The Quiet Family: Directed By Jee-woon Kim
Welcome back to my ramblings on Asian Horror. This time, I’m going to be talking a little about The Quiet Family, one of my favourite South Korean movies. But, before we get to that, I must first introduce you to another movie…
Back when Asian Horror took off in the U.K., I stumbled across a DVD of a Japanese movie called The Happiness of the Katakuris.
This 2001 movie was directed by Takashi Miike, the man behind one of the scariest films of all time, Audition. Of course. I had to buy it, seeing I loved Audition so much.
The basic plot for Happiness is about a family who set up a bed and breakfast near the foot of Mount Fuji. However, instead of this inn being a place people are dying to visit, it’s a place where people end up dying.
The premise behind this film had me intrigued, but Happiness is one odd movie, featuring surreal claymation sequences, and song & dance numbers. You could probably best describe it as a bizarro novel put to film.
Back when I first watched it, I remember turning to my friend and saying “What the hell did we just watch?”
Yeah, if you like weird, this is the film for you. To be honest, I’m still not really sure how I feel about this film! It’s certainly something you will remember, that’s a given.
Anyway, a few years later, I found out that Happiness was a loose remake of a 1998 South Korean film called The Quiet Family. This original film was classed as a dark comedy horror, and sounded more like my cup of tea. One trip to HMV in Birmingham later, and I’m the proud owner of said DVD.
And yes, The Quiet Family definitely got my seal of approval. It’s a damn fine film, and one that deserves a viewing or two.
The story centres on a family who move from the city to live in a remote hunting lodge.
Sadly, the idyllic lifestyle and lucrative business they yearn for is doomed to failure, as their customers always happen to end up dying. It all starts with a hiker who checks in and orders three beers. In the morning, they discover he’s killed himself. I’m not going to tell you how he dies, you’ll have to watch and see for yourself.
Suddenly finding themselves with a dead guest, the family make the decision to bury the corpse in the woods, scared that no one will believe it was suicide.
Of course, it isn’t long before the bodies start to pile up, as the family’s luck gets ever worse and things spiral out of control…
Same as always, no spoilers from me. This is a film you need to watch without too much prior knowledge. As a horror-comedy, The Quiet Family truly excels. It is wonderfully dark and extremely entertaining. I loved it and can’t recommend it enough. It also has a killer soundtrack, if you pardon the pun!
If you good folk enjoy the movie, please feel free to reach out and let me know. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this horror-comedy gem.
Thanks for reading! Join me next time, as we head to Japan for an Audition.
Simon Paul Wilson
Simon Paul Wilson is a U.K. based writer of horror and science fiction.
He is currently writing a cyberpunk horror trilogy, the first of which is GhostCityGirl and was published by Not A Pipe publishing in 2020.
Click this link for more info: Ghost City Girl
There now follows a list of writers who have influenced his reading tastes and writing style:
James Herbert. Stephen King, Shaun Hutson, Clive Barker, China Mieville, Haruki Murakami, Carlton Mellick III, Brian Keene, and Adam Nevill.
Simon lives somewhere in the middle of England with his wonderful family. He likes to listen to post-rock and progressive rock at loud volumes. He also plays a mean air bass.
Follow him on Twitter: @spwzen