'The Housemaid' Critic Reviews

75%
MovieWeb:   0 reviews
73%
Rotten Tomatoes:   63 reviews
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    67
    There's something nicely kinky in this lusciously photographed erotic Korean thriller by Im Sang-soo - at least for those who don't compare it to the far kinkier, out-there 1960 original by Kim Ki-young.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    60
    Mr. Im's voluptuous visual palette combined with the dexterity of his cast is enough to hold your interest and, at times, to make you hold your breath.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    75
    The secret weapon of "The Housemaid'' - the reason it works at all - is Jeon in the title role.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Nicolas Rapold Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Despite eccentric touches, like a handheld street-shot overture and Grand Guignol Omen references, there's little difference between this story and soap-opera intrigue.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    This story is told by writer-director Im Sang-soo with cool, elegant cinematography and sinuous visual movements.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    Sang-soo does with "The Housemaid" what many filmmakers do with remakes of influential genre films. He amps up the sex and smoothes down the stylistic edges of the original.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • J. R. Jones Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    The situation continues to fester, the balance of power shifts back and forth among some wonderfully defined characters.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    75
    While the film grows increasingly preposterous in its final act, the enigmatic performances of Youn and Jeon carry the day.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    88
    "The Housemaid" scores on so many levels it's hard to know where to begin.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    59
    Writer-director Im Sang-Soo injects a certain sense of otherworldliness in the proceedings -- the final scene is straight from David Lynchland --- which may not make things mesmerizing, but does deliver a consistently odd angle.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Justin Chang Variety (Top Critic)
    This high-end softcore thriller is juicily watchable from start to over-the-top finish, but its gleeful skewering of the upper classes comes off as curiously passe, a luxe exercise in one-note nastiness.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • V.A. Musetto New York Post (Top Critic)
    75
    It is beautifully shot, with impeccable acting and visual detail. Now, if someone will just explain the brief, head-scratching coda.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Liam Lacey Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    50
    An unnecessary remake of Kim Ki-young's 1960 Korean masterpiece.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Maggie Lee Hollywood Reporter (Top Critic)
    A flamingly sexy soap opera whose satire on high society is sometimes as savage as Claude Chabrol's La ceremonie.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • Sheri Linden Los Angeles Times (Top Critic)
    70
    Even with the piece wobbling between dark psychology and campy soap, the cast is compelling as it navigates the uncertainty.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Nordine Film Threat
    60
    Quick to show its characters' skin but less inclined to explore what lies beneath it.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Mayer Nissim Digital Spy
    40
    With the honourable exception of a film-saving Byung-sik, the characters are too unpleasant and two-dimensional to keep it together.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Philip Martin Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
    86
    ...an echo of the 1960 film perhaps, but it's an echo that has been compressed and processed, run through the stomp box that is director Im Sang-soo's imagination.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Nick Schager Lessons of Darkness
    67
    Exudes a surreal sense of deranged domestic privilege.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Simon Miraudo Quickflix
    40
    Im Sang-soo's The Housemaid either doesn't know what it wants to be, or is trying to be too many things at once. Few films can claim to be over-ambitious and half-hearted at the same time, but there you go.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Rene Rodriguez Miami Herald
    75
    The graphic sex scenes radiate an uncommon heat, and Im can pull off a hugely effective shock when he wants to.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Fernando F. Croce CinePassion
    Can't touch the original's spiraling perversity
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Williams St. Louis Post-Dispatch
    75
    The movie kowtows to the old truism that the rich are different - but it does it with a sardonic smile.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Sarah Boslaugh Playback:stl
    70
    Evil seems to lurk in every shadowy corner and the director's choice of a primarily brown palette imposes a layer of foreboding over even the most apparently innocent of scenes.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Gerald Peary Boston Phoenix
    75
    The Housemaid isn't all that deep, but it's consistent fun, on the cusp between art and softcore nonsense.
    Full Review » 3 years ago