Kat’s review published on Letterboxd:
The Handmaiden is undoubtedly one of the films of the year. It's beautiful and shocking in a way that pays not be described, and must be seen to be believed. I don't want to understate this: I was excited for The Handmaiden as a lesbian psychological thriller. I wasn't expecting this. I loved Stoker, but this is like that film on steroids in terms of how sexually tense and just brilliantly bonkers it becomes. It's really something.
I wouldn't ever think of it as a cold film either - though this thriller is thrilling, and the twists and turns of the perfectly coiled plot manipulate you, you never forget the feelings that lie beneath these elements. Though the film is very sexual (also France, what's up with this being a 12?) it's the purity of the love between the two women that holds the whole thing together.
I'd give it a 5 but I think it does suffer from the phenomenon known as the Blue is the Warmest Color effect, but maybe I won't feel that way when I rewatch it.