Advance warning: Bitching and moaning follow:
I’m official worn out by Ki-Hyung Park. After struggling through Whispering Corridors (which Heidi loved) and now Acacia, I’ve come to the conclusion that this guy needs a break from horror.
In Acacia Do-il Kim (Jin-geun Kim) and his wife are having trouble having kids, so they adopt a child named Jin-seong (Oh-bin Mun). The child draws creepy pictures and is convinced his mother (who passed away) is alive as a tree. The family finally has a baby of their own and Jin-seong is jealous. He acts violent and does crazy things until he finally runs away- or did he?
Take fabulous Asian horror films like Ringu, Kairo and Ju-on: The Grudge and then divide the horror in half, multiple the drama and subtract atmosphere and you get a dull wannabe horror film- just like Whispering Corridors. Ki-Hyung Park doesn’t know the meaning of scary, but man does he try and try and try- you can’t hate a man for putting forth the effort can you? Tree branches covered in flowers swooping down and accidentally scratching a guy in the face isn’t scary. CG ants crawling on a guy isn’t scary. Last but not least, constantly squishing bugs isn’t scary- it’s just gross. Oh and I can’t forget the yarn! Man is red yard scary or what? Ki-Hyung Park fills rooms with creepy red yard to scare us- it’s weird, so weird! Why do we have yarn? Because Jin-seong’s new mom likes to sew. The connection is uncanny (yes I’m being sarcastic).
The story carries little suspense and bores you a good quarter of the time. The only redeemable factor in this film is the lead child played by Oh-bin Mun. This kid was as creepy as the girl in Phone and the boy in Pet Sematary and New Nightmare. The way he projects hate with his eyes is something no little boy should be able to do and yet he has mastered it. I could sit through this film again just because of him and when he’s off screen I’ll just go get a glass of milk or something.
What really made this movie worthy of becoming a coaster for my milk is the finale. I’m getting so sick of these drama/thrillers that pretend to be a horror film until the last act and then they throw the curve ball at you- there’s no ghosts! There’s nothing scary! It’s all just in our stupid minds, man we were fooled yet again! Even if this had come out years ago, the way the story unfolded did nothing for me. We understand what happened and yet Park insists on giving us flashback after flashback to make sure we got it. Yeah I got it- and it sucked.
If you like A Tale of Two Sisters but can stand an extremely dumbed down version of it, then Acacia might be for you. Ki-Hyung Park needs to avoid horror and stick to drama where he would feel more comfortable- but some of you like the genre stew. When Tartan releases this flick in the US, I say make this your last option on your list of films to check out because there are so many cool flicks like Oldboy and H out there.