Friday, August 10, 2012

Housemaid (2010)

Off base remake of a classic Korean film concerns a young woman who gets a job working for a rich family and quickly ends up a mstly unwilling target for their games and, in the case of the husband, advances. It's soon a descent into depravity as she finds out that the rich aren't like other people.

Since the original was made in 1960 I'm guessing that the film amps up the sex and violence- I'm pretty sure the ending isn't as graphic. Having not seen the original I know the ending of this one left me kind of staring at the screen, and had me playing it again and again on my IFC in Theaters screening.

As for the rest of the film I'm not sure what I make of it. The film is certainly crafted for effect- it's aiming to make us all feel uncomfortable- and it does from the WTF opening straight on until the ending. Is it any good? I don't know. It did have an effect on me but at the same time I felt manipulated. What happened- outside of the end- or the almost the end wasn't anything I couldn't figure out.

The film is being promoted as rather sexy and it is, but to what effect. It seems more like a calculated move rather than something natural.

Can you tell I'm mixed.

I'm guessing that had the film not be so heavily promoted the last few months as a hot film in some circles I might have liked it more. As it stands now. Its okay, but nothing special.

Your milage will vary.


  1. I was disappointed with this too. Was ready for something that would creep me out. The maid didn't strike me as a sympathetic character at all, leaving me largely indifferent as to what happened. May have been the point, but as you said, then so what? I didn't see the '60s version either. Maybe it makes more compelling statement about both the ultra rich and the woman working for them.

  2. The family in the original 60s version are the sympathetic characters. They do some terrible things to protect their status and avoid scandal. It is the increaingly psychotic maid who sets about destroying the family unit from within as her mental state and lack of morals grows worth. All in all, a much better story than the disappointing remake with some genuinely shocking scenes that hold up well today. I strongly recommend watching the original

  3. That would make for some difference - i wonder if the original can be found on Youtube? for a while they had a Korean film archive of older movies gaining attention. The shift in antagonism makes sense for these times, but i felt they all (couple, maid, grandmother) had the same kind of 'blah' was hard to find any empathy anywhere. Thanks for the insight!