Not everyone wants escapism in a pandemic. One of the films on our radar that we’re most excited for is Beauty Water, a grisly psychological horror from South Korea. After building hype on a festival run that included Annecy and Fantasia, the animated feature is due to open this month in its home country and elsewhere.
The film tells the story of Yaeji, a woman with low self-esteem who uses an elixir — the titular “beauty water” — to lose weight and beautify herself, then faces some chilling side effects. The narrative serves as a grim satire of oppressive beauty standards in South Korea, which (by some estimates) has the highest rate of plastic surgery per capita in the world. Here’s the trailer:
Beauty Water is the feature directorial debut of Kyung-hun Cho, CEO of Studio Animal (which is producing the film with SS Animent). The studio, which made a splash with the series Ghost Messenger, specializes in works for older audiences. For Beauty Water, the filmmakers adapted a hit web comic by Seong-dae Oh, which can be read here.