Friday, August 2, 2013

The Housemaid (2010)

In Asian cinema, the line is sometimes a bit blurred between "horror" and "thriller" and I feel this one is a little more in the "thriller" category.  But Netflix is suggesting it along with other horror movies, so I'm going to review it here anyway.  One thing that I do adore about the Asian horror genre is that the villain is so often female.  And revenge is such an important component, involving both humans and ghosts.

The Housemaid involves only humans, and comes out of South Korea.  It also involves a lot of banging.  Hoon Goh (Jung Jae-Lee) is a rich successful sexy man, and he will sleep with who he likes, thankyouverymuch.  When he is no longer satisfied with his very pregnant wife, Hae-ra (Woo Seo) he sets his sights on their pretty new maid/nanny, Eun-yi Li (Do-yeon Jeon).  Eun-yi really doesn't hesitate at all before tumbling headfirst into this torrent affair.  She seems captivated by the attractive and powerful Hoon, and oblivious to any pain she is causing to Hae-ra.

You know who is not oblivious to this shit?  The older maid, Byung-sik (Yeo-jeong Yoon).  She catches the two banging and decides to take matters into her own hands by informing Hae-ra's mother, who is vindictive as hell.  She convinces Hae-ra, that although cheating is part of life with a rich man, it doesn't mean they have to stand by idly.  They concoct a plan for revenge against Eun-yi, and Byung-Sik realizes that she's gotten in a little over her head.  But there is not only one person with plans for retribution...

So this movie was more of a revenge story, and not straight up horror, but it kept me hooked.  The sex is pretty explicit, and so is the constant wine consumption.  I almost feel like a longer movie, or even a sequel was needed, because it ended sort of abruptly.  The last few minutes were kind of artsy and weird, and maybe I wasn't reading into some sort of symbolism.  Overall this movie was definitely worth a look (it was an official pick at Cannes!) and if you can read between the lines on the ending, please comment below!