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The Quiet Family (1998)

  Tags: 90's, Asian Horror, comedic, Ho-kyung Go, In-hwan Park, Ji-woon Kim, Kang-ho Song, korean, Min-sik Choi, Mun-hee Na, south korea, underrated, Yun-seong Lee

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Ji-woon Kim
101 minutes
In-hwan Park, Mun-hee Na, Kang-ho Song, Min-sik Choi, Ho-kyung Go, Yun-seong Lee

South Korean director Ji-woon Kim has really made a name for himself in his short span as a writer/director -- making original films, from dark comedies such as this one, to the most recent action-drama A Bittersweet Life, which has also gotten a lot of critical acclaim in Asia and even in the US despite it not having distribution here yet. The Quiet Family proved to be a successful blend of horror and comedy, and eventually became a cult fav. amongst Asian cinema aficionados. With a star-studded cast of familiar South Korean faces like Kang-ho Song of Memories of Murder and Min-sik Choi of Oldboy, this film was sure to be a hit. Japan even gave it the remake treatment with Takashi Miike's The Happiness of the Katakuris in 2001.

The plot revolves around a nice family who has recently re-opened an old lodge area next to a small hiking trail. With promises of a new road being built, the family hopes to get big business started with this little endeavor. Their dreams come to a halt when a stranger rents out a room for the night, only to kill himself the next morning. Fearing of the bad publicity the family makes a pact to bury the body and conceal any evidence. Just when they think they're in the clear, a couple rents a room for the night only to also kill themselves. Oh man, what bad luck; now the family has to once again bury the bodies and dispose of the evidence. Things just fall apart from there, as the police begin to get involved and construction begins on the new road, forcing the family to find a way to get the bodies out of the ground before they're discovered.

This is just a plain old fun dark comedy that doesn't involve a lot of thinking and offers a lot of chuckles and laughter. I know I laughed on a number of occasions -- the situations these people put themselves through are hilarious! Of course the horror aspect kicks in when the bodies really start piling up, especially towards the end when the family pretty much has to kill anyone they feel may suspect them. Thanks to the clever directing, and fun characters, The Quiet Family proves that even the most simple of plots can work with the right script.

A fun and simple dark comedy that works thanks to the talented director and cast of characters. Worth a check.

Posted on August 17, 2009 - 5:14pm | FrighT MasteR