Written by: Michael Den Boer on May 8th, 2013
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 2008
Director: Soopum Sohn
Writers: Soopum Sohn,Margaret Monaghan
Cast: Hye-kyo Song, Arno Frisch, Athena Currey, Rob Yang, June Kyoto Lu, Clarissa Park, Constance Boardman, Marcus Choi, Carly Maitlin, Karen Olivo
DVD released: April 23rd, 2013
Approximate running time: 87 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo Korean / English
Subtitles: English (Non-Removable)
DVD Release: Asian Media Rights
Region Coding: Region 1 NTSC
Retail Price: $17.95
Synopsis: After an initial period of uneasiness a young woman named Sookhy, who has recently immigrated to New Jersey to live with her Korean American husband. Starts to settling into her new found life after her arrival her husband introduces her to their neighbors, a free spirited couple who from an early stage expose her to their decadent way of life. Unfortunately for her things quickly turn for the worse, when her husband unexpectedly dies. Not wanting to go back to Korea, she latches onto the couple next door. Will her unhealthy obsession with the couple next door push her over the edge or will she be able to keep her feelings in check?
Though this release of the film is being released on the more provocative title Fetish. This film’s original title Make Yourself at Home, is a more appropriately summation up the events which unfold in this atmospheric melodrama.
The opening act primarily focuses on her transition from the life she had known in Korea and the American way of life. Of course like all great melodrama’s the first act ends with major event that turns everything that had come up to that point on its head. And in the case of this film it is the death of Sookhy’s husband. The second act then shifts towards the bound she is creating with her neighbors. And the final act is a culmination of how the events which have lead up to then have affected her psyche.
Without a doubt this film’s most durable asset is Hye-kyo Song (‘Hotelier’, The Grand Master) in the role of this film’s protagonist Sookhy / Julie (later in the film she renames herself Julie, after the neighbor she befriends). She gives a pitch perfect performance that draws you into the reality her character is creating. This is a mesmerizing performance that is at time’s reminiscent of the type of performances one would expect from a heroine from a David Lynch film.
Not to be overlooked are the performances from the rest of the cast, who’s performances are just as credible in the way they help reinforce this film’s protagonists mounting psychosis. Overall Fetish is a film that relies heavily on misdirection and in this regard this film delivers and then some.
Asian Media Rights presents Fetish in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves this film’s intended aspect ratio. Colors and flesh tones look accurate, black levels look very good and details look crisp throughout. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is minimal.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital stereo mix in Korean and English. Throughout the film characters alternate between these two languages. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Also being that this is a dialog driven film that relies on mood and in this regard the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack are well represented.
This release comes with no extra content and a static menu that offers up two options, play movie or chapter selection. Overall Fetish gets a strong audio / video presentation.