Tag Archives: The Housemaid

Saturday is Horror Day #76 – The Housemaid (1960), Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 The Housemaid (1960)


Mr. Kim (Jin Kyu Kim) works at a factory, giving lessons to the workers. Unbeknownst to him, one of the young women, Kyung-hee Cho (Aeng-ran Eom) has a crush on him, despite the fact he is married and has two children. But she is scared to say anything so her bolder friend, Seon-young Kwak (Seon-ae Ko) writes a note and slips it into the piano. But his reaction is not what they expected. He tells the supervisor and Miss Kwak is suspended for three days. Never mentioning her own complicity, Kyung-chee asks to take private lessons from Mr. Kim in his home, just after he announces he is taking students. Mr. Kim and his pregnant wife have recently moved into a home that is still a work in progress.  Mrs. Kim (Jeung-nyeo Ju) is pregnant and works tirelessly at her sewing machine to help provide for her family. Mr. Kim decides they need help and asks Miss Cho if she knows of anyone. She refers another worker, Myung-sook (Eun-shim Lee).


This is when things begin to spiral. Kyung-hee, having made great strides in her lessons, finds the nerve to tell Mr. Kim of her feelings and he throws her out, but tells her to come back for the lessons, because they need the money. Kwak overhears what has happened and blackmails Mr. Kim, threatening to go to the police and accuse him of raping Miss Cho if he doesn’t sleep with her. The situation goes from bad to worse when Kwak finds out she is pregnant.


There is some very interesting social commentary going on in this film, including the factory workers 

who attend the lessons in order to appear cultured. Miss Kwak might be slow but she’s smart enough to seize an opportunity when she sees it, and she becomes a holy terror to the household. Mr. Kim has two children. The older, a girl who uses crutches to get around, and her younger brother. The boy is an unmitigated brat and taunts his sister cruelly at every turn. Mrs. Kim works hard but she is frail. Her husband is devoted to her, and he is trying to spare her by giving in to the blackmail of Miss Kwak.


Inevitably, something’s got to give as Miss Kwak becomes bolder and bolder in her demands, terrorizing the couple. Mrs. Kim even blames herself because she wished for a new house, else none of this would have happened. The framework of the film is interesting too, beginning with a couple who read about a case in the newspaper about an employer who has an affair with his maid. As if that would happen.


Watching The Housemaid is like watching an accident as it happens right before your very eyes, one you can’t look away from. I find myself still thinking about it, several days later. I’ll give this film 4.5 Stars

Paranormal Activity: Next of Kin

Margot (Emily Bader) has wondered since she was a child about her real mother, who abandoned her as an infant. So when she is tracked down by a relative, an Amish young man named Samuel (Jaye Ayres-Brown), Margot is ecstatic. Her friend Chris (Roland Buck III) convinces her that her story needs to be told in the form of a documentary, so off to Amish country they go, along with their tall friend Dale (Dan Lippert). They meet Samuel at a restaurant and learn how very naive he is regarding the ways of the world. When questioned how he was able to find her, he explains that he is on his one year journey of discovery, which is allowed within their religion.

They travel to the family farmhouse, and Samuel persuades Jacob (Tom Nowicki) to allow them to stay, as well as to film. Margot is delighted to meet her relatives, and makes inquiries about her mother. But she quickly gets the feeling that something isn’t right here, that they are withholding something, maybe about her mother. They discover a strange church about a mile away from the isolated farmhouse but are told to stay away. Why so far away? And what aren’t they allowed to see in there? What is her new-found family hiding?


First, my biggest complaint is that this film does not belong in the Paranormal Activity series. This is not what I look for when I see the words Paranormal Activity in the title. PA involves security cameras set up to capture any untoward activity, but this isn’t that, as these people are filming a documentary. Second, we’ve all seen this storyline before, strange people involved in strange rituals, either summoning to trying to defeat a demon of some kind. Nothing original here, and nothing particularly interesting. Or scary. The film isn’t bad, just isn’t particularly interesting. I found myself wanting it to be over and it’s not even all that long. I mean, I just watched Shawshank Redemption which is over two hours long and never got impatient for the end like I did this PA. Unfortunately, the film ends in such a way that definitely leaves room for a sequel. I hope that sequel never comes. I’ll give this film 1.5 stars and hope this is the end.

