Review: ‘Make Yourself at Home’

More chilly than chilling.

More chilly than chilling, “Make Yourself at Home,” a U.S.-South Korea co-production from debuting feature helmer Soopum Sohn, mixes elements of culture clash and the occult with “Fatal Attraction”-style erotic thrills, to initially intriguing effect. But as the pic (which has been kicking around a while, earlier as “Fetish”) sticks by its game plan of arty restraint at the expense of any real suspense or horrific payoff, intrigue curdles into exasperation. Pretentious result will satisfy few, but sports enough superficially salable elements to win scattered home-format sales.

When yuppie Korean-American lawyer Peter (Rob Yang) brings beauteous bride Sookhy (popular Korean thesp Song Hye-ko) home to suburban New Jersey, she seems withdrawn, English-challenged and easily bullied by her mother-in-law (June Kyoko Lu). But fate abruptly takes Peter out of the picture, leaving a curiously unperturbed Sookhy (who’s descended from a line of female shamans) free to force her company on the glamorous Caucasian couple next door (Athena Currey, Arno Frisch). As cinematographer, Sohn hones pic’s visual surface, but as director and co-scenarist, he exhibits scant interest in the often stilted perfs and tepidly developed supernatural-usurper narrative.

Make Yourself at Home

U.S.-South Korea


A Starfish Pictures production. Produced by Soopum Sohn, Eve Annenberg, Sean Meenan, Somyun Sohn. Executive producers, Sanghyun Cho, Hae-yoon Park, Jaejun Yang, Jan Vogel. Directed, edited by Soopum Sohn. Screenplay, Sohn, Margaret Monaghan.


Camera (color), Sohn; music, Aaron Severini; production designers, Nam Eun-kyung, Park Choon-woo. Reviewed on DVD, San Francisco, March 5, 2010. (In San Francisco Asian-American Film Festival -- competing; 2009 Pusan Film Festival.) English, Korean dialogue. Running time: 90 MIN.


Song Hye-ko, Arno Frisch, Athena Currey, Rob Yang, June Kyoko Lu.

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