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THE QUIET FAMILY

Korea, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Regional Features)

Director: Kim Ji-Woon

Think The Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Fawlty Towers; think The Partridge Family meets The Addams Family but don't ever think you're prepared for the Kangs! This totally macabre and crazed Korean comedy takes the rice cake in bad taste, black humour and body count.

After father Kang is sacked from his company, he and extended family purchase the Misty Inn. a bed and break­fast in the foothills on the outskirts of Seoul. No sooner do the clan set up for their new idyllic life than tragedy strikes: a guest checks in and dies during the night after a drinking binge. Nervous and panicked, the Kangs decide to bury the corpse and hope nothing further comes of the matter. Their next arrivals are a young couple who suffer a similar fate. Once again the Kangs get their shovels out but matters are complicated when one of the 'bodies' revives and must be 'assisted' to the next world!

Disasters pile atop one another. Guests continue to experience bizarre accidents and incidents, new road works threaten to uncover the stash of stiffs and the fam­ily are drawn into a dubious plot on the promise of a hefty payoff.

A surprise hit of the Pusan and Berlin Film Festivals, The Quiet Family exhibits more hilarity than nastiness. It's Grand Guignol style is totally over the top but, once the audience is swept up in the Kang's cir­cumstances. entirely credible. The soundtrack to this mayhem comes in the form of a wild selection of the Stray Cats, Box Tops, Kenny Loggins, Harry Nilsson. the aforementioned Partridge Family and Korean hip-hop! A furious farce with skeletons in every closet.

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