Seom (The Isle)
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Recalling both the erotic tension and the surrealist imagery of Woman of the Dunes, Kim Ki-duk's film is set near a remote lake where men come far and wide to fish on anchored rafts. Running a little bait-and-tackle shop is the earthy -- almost feral -- young lass Hee-jin (Seoh Jung), who sometimes sells herself for a price to horny fishermen. On one raft is the morose youth Hyun-shik (Kim Yu-seok), who Hee-jin has quietly taken a shine to after saving him from a suicide attempt. His ham-fisted advances are rejected, but after a second try at suicide, in which he puts fishing hooks in his… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Spring, Summer fans should only have their appreciation of that film expanded by seeing this rougher take on similar themes."
‑ Mark Jenkins, Washington Post
"A gorgeous and grotesque Korean film by director Kim Ki-Duk, who seems torn by his artistic and exploitive impulses."
‑ Carla Meyer, San Francisco Chronicle
"In the (genius) Coen Brother's film The Big Lebowski, Julianne Moore's character Maude is an avant garde artist who describes her painting as "strongly vaginal." Until The Isle, I thought that was simply a funny joke..."
‑ Jason Gorber, Film Scouts
"If you have a strong stomach, then this deceptively calm tale of self-imposed isolation, extreme emotions and fishing will quickly reel you in, and leave its hooks in you long after you escape the cinema."
‑ Anton Bitel, Movie Gazette
"If you can get past the fantastical aspects and harsh realities of "The Isle" you'll get a sock-you-in-the-eye flick that is a visual tour-de-force and a story that is unlike any you will likely see anywhere else."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Beautiful, angry and sad, with a curious sick poetry, as if the Marquis de Sade had gone in for pastel landscapes."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Once [Kim] begins to overplay the shock tactics and bait-and-tackle metaphors, you may decide it's too high a price to pay for a shimmering picture postcard."
‑ Jan Stuart, Newsday
"A creepy, gruesome, gorgeous and flabbergasting treatise on romantic obsession and violent, nasty male-female relationships."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"Sushi for the connoisseurs of the macabre."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Ki-duk Kim has created a provocatively violent and sexual film with an oddly idyllic sensibility. It's a mysterious but ultimately rewarding experience."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"There is little question that this is a serious work by an important director who has something new to say about how, in the flip-flop of courtship, we often reel in when we should be playing out."
‑ Glenn Lovell, San Jose Mercury News
"Daring, mesmerizing and exceedingly hard to forget."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"It's the safest of bets that this is one Asian film that won't get a Hollywood remake."
‑ Harry Guerin, RTE Interactive (Dublin, Ireland)
"The evocative imagery and gentle, lapping rhythms of this film are infectious -- it gets under our skin and draws us in long before the plot kicks into gear."
‑ Rich Cline, Film Threat
"Made me unintentionally famous - as the queasy-stomached critic who staggered from the theater and blacked out in the lobby. But believe it or not, it's one of the most beautiful, evocative works I've seen."
‑ Joshua Tanzer, Offoffoff
More reviews for Seom (The Isle) on Rotten Tomatoes