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The Quiet Family
The Quiet Family
Actors: Choe Min-sik, Go Ho-kyung, Ji Su-won, Lee Ki-yeong, Lee Yeon-sung
Director: Kim Ji-un
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
UR     2006     1hr 50min


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Movie Details

Actors: Choe Min-sik, Go Ho-kyung, Ji Su-won, Lee Ki-yeong, Lee Yeon-sung
Director: Kim Ji-un
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Tai Seng
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/28/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 3
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Korean
Subtitles: Chinese, English

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Movie Reviews

Must See!
J. Soo | New York, NY | 04/11/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"THE QUIET FAMILY is an intelligent, hilarious dark comedy that shows how lifes sort of runs away from you. The cast is talented, and the ensemble is just varied enough to give you a "Royal Tenenbaums" mix of quirkiness. Definitely one of the best Korean horror comedies out there...catch Oldboy's Choi Min Sik as the "simple" son!"
Midnight burials
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 08/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the worst things that can happen to a hotel is for someone to die there. But what if the deaths, suicides and possible murders just won't stop?

That's the dilemma facing the titular "Quiet Family," in a Korean dark comedy that gives new meaning to the phrase "sick sense of humour." While the movie starts off in a relatively relaxed, normal manner, Kim Ji-woon's first movie becomes more warped and frenetic as the death-count rises, and the deliciously complex plot becomes cleverer. You'll never look at a rural bed-and-breakfast in quite the same way again.

The Kang family recently moved from Seoul to a some remote rural area, where Dae Gu (Park In-hwa) has purchased a remote little hotel after being told that a major road is going to be run nearby. But nobody checks in until one rainy night, when a strange man appears -- and then stabs himself on a sharpened keychain. Terrified that the suicide will ruin their reputation, the family (except the two teen daughters) freaks out and buries the body in the woods.

For most people, that would be the end -- except the Kangs seem to be under a sort of curse. More people die in bizarre and gruesome ways, and end up buried in the woods. As if police investigations and road construction weren't causing enough stress, a local businessman makes Dae Gu a party to his own little plot -- he's going to order a hit on his sister. When THAT goes wrong, can the Quiet Family pull it together -- or will everything blow up in their faces?

Takashi Miike later remade this movie as the surreal musical "The Happiness of the Katakuris." But don't let that colour any opinions of the original film, because Miike's work is very different from "The Quiet Family."

This movie starts off pretty tamely, with the Kang family's problems getting any guests into their hotel. In fact, it's a bit dull watching them potter around the place, hoping that incoming phone calls will be for something other than Chinese food orders. But after the second round of suicides -- and the discovery that one about-to-be-buried corpse isn't quite dead -- the storyline starts to blossom. As the family's subterfuge spins out of control, the plot becomes more complex, more chaotic, and much weirder.

By the time the entire hit-man-on-the-premises subplot enters the scene, the entire family is spinning out of control -- literally nothing is going to go right for them. And the crazier it gets, the more hilarious it is. By the climax this little family has taken hostages, set fires, peeped in on couples having sex, buried a small crowd out in the woods, and a couple of them have chased ex-guests with axes and shovels... but with no ill intent.

The only really disturbing scene is one where Mina almost gets raped by one of the guests, only to be rescued by her bumbling brother in what is possibly the most pathetic fight scene ever, followed by a very undignified demise involving a clifftop and a swinging door.

But Kim Ji-Woon's greatest triumph is something most directors can't do -- subtle sick humor. Consider the bloody rapist lurching through the inn like a serial killer, or the gloriously gruesome spectacle of a mostly-dead, semi-nude man lunging around and roaring like a zombie... only to get whacked in the head with a shovel. The increasingly loopy, desensitized reactions to the deaths are simply sidesplitting, and it leaves you wondering if the Kangs will be found out.

Park In-hwa does an excellent job as the patriarch of this little clan, who appears to have severely stunted morals, while Na Moon-hee is good as his long-suffering wife. Song Kang Ho as the not-so-bright son and Lee Yun Sung as the flirtatious younger daughter are also excellent, but the cleverer, somewhat sarcastic Go Ho Kyun is the real standout among the assorted kids.

"The Quiet Family" is a deceptively peaceful title for a frenetic, hilariously sick little dark comedy. It may start slow, but as the bodies pile up, so does the humor."