The Handmaiden ★★★★½

You think you know how it's going to end, and you're right. What you don't know is the 10+ twists it will getting to that ending, as the despicable actions of all the characters become more devious, more convoluted, more shocking, and more sinister. My only small complaint is during Part II, when Chan-wook is revealing all the pieces to the puzzle, he didn't need to repeat quite as many scenes as he did, but that was just two or three brief moments. As a story which spins its devious web around elaborate manipulations, pornography, objectification of women, sadism, and bizarre tortures, Chan-wook lets all hell break loose as he explores the darker aspects of humanity. I'm not going to argue this is anything other than trash, but it's meticulously crafted, breathtakingly filmed trash.

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