Watch The Quiet Family
In 1998, director Kim Ji-woon released "The Quiet Family," a dark comedy about a family that opens a mountain lodge only to have every one of their guests die. The film stars In-hwan Park as patriarch Kang Yeong-gyu, Moon-hee Na as his wife, and Song Kang-ho as their son, Kang Chang-gu. The movie opens with the Kang family driving to their newly acquired mountain lodge. They're excited about the prospect of running their own business and enjoying a peaceful life in the countryside. However, as soon as they arrive, things start to go awry.
Their first guest, a hunter, accidentally shoots himself in the foot. The family takes care of him, but he eventually dies from his injuries. They bury him in the woods, hoping that no one finds out what happened. But soon after, more guests arrive, and they too end up dead.
Despite the mounting body count, the Kang family continues to run the lodge, hoping to keep their reputation intact. They bury their guests in the woods and keep a strict code of silence, even as they start to unravel from the stress of their situation.
As the family's financial situation worsens, they start accepting more dangerous guests, including a gangster on the run and a government official who's been embezzling money. With each new guest, the stakes get higher, and the Kang family becomes more desperate to cover up their misdeeds.
"The Quiet Family" is a black comedy that often walks the line between horror and humor. The characters are absurd and over-the-top, but the violence and tension are very real. The film is a commentary on the Korean obsession with appearances, as the Kang family goes to great lengths to protect their reputation, even as it becomes clear that they're responsible for the deaths of their guests.
One of the most interesting aspects of the film is the way it plays with audience expectations. The opening scene is a cheerful musical number that suggests a lighthearted, fun movie. But as the body count rises, the tone becomes darker and more serious, until the final scene, which is both bleak and absurd.
"The Quiet Family" also features strong performances from its cast, particularly Song Kang-ho, who would go on to become one of Korea's most beloved actors. His character, a wannabe filmmaker who's always recording his family's exploits on a camcorder, is the film's most sympathetic and relatable character.
Overall, "The Quiet Family" is a darkly comic and unsettling film that's both a commentary on Korean society and a horror movie in its own right. It's a testament to director Kim Ji-woon's skill that he's able to balance these two tones so effectively.