As I posted last month, several South Korean horror pictures have been pleasing both audiences and critics recently, providing a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing year. The most recent of the four I mentioned is Shadows in the Palace, a murder mystery period piece that Jonathan Holland of Varietydescribed as "an Agatha Christie country-house mystery transposed to the royal court of Korea's Joseon dynasty, given a distinctive femme twist and then drenched with gore."

The film opened in South Korea on October 18 and more positive reviews have followed. Brian Naas of Asian Cinema - While on the Road called it "a terrific fast paced conspiratorial page turner that refuses to take a breath. ... What makes it especially fascinating is the feminist milieu in which the plot unfolds." Maggie Lee of The Hollywood Reporterwrote: "For a film about court intrigue, it raises the bar in creating a paranoid and ruthlessly competitive feminine space, revealing a medieval world of sadistic torture behind ornate interiors, rustling 'Hanbok' gowns and elegant court decorum." Lee Hyo-won of The Korea Timesconcluded: "The movie shines brightly among the renaissance of period pieces on the big and small screens, with forgotten historical figures gaining a human dimension and giving way to a whirlwind of suspense."

The latest box office figures show that Shadows in the Palace is still going strong, finishing in third place for the week. The Korean-language trailer is quite suggestive without being explicit in its depiction of blood and gore, though the reviews mention that there are some hair-raising, needle-torturing scenes. No word yet on any US distribution, though it seems like somebody should pick this up sooner rather than later.