Cinderella DVD Review

 Written by Steve Pattee

DVD released by Tartan Video


So pretty... – Spooky Voice

Directed by Man-Dae Bong
Written by Kwang-Soo Sohn
2006, Region 1 (NTSC), 97 minutes, Not Rated
DVD released on April 10th, 2007

Ji-Won Do
Se-Kyung Shin



For teenage girls, Hyun-Soo's mom probably has one of the best jobs ever: plastic surgeon. You know Hyun-Soo's friends love reaping the rewards of that friendship.

But when her friends who have gone under the knife start dying off — after going a little nutty — Hyun-Soo starts unraveling a web of family secrets to find out what is happening to her chums.

And as the mystery unfolds, Hyun-Soo will soon discover that nothing is as it once seemed.



There are times when I just want to write something like "Nothing new to see here, move along" in a review, because, sometimes, that's what it feels like.

As in the case of Cinderella.

The movie isn't bad, by any means. It's well put together, and a rather enjoyable hour and a half. The problem is, it doesn't bring anything new to the table. Plus, it doesn't utilize what it has appropriately enough to make it stand out.

One of the problems is the movie's convoluted story. If told in a linear fashion, it really wouldn't be that tough to understand. But a language barrier, coupled with a story that sometimes goes to flashback to tell its tale, makes for some confusion. I damn near had to take notes on what the hell was going on in the last quarter of the movie to figure out who was who and what was what. And it certainly didn't help that the flashbacks come with little-to-no warning and seemed to be shot with no difference from "current time." So you have to be on your toes as to what's a flashback and what's not, because by the time you realize you just saw a flashback, the scene has moved on and you may be scratching your head wondering just who the hell that little girl was.


Plus, as it's necessary for many Asian horror flicks, a long haired ghost pops up on occasion (although I freely admit that the first time I saw this particular freaky-deak, it creeped me out). Yet, even with that little bit of a creep out, it's getting harder and harder to appreciate these Asian spooks like I once did (with, of course, the exception of my recent viewing of Shutter).

Say this, though: The last 10 minutes of Cinderella are incredibly sad, with one especially heartbreaking scene. And for a movie that didn't grab me like maybe it should have, that should say something.

And that's a tough thing, because there were quite a few scenes that showed what Cinderella could have been capable of, but it didn't quite make it. Fans of Asian horror may want to rent this before they buy it. Cinderella has its moments, but it's a slipper shy of the big ball.

Video and Audio:

Cinderella has pretty nice 16:9 anamorphic transfer. Darks are exceptional, and colors natural if a tiny bit soft. There are no specks to be found, nor digital noise, nor anything that would distract from the viewing experience.

The Korean DTS soundtrack kicks at the appropriate times, and I never had the need to adjust the volume or strain to hear. I wish the sides and rears were used a bit more, but overall, it's an adequate presentation.

Korean Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 are also offered, as well as English and Spanish subtitles.


Special Features:

  • The Making of Cinderella
  • Original Trailers
  • Tartan Asia Extreme New Releases

"The Making of Cinderella" featurette is actually a series of five featurettes — "Desire," Jealousy," "Death," "Secret," and "Curse" — that can be played individually or as one big 25 minute package.

My favorite of the five is "Death," as it covers one of my favorite scenes in the movie — two Asian girls covered in blood. And strangely beautiful.

In addition to the trailer for Cinderella, there are trailers for The Red Shoes, The Maid, Cello, A Tale of Two Sisters, and The Heirloom.



Movie: Grade Cover
Video: Grade
Audio: Grade
Features: Grade
Overall: 3 Star Rating


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Steve Pattee
US Editor, Admin
He's the puppet master. You don't see him, but he pulls the strings that gets things done. He's the silent partner. He's black ops. If you notice his presence, it's the last thing you'll notice — because now you're dead. He's the shadow you thought you saw in that dark alleyway. You can have a conversation with him, and when you turn around to offer him a cup of coffee, he's already gone.
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