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(aka "4 Inyong Shiktak" or "A Table for Four")

 

directed by Soo-youn Lee
South Korea 2003

 

Interior designer Jung-won (Park Shin-yang, WHITE VALENTINE) falls asleep on the train home, but wakes up at the last stop. He is not alone on the train. There are unattended two children in the seats beside and opposite him. He learns the next morning that the children were found dead on the train. Soon the child specters start showing up at his kitchen table. His fiancee Hee-eun (Seon Yu, the Korean adaptation of BLACK HOUSE) is impatient about his growing listlessness. His pastor father is concerned about Jung-won's nightmares, but has enough to worry about keeping his church from falling apart. His sister has arranged for Jung-won to take some parishioners home. One of them is Yeon (Gianna Jun, BLOOD: THE LAST VAMPIRE), who suffers from narcolepsy. He takes her back to his apartment while they wait for her husband to pick her up. Jung-won realizes that Yeon has also see the spectral children in his apartment, but she is reluctant to admit it. Yeon has her own problems. She must testify in court against her good friend who killed both of their children in a seeming bout of postpartum depression and her marriage is in shambles. When Yeon faints during a lunch date with her angry mother-in-law, Jung-won is contacted because his business card was on her person. Jung-won takes Yeon to her apartment where she reveals that her mother was a shaman and that she has a similar ability to peer into other people's blocked memories. She is reluctant to do this with Jung-won because she believes what she revealed to her friend caused her psychosis. Yeon eventually relents and Jung-won discovers that the spectral children plaguing him are related to a long hidden trauma from his past (he has no memories before seven years of age). Will Jung-won be able to deal with his tragic past? When her friend attempts suicide, will Yeon be able to cope with the burden of her gift (in addition to the loss of her child). THE UNINVITED, or TABLE FOR 4, was not the source for the like-titled DreamWorks remake travesty (that was based on the Korean TALE OF TWO SISTERS). Writer/director Soo-youn Lee feature debut is a deliberately-paced psychological drama with supernatural elements. Although the two hour running time flows by briskly and there are some grace moments (for instance, Hee-eun's rain story), it is a bit too unfocused with subplots dropped and a little too much ambiguity for its own good. Some of it comes together on a second viewing, but the viewer must then once again contend with some disturbing images (and sound effects) of violence against children and animals that are brief yet disturbing.

Eric Cotenas

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Theatrical Release: 1 May 2003 (South Korea)

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DVD Review: Palisades Tartan - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 2:02:12 (4% PAL speedup)
Video

2.46:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.41 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio Korean DTS 5.1; Korean Dolby Digital 5.1; Korean Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Palisades Tartan

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.46:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:48; with English subtitles)

DVD Release Date: October 5th. 2009
Amaray

Chapters 16

 

Comments

Palisades Tartan's DVD features a strong progressive, anamorphic, dual-layer transfer with Korean DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 tracks. THE UNINVITED has a heavily manipulated color palette with sharp close-ups, sharp (although not always convincing) CGI shots, and softer medium and long shots with blown-out background highlights meant to obscure details). The English subtitles are optional.

A trailer is the only extra. The US release from Panik House is out of print, but features subtitled behind the scenes featurettes but the audio essay is only 25 minutes and only briefly mentions THE UNINVITED while the audio commentary track is bewilderingly in Spanish with no subtitles (that release features English and Spanish menus, so it was meant to cater to the US bilingual community - but it is still odd that the commentary was not subtitled).

  - Eric Cotenas

 



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Distribution

Palisades Tartan

Region 2 - PAL

 

 




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