Byeong-sik (Youn Yuh-jung) is the calm, controlled centre within a family of self-indulgent chaebol billionaires. Formerly a nanny, she maintains her role as veteran housemaid and cook with stealthy politeness. She hires in extra help in the form of young, pretty Eun-yi (Jeon Do-youn); she will double as nanny to little girl Nami. While the husband of the family awaits his very pregnant wife’s delivery of their twins, he uses his reptilian charm to seduce Eun-yi. She does not put up much of a fight. Eun-yi’s own pregnancy sets the wheels in motion for a final tragedy.
In picking Kim Ki-young’s 1960 classic The Housemaid for a remake, Im Sang-soo faced a huge challenge. He wisely gave one of Kim’s favourite actors, Youn Yuh-jung, the key role of Byeong-sik while casting star Jeon Do-youn as Eun-yi. There is some irony in the fact that in his critical attack on the ultra-rich, Im was able to deploy a luxury of cinematic tools Kim Ki-young could never have imagined.