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The Quiet Family

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Title: The Quiet Family  
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Subject: Kim Jee-woon, The Foul King, Choi Min-sik, The Happiness of the Katakuris, Stray Cats (album)
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The Quiet Family

The Quiet Family
Original Korean poster
Hanja 조용한
Revised Romanization Joyonghan Gajok
McCune–Reischauer Choyonghan Kajok
Directed by Kim Jee-woon
Produced by Lee Eun
Written by Kim Jee-woon
Starring Park In-hwan
Na Moon-hee
Choi Min-sik
Song Kang-ho
Go Ho-kyung
Lee Yoon-seong
Music by Jo Yeong-wook
Jeon Sang-yoon
Cinematography Jeong Kwang-seok
Edited by Ko Im-pyo
Distributed by Myung Films
Release dates
  • April 25, 1998 (1998-04-25)
Running time
99 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean

The Quiet Family (Hangul조용한 가족; RRJoyonghan Gajok) is a 1998 South Korean comedy horror film. It was director Kim Jee-woon's feature film debut. The story centers on a family who owns a hunting lodge in a remote area, whose customers always happen to end up dying. Among the film's main cast are pre-stardom Choi Min-sik and Song Kang-ho.

The film was loosely remade as The Happiness of the Katakuris by Takashi Miike.


An extended family has moved from the city (presumably Seoul) to live in a large house out in the mountains, which they convert into a lodge for hikers. Consisting of a middle aged father Kang Dae-goo (Park In-hwan), mother Jeong Soon-rye (Na Moon-hee), Dae-goo's younger brother Kang Chang-goo (Choi Min-sik), and their adult children Kang Young-min (Song Kang-ho), Kang Mi-soo (Lee Yoon-seong) and Kang Mina (Go Ho-kyung) they suffer a string of misfortunes as various patrons come to stay.

Their first guest, a hiker, asks for a room and three beers. Left to himself, he spends the night forging his room key holder to be sharp enough to stab himself and is found dead the next morning. The father of the family decides on burying the body in the woods, under the assumption that no one would believe this to be a suicide. Later, a young couple drops in for a stay to have sex in the privacy of their room and end up dead together the next morning. A pair of friends from town stop by for drinks until one of the men falls for Mi-soo and subsequently attempts to rape her, but she is saved by Young-min, who accidentally ends up pushing the man off a cliff, while his friend is taken captive by the family to prevent him from calling the police.

Mr. Park, the benefactor of the family (providing them the house) later asks for their lodging for his younger (and illegitimate) half sister to have a hitman check into the neighboring room at midnight and murder her so he can be the only successor to the claim inheritance of the soon profitable land. Uninformed of the plan, Uncle Kang senses foul play and sends the half sister home to Seoul when she is found to be restless. The plan goes further awry when the hitman arrives fifteen minutes late, and the room had been taken by an undercover cop investigating the recent string of missing people, mistaken to be the hitman. The hitman thus ends up killing the cop instead, and is later killed by a suspicious Young-min.

A heavy rainstorm overnight nearly uncovers the buried corpses by morning, leaving the family no choice but to incinerate them. When uncle returns from the trip to Seoul, he angers Dae-goo who had hoped to settle Mr. Park's plot without any trouble. A fight ensues as uncle is beaten senseless but is saved from a blow to the head by Young-min who then trips, hitting his head on the stairs, he is whisked to the hospital, leaving the elderly parents the only ones left to finish the job. The local man, having been imprisoned, bound and gagged, tries to make his escape but gets his ropes tangled in several trees as he escapes the lodge.

Soon enough, Mr. Park drops in unannounced to check if his sister-in-law has been terminated as planned, but is in complete shock when he sees Mr. Kang and Mrs. Jeong carrying the corpse of the undercover cop, knowing that he wasn't the hitman. A brief struggle begins when Mr. Park tries to escape without trying to figure out just what exactly has happened, and ends after he accidentally falls to his death down the stairs, adding yet another body to be done away with for the family.

To drive away attention, Mrs. Jeong switches off the circuits throughout the lodge and outside storage where she and her husband are piling the corpses, dousing them in gasoline. Mina, trying to watch TV, asks for Uncle Kang to switch the circuits back on, inadvertently causing a socket in the storage to burst in flames, triggering the cremation fire prematurely, trapping the parents inside. Meanwhile, Young-min is in the hospital recovering from his concussion and laughing insanely over a news report on the shooting of a North Korean agent wandering through the forest.

After an uncertain amount of time later, Uncle Kang, Young-min, Mi-soo, and Mina are preparing to serve dinner, totally unaware of the fire in the storage building. The parents return, in bandