Beautiful Horror

April 4, 2009

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Le Portrait de Petite Cossette can be considered a horror, but not in a sense that Ring is a horror. It is sometimes creepy but does not have the kind of terror that drives one senseless. There is another particular dimension added to the horror in Petite Cossette and “beautiful” is really the only word I can think of to describe its inexplicably seductive allure.

Beautiful horror is a term once used by the director Kim Ji-woon to describe his A Tale of Two Sisters. The film does not seek to senselessly terrify the viewers, it wants people to fall in love with the two sisters and their story. So innocent is the character of Soo-mi and affectionate is her sister Soo-yeon’s caring love for her, so much so that  when we are revealed to the frightening truth behind their story, there is horror but most importantly a sense of grief. Horror not of the unknown but of the disturbing consequence of Soo-yeon’s love for Soo-mi, and grief for their once beautiful relationship that will only exist in her wishful past and imagination.

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