Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

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  • Summary: Eun-yi is hired as a nanny in an lavish mansion by businessman Hoon and his very pregnant wife, Hae-ra. When Eun-yi is seduced by the father of the house, she becomes the unwitting victim in a series of traps laid by the women of the house—Hae-ra, her villainous mother, and their seemingly loyal but increasingly bitter housekeeper. Intensely erotic and fiendishly entertaining, THE HOUSEMAID builds to an unforgettable climax as Eun-yi must outwit them and escape their schemes to protect her sanity—and her life—from the vicious family. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jan 29, 2011
    It's a deliciously perverse melodrama.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Mar 4, 2011
    Im Sang-soo has crafted an erotic thriller whose cool beauty speaks for itself.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jan 20, 2011
    The class warfare in The Housemade feels dated, but there's something nicely kinky in this lusciously photographed erotic Korean thriller by Im Sang-soo.
  4. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Mar 17, 2011
    The graphic sex scenes radiate an uncommon heat, and Im can pull off a hugely effective shock when he wants to.
  5. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jan 20, 2011
    An admiring, clever remake of Kim Ki-young's legendary film of the same title from 1960, this version, directed by Im Sang-soo, is at once more explicit than the original and less kinky.
  6. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Jan 20, 2011
    Though impeccably photographed and acted, The Housemaid begins to feel stifling and airless once Im's thesis about the abuses of the powerful starts to drive the film to a foregone conclusion.
  7. Reviewed by: Vadim Rizov
    Jan 17, 2011
    With high production values and a glossily enjoyable mise-en-scene, the film is watchable.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Feb 17, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU INTEND TO SEE THE FILM; I HAVE REFERENCED THE ENDING. The Housemaid is a sexy, gripping, can't wait to see what happens film. No gratuitous sex or nudity just a story that may seem common but with a shocking ending and a quirky lead character. As usual with foreign films my not knowing the culture precludes me understanding the sense of how the action and relationships make the characters do or not do something. When they speak, at times there is no translation. Am I missing some banter? Perhaps it is part of a previous or upcoming translation, yet somehow I feel I am missing the nuance. If not for this flaw, I would rate this film a straight A (instead of an A-). Excellent acting, perfectly staged and shot. A minor issue is the relationship of the lead and friend (?) in the opening sequence and again later in the film. A metaphor on the opening suicide? Relation to the end? Strong believable, if a little melodramatic, but stirring. Well worth seeing. Expand
  2. Aug 4, 2011
    if you find the ending histrionic or excessively and annoyingly melodramatic, it means you have been thinking in a hollywood formulaic manner. it's wonderful to appreciate as a whole, a show-don't-tell movie, has a wonderful soundtrack, and it's sexy. but at the back of my head, i ask, is this an anti-abortion, anti-classist propaganda? maybe not. Expand
  3. Mar 30, 2014
    This review contains no spoilers.

    Whatever your first impression of the title of this movie is wrong. This is a tragic drama of course
    revolving around a housemaid. It is again another fine piece of work from the Korean cinema. The theme is around one of the classic human-relationship problems.

    The movies has excellent performances all around and benefits from actors such as Lee Jung-Jae (New World) and Jeon Do-yeon (Secret Sunshine). Character building is quite adequate with Hae-ra's mom shaping up very quickly. Eun-yi's (Jeon Do-yeon) character get more expressive progressively. I must say the most interesting and most complex character is that of the buttress and Yeo-jeong Yoon does a fine job of acting them at each turn.

    The score of the movie is an original pieces of classical-style and deserves appreciation as such. This is one of the many things that Koreans have mastered so well.

    You'll love the cinematography as well however I found that some of the shots (tracking, hi-angled) were unnecessary. The score, the acting and the plot carry the movie forward so powerfully that nothing else seems to be needed. The settings and the snowy grounds definitely helped.

    To me the movie or the story seemed to have another hidden conclusion. And that is the message of inevitability in life. At times and under circumstances a few steps can seal your fate forever. You can fight to change this slightly but you can change the direction of where the life is taking you.

    Overall if you like dramas I strongly recommend this well-executed movie.
  4. Aug 14, 2012
    A remake of a classic masterpiece is always been a thankless task, but since half a century has passed since 1960, when Ki-young Kim
  5. May 1, 2012
    Grade: C - Not a very bad movie but i didn't liked it much. Beautiful set pieces, visually stunning, pretentious acting, too much holding back apart from a few good scenes. Overall the ending was quite strong which i liked .... erotic thriller that acts like a indie arthouse flick but fails in both ways. Collapse