Saturday is Horror Day #70 – The Housemaid (2010), Hobo With a Shotgun

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 The Housemaid (2010)

Eun-yi Li (Jeon Do-yeon) is dissatisfied with her life and her job in a restaurant and longs for more. After witnessing an unknown woman jump to her death, Eun-yi is approached by an older woman, Byung-sik (Youn Yuh-jung) with an offer of employment in a wealthy household. She is to be nanny to the couple’s young daughter Nami. The wife, Hae-ra (Woo Seo) is also pregnant with twins and close to giving birth. Her husband Hoon Goh (Lee Jung-Jae) is a handsome and successful businessman who is away when Eun-yi arrives.

Eun-yi settles into her new chores. She quickly becomes fond of Nami, and feels well treated by Hae-raa and Byung-sik. When the husband does arrive, though, complications begin. He comes to her room in the middle of the night, armed with wine, and she admits him to her bed, beginning a torrid affair.  Not surprisingly, she becomes pregnant and keeps it a secret, but her secret is soon revealed to Hae-ra and her mother (Ji-Young Park), as well as Byung-sik. Enraged by her husband’s betrayal, the wife vows vengeance while the housemaid is determined to have her baby. 


This version of the Housemaid is not to be confused with the 2021 film, which looks like a Spanish remake, but it is a remake of the 1960 film. I haven’t seen that one, but I intend to. There is also a 2016 film called The Housemaid which is completely unrelated and takes place in 1953 French Indochina, which I have seen.

The Housemaid is psychological but also a look at the classes, the rich and the poor. Hoon is a selfish man who thinks only of his own pleasure when he turns to the housemaid as his wife, who is expecting twins and is pretty large at this point, isn’t meeting his needs as a man. He never takes Eun-yi’s feelings into consideration, as though she has none. The wife and her mother are every bit as callous, maybe worse, with some of the things that they do. 


I have to confess that a large part of my interest in this film lies with Lee Jung-Jae, who is very sexy if somewhat entitled. He is a very versatile actor and very sexy. The film is well done and is visually very stunning. I give this film a solid 4 Stars.

Hobo With a Shotgun

A hobo (Rutger Hauer) who is riding the rails gets off at a town that proves to be less than an ideal place to live. The town is under the tyrannical rule of a madman named Drake (Brian Downey), and his two good-for-nothing vicious sons, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman). Cruelty and pain are the order of the day, to be inflicted in any and every way possible. Hobo stays to himself, even though he doesn’t like what he sees. Spotting a lawn mower for sale in the pawn shop window, he dreams of owning it, of starting his own business and making his own way. But the $49.95 asking price is beyond his means. 

If Abby (Molly Dunsworth) ever had dreams of doing something with her life, she has discarded them 

and given up to selling herself on the streets. She does what she has to do to survive, and she is treated terribly as a result. When Hobo stands up for her and gets hurt, she takes him home and cares for him. He believes in her, thinks of her as a teacher, and wants better for her. 

While Hobo is in the pawn shop, admiring the lawn mower he can’t afford, two bullies enter and begin to terrorize the customers and the shop owner. Reaching his breaking point, Hobo reaches for a shotgun hanging on the wall and begins to enact his own form of revenge.


Be warned that this dystopian story is filled with assorted acts of cruelty and a great deal of violence and callous indifference. You gotta love Rutger Hauer as the Hobo, standing up for people that no one else will stand up for, including themselves. I love a good underdog movie. The main villain Drake is appropriately sleazy and disgusting. It’s hard not to root for his demise, as well as both of his demon spawn.  I give this film 3.5 Stars.