Release Date: October 12, 2003
In my experience, Asian families treat adoption differently than American parents. I believe it is the emphasis we place on bloodlines and family. In most Asian countries, no friendship bonds, and no relationship bonds will ever be stronger than the chains of shared blood. Women who have difficulty bearing children are look down upon by their in-laws and even their own families. It is not a matter of personal choice, but rather a duty to one’s own existence. While I’m not saying that this does not go for many other cultures, I’m sure you’ve all noticed how many more American couples adopt children as opposed to Asian couples.
Acacia explores the bonds between the members of a family that have decided to adopt a child before miraculously having their own.
Kim Mi-Sook lives with her husband, a successful OB/GYN, and his father. She cannot have children, but Do-il, her husband, desperate wants to have a child. Kim Mi-Sook, who is an art teacher, judges a children’s art show from a local orphanage, and notices a strange, but very good piece done by one of the children. She meets this child, whose name is Jin-sung, and the couple adopts him into their home.
Jin-sung is a quiet, talent, and sweet child, though he has a disturbing habit of spending hours with the dying tree in their backyard, and also bringing in large bugs and sleeping with them. Mi-Sook adjusts somewhat poorly to his presence in the house, and soon, she discovers that she is actually pregnant. From then on, the feelings of the family members intensifies. Mi-Sook’s mother comes, though she seems to abhor Jin-sung, and Jin-sung himself feels threatened, especially after overhearing that they plan on sending him back to the orphanage. Jin-sung fights with Mi-Sook and runs away.
The next morning, Jin-sung is nowhere to be found. Strange things start to happen to Do-il’s father and Mi-Sook’s mother. The couple’s relationship becomes increasingly unstable, and disturbingly, the dying tree in their backyard suddenly begins to grow leaves…
Acacia is rather slow for the first half, but after Jin-sung’s disappearance, things pick up quite nicely. The visuals are stunning, especially Mi-Sook’s artwork. The acting is very nice; even the children managed their roles wonderfully. This is definitely more of a psychological horror than anything else. I guess the scary parts revolve around how disgusting people can become in certain circumstances, and how easily humanity can be stripped away from seemingly decent people. There’s definite social commentary on families, and children’s roles/women’s roles.
This movie about as far from lighthearted as you can get. While it is not deeply frightening, it certainly gives you a lot to think about. Personally, I enjoyed it a lot, though it left me kind of shaken, and the beginning could have been cut a bit. Enjoy though; it is a different sort of horror than most the ones out there!
Scares: 4 (creepy little kids though…)
Video: Found it!!
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