The Handmaiden still

The Handmaiden (2016)

What editions are available?

  • Theatrical Cut (146 min.)
  • Extended Cut (168 min.)

The South Korean thriller The Handmaiden (or Ah-ha-ssi) directed by Park Chan-wook from 2016 was praised by critics and audiences alike. In an enlightened interview with Collider, Chan-wook revealed that he had just finished working on an extended cut of The Handmaiden that was actually made at the behest of the fans. The British distributor Curzon Artificial Eye released a special edition of The Handmaiden on Blu-ray which includes both cuts of the film.

In the interview with Collider, Chan-wook stated with the help of an translator, his preferred cut of The Handmaiden:

“…So before The Handmaiden the only other alternative version of his film was Thirst where he can’t remember exactly what he called it, it may have been director’s cut or may have been the extended version edition, but either way Thirst was the only case where he had extended version, alternative version that’s in the Blu-ray as well. In the case of Thirst he definitely prefers the longer version. In the case of The Handmaiden he’s not sure they both have their pros and cons and very clear ones at that. Maybe the fans, these enthusiastic fans he mentioned, they probably prefer and love the extended edition over the released version. If you would ask him what you would recommend the first time audience seeing his film, he would actually recommend the released version.”

Source: Interview: Director Park Chan-wook on How Fans in Korea Demanded an Extended Edition of ‘The Handmaiden’

The director’s preferred edition: Theatrical Cut

List of different editions with courtesy of DVDCompare.net: DVD | Blu-ray