Viewed – 05 July 2013 Blu-ray
I have wanted to see this critically acclaimed Asian horror for a while, and having enjoyed the serial killer thriller I Saw The Devil from director Kim Jee-Woon, I thought it was high time I checked out his other work. The story follows two young girls, the sisters of the title who arrive back home, seemingly having been away in hospital, to be greeted by their father and step mother. Immediately its clear something has happened within this family, their unease around one another obvious and unsettling. That night the girls begin to experience disturbing events, such as a bedroom closet with a presence inside, running footsteps in the corridor and freaky nightmares.
In the grand tradition of similar movies such as Ring and The Grudge, this plays on tried and tested Asian-horror techniques (yes, we get a scary woman with hair hanging over her face), whilst also offering up a complex and intelligent observation of psychological trauma, madness and childhood innocence. All the cast are good, especially Su-Jeong Lim as the older of the two sisters. At times the scares were predictable and for me the twists and turns towards the end seemed a bit ambitious, the director over-complicating things somewhat, even though a revelation in the final act did knock me for six. And really, what was that blood stained sack all about?
Kim Jee-Woon’s direction is full of atmosphere however and with some very stylish (and clever) camera work and a moving, at times uplifting score as well as a story that did pull this viewer in – I’d still recommend. Yet for real nail biting, hide-behind-the-sofa scares, I’ve seen better.
Verdict: 3 /5
- Top 10 Scariest Horror Movie Moments (gamesbrainsandheadbanging.com)
- Director Jee-Woon Kim talks about making his first Hollywood film The Last Stand (dailyrecord.co.uk)
- I Saw The Devil (2010) (svmovieblog.wordpress.com)
- The Shining Girls is one of the best serial killer tales ever written (io9.com)