The Housemaid

January 21st 2011
  • Drama/Thriller,
  • Unrated,
  • 106 min,
  • IFC Releasing
  • Cast: Do-yeon Jeon, Jung-Jae Lee, Seo-Hyeon Ahn, Seo Woo, Yeo-Jong Yun, Park Ji-young
  • Director: Sang-soo Im
  • Writers: Sang-soo Im, Ki-young Kim
  • Producer: Jason Chae
  • Art Direction: Han Ah-Reum
  • Costume Design: Choi Se-yeon
  • D.O.P.: Lee Hyung-deok
  • Editor: Lee Eun-soo
  • Music: Kim Hong-jip
  • Production Design: Lee Ha-jun


Eun-yi, a middle-aged divorcee, is hired as an upper class family housemaid. But soon enough, master of the house Hoon takes advantage of his social position by slipping into her sheets. Hoon's visits become frequent and Byung-sik, an old housemaid, reports the affair to Hae-ra's mother, Mi-hee, who plots to give Hae-ra the control over her husband.

Soon Eun-yi miraculously becomes pregnant and wants to keep the baby. This is discovered by the family and she's forced to have an abortion by Mi-hee despite Eun-yi's plea to let her keep the baby and leave the house.

Mi-hee's plot backfires when Hoon scrutinizes her for terminating his child, even if that child is conceived illegitimately. Her forced abortion turns Eun-yi's mental condition for the worst and she decides to take the matter into her own hands.

Basic Information

  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Filming Locations: South Korea
  • Production Companies: Mirovision
  • Production Schedule: December 2009 - January 2010

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2011 Guide Analysis: "Hollywood isn't the only place that likes the idea of remakes. This darkly comic South Korean erotic thriller, which competed for the Palme d'Or at Cannes this past year, is a remake of Kim Ki-young's 1960 film of the same name. While the little seen original is considered one of the great films to come out of the country, this new incarnation hasn't received as rosy a reaction.

Screen called it "smart but shallow", lacking the suspense and "scary weirdness" that made the original so notorious. Instead, helmer Im Sang-soo has opted for a "stylised study of power", exploring the relationships of the extreme upper class. Yet while it may lack the tension of its progenitor, the slick production values and performances have been praised by various critics, while the sexuality is welcomely overt though overly dominated (no pun intended) by power plays and manipulation.

Certainly those who haven't seen the original and thus don't include it as a point of reference will get a lot more out of this tale of a morally bankrupt family of privilege and the naive restaurant dishwasher who becomes a part of it. IFC Films picked the film up for distribution during Cannes and is planning a release sometime in the first half of 2011."

Trailers & Clips

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Worldwide Release Dates

  • 13 May 2010: South Korea
  • 15 September 2010: France
  • 16 September 2010: Hong Kong
  • 11 November 2010: Singapore