong denouement that brings into focus all the plot vagaries. "A Tale of Two Sisters" fails to do that. It's hard to tell what took place in the protagonist's mind, and what really happened. Sometimes, there's more than one mentally unstable character; a confusing and unfortunate ploy because we have to distinguish reality from fantasy. A second viewing will clear things up but it might not be worth the effort. Neither young actress are particularly effective. Ji-Woon Kim has talent. "The Foul King" is a better sports film from a non-English speaking country than, say, "The Iron Ladies", or "Lagaan". "A Tale of Two Sisters" is no "Fright Club", and like the equally mediocre "The Eye"(Hong Kong), received American distribution due to the popularity of the horror genre. Expand
  11. DerryL
    May 3, 2005
    3
    It's pretty, nicely shot, but lacking in originality. The script was borrowed -- nay, stolen -- from Mulholland Drive and Eraserhead without bothering to credit David Lynch.
  12. WilliamG.
    Jun 1, 2005
    8
    Thanks in no small part to THE RING, Asian horror cinema has become more accessible for American audiences. Increasingly in popularity is the creepy psychological thriller. South Korea's ATOTS is a prime example, a model slow-burn of a ghost story. This is a movie that relies on its' performances more than anything, and each member of the cast gives solid acting, from the cold Thanks in no small part to THE RING, Asian horror cinema has become more accessible for American audiences. Increasingly in popularity is the creepy psychological thriller. South Korea's ATOTS is a prime example, a model slow-burn of a ghost story. This is a movie that relies on its' performances more than anything, and each member of the cast gives solid acting, from the cold stepmother to the clueless father. Hypnotic cinematography and subtle sound work only build on this foundation. Of course, there is a climatic twist, and while it's not necessarily an original one, it manages to be effective, giving the film increased depth and providing a different definition of horror than viewers might have come to expect. Chances are, those willing to take in A TALE OF TWO SISTERS will either be stupefied or stunned. Either way, this film is an intriguing and intricate puzzle to put together. Expand
  13. SangHeeJ.
    Jun 29, 2005
    10
    Being familiar with Korean folklore, I can say that the story is not original, but is nto stolen from one individual. A story that makes you think, while still being able to scare you. The movie is full of puzzles, and it really makes you think, instead of being stupid and all about people jumping out of closets.
  14. TrevorB.
    Aug 12, 2005
    10
    A horror masterpiece that ranks alongside "Rosemary's Baby" and John Carpenter's "The Thing" for dread-soaked brilliance.
  15. MokuseiK.
    Feb 24, 2007
    10
    This film is a great psychological thriller that keeps you guessing until it's too late. It has wonderful acting and suspense. You may have to go back and re-watch it to see the subtle hints the movie actually gave you as it played out. It leaves you questioning and guessing and most of all, you'll want to go back and check on your little sisters afterwards. Definitley emotional This film is a great psychological thriller that keeps you guessing until it's too late. It has wonderful acting and suspense. You may have to go back and re-watch it to see the subtle hints the movie actually gave you as it played out. It leaves you questioning and guessing and most of all, you'll want to go back and check on your little sisters afterwards. Definitley emotional in the final scene, with a little bit of a scare. It left me not afraid of the closet but the wardrobe instead. Expand
  16. RaymondW
    Mar 17, 2009
    9
    It's been 8 years since I thoroughly enjoyed a movie, but after watching A Tale of Two Sisters, I feel it's the third best movie I've ever seen.
  17. DylanJ.
    Dec 25, 2004
    9
    A cut above the Grudges and Rings of the world. Gorgeous cinematography.
  18. matta.
    Nov 17, 2005
    8
    In the end, the plot revelations are a little too obscure and vague for even a fan of that kind of ending like me, but the scary moments, performances, cinematogrpahy, and direction are so good that it makes up for it. Along with Japan's Audition, easily the scariest of the Asian Horror flicks of the last few years, and maybe ever.
  19. MeganG
    Nov 26, 2007
    10
    A brilliantly executed, beautifully filmed psychological thriller.
  20. May 29, 2011
    5
    The film risks a typical basic structure of the drama (the initial time to engage with the characters, and then walk the last of the story, as with the audience caring about what they are seeing). But the result was a flop, since all the first time in connection with the characters is undermined by horror without rhythm and just sprinkled in are mostly long shots, trying to build anThe film risks a typical basic structure of the drama (the initial time to engage with the characters, and then walk the last of the story, as with the audience caring about what they are seeing). But the result was a flop, since all the first time in connection with the characters is undermined by horror without rhythm and just sprinkled in are mostly long shots, trying to build an atmosphere of tension, however end up leading to frustration. though the picture is beautiful, there are small moments of glory and the eruption of information at the end of the film quench doubts, the final feeling isn't as above average. Expand
  21. Dec 29, 2014
    2
    This film is boring, dull and not scary and has a confusing plot. This is not a good horror film, and is in fact, in my opinion, very bad. It has too little use of sound effects.I do not understand what's so good about this movie.
  22. Nov 30, 2014
    7
    This movie requires multiple viewings to understand the genius behind it. The first viewing left me confused and somewhat frustrated, but after I revisited it, the film made more sense. This movie may be marketed as a horror film, but it's more of a drama with some horror elements in it, so don't be expected to be cowering under your covers the entire time. It's much more of a moodyThis movie requires multiple viewings to understand the genius behind it. The first viewing left me confused and somewhat frustrated, but after I revisited it, the film made more sense. This movie may be marketed as a horror film, but it's more of a drama with some horror elements in it, so don't be expected to be cowering under your covers the entire time. It's much more of a moody experience than a scare-fest. Expand
Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    70
    It manages to suspend disbelief without over-taxing the viewer's patience, and boasts at least one terrific performance, by actress Yeom Jeong-ah as a scary stepmom.
  2. Awkward storytelling and spotty exposition reduce it to a string of rude shocks--not even the eventual denouement provides a lucid enough account of where this is all coming from.
  3. Either way, Kim's rather clumsily acted film remains monstrously effective ookiness, with crepuscular cinematography (by the Hollywood-destined Kim Byeong-il) that suggests a nightmare endured from inside a suffocating velvet pillowcase.