I’m Scared. So Su-Mi: #SSFF Night 3

I’ve been alone all week. My girlfriend took to the skies and flew to California with her folks, leaving me all by myself in our brand new apartment a mere two weeks after we moved in. It’s been a long week built on routine. Get up in the morning at 7:30, go to work at 9, leave the office at 6, cobble together some semblance of dinner at 6:30, hit the film circuit at 7, write this blog at 11, finish this blog at midnight, and go to sleep at 12:30 after watching a half hour of Sports Center. Wake up, do it again, lather, rinse, repeat.

I’m not complaining about the monotony so much, because I’m in the real world now and this is how the real world ostensibly works. (That’s what it said in the handbook, anyway.) I’m simply remarking that I’ve done things on my own all week, and that’s not something I’ve ever really experienced for this long, so it’s been weird. The nights, especially. I have a lot of time to think to myself while blogging, and I sort of just stare around this big empty apartment while I distract myself from typing for a few seconds.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because I picked a terrible night to be myself after seeing A Tale of Two Sisters.

Remember how I said that I’d probably be a big baby toward the end of the #SSFF? I was right, only not in the way I anticipated.  After seeing this film, I’m pretty much afraid of life. Hence the reason why I’d like some company right now.

Without getting into too much detail — partly because I don’t want to relive what I just saw, and partly because it would be hard to recount a film I didn’t really even understand — A Tale, screened at Lewis Lab, scared the [expletive deleted] out of me. It’s a 2003 horror import from South Korea, comprised of the creepiest cast maybe ever assembled with very little dialogue, a whole lot of tension and release, and more plot twists than M. Night Shyamalan could begin to dream up. But here’s the central plot, or something:

Terrified sisters try to exorcise their home of two dark forces — their evil stepmother and a vengeful entity — in this ghostly tale. Hospitalized after their mother’s death, young Su-mi (Im Su-jeong) and Su-yeon (Mun Geun-yeong) return home to find a nasty new stepmother (Yeom Jeong-ah). The girls suffer terrifying events, but their father doesn’t care, even though evil lurks around every corner. Can the girls free their home from its demons? [via SSFF]

The film was generally great and positively terrifying for its first two thirds, and then things just got … weird. And still positively terrifying. I’m convinced that anything is made scarier when a.) it’s foreign b.) there’s children and an old house involved and c.) it’s foreign, so basically this thing was intense. Let’s quantify it: I got legitimate goosebumps at least three times, jumped from my chair twice, fought the urge to seek refuge behind my eyelids probably five times, and felt utterly perplexed about thirty-seven times. Silagh, who was in the theater with me, can testify. Here’s the text I got from her about twenty minutes after the film ended:

Good luck on sorting out that movie. I’m researching “Asian horror films” just to try to wrap my head around the genre. Yikes. My head is seriously screwed.

Mine too. Of course, by the time you’re reading this, I will be safely stowed away in a cubicle engaged in my mid-day routine. But right now, as I prepare to hit the hay with a few minutes left until 1 a.m. still afraid to turn off any of the lights in the apartment (I am six years old), I could really use someone to hold me.

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