The Housemaid

New 35mm Restoration

(Hanyo). The upwardly mobile dreams of one Korean family turn to sex-stained nightmare in Kim Ki-Young's feverish psychodrama from 1960, which “makes Fatal Attraction look like The Brady Bunch”(Chris Berry). A polite music teacher, whose wife is busy working her fingers to the bone to afford their nice new house, finds himself caught in a love triangle (or quadrangle) with a sweet-faced young student and her wild-eyed friend, who'll stop at nothing to first become his family's maid, and finally their tormentor. Several screams, make-out sessions, rainstorms, looming staircases, and one bottle of rat poison later, the desires of the Korean middle-class male lie in total ruins, unable to be reconstructed-or even believed in again, thanks to Kim's relentlessly delirious visual and narrative assault. Remade in 2010, the original Housemaid is still unrivalled, as unhinged, impolite, and glorious as ever.

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