IFC Picks Up Korean Erotic Thriller ‘Housemaid’

Im Sang-soo film will play fall festival circuit before 2011 release

IFC, which was one of the most active buyers during this year’s Cannes Film Festival, has continued its Cannes-related acquisitions by picking up “The Housemaid,” an erotic thriller from Korean director Im Sang-Soo that drew largely favorable reviews at the festival.

The film deals with a wealthy family and its relationship with a young housemaid; hired to attend to the pregnant wife, she ends up having an affair with the husband.  It is a remake of the 1960 film of the same name by Kim Ki-young. 

The HousemaidAfter the film’s Cannes screenings, the Hollywood Reporter lauded its “sensory pleasures” and said “the two hours seem to glide by imperceptibly,” while Todd McCarthy said “the film’s look is positively voluptuous.”

With negative reviews from the likes Matt Noller at Slant Magazine and Michael Giltz in the Huffington Post, though, the film averaged a B- grade in indieWIRE’s generally harsh criticWIRE rating.

In the press release announcing the deal, IFC president Jonathan Sehring called the film “one of the most sheerly entertaining and sexy thrillers we have seen in years.” 

The film stars Jeon Do-yeon as the maid, Lee Jung-Jae as the husband and Seo Woo as the wife.  Im Sang-soo's previous films include the explicit and controversial "Girls' Night Out," the Ghent International Film Festival winner "A Good Lawyer's Wife" and the homeless-teens drama "Tears."

IFC plans to screen "The Housemaid" at festivals this fall, and then release it theatrically and on VOD and pay-per-view in early 2011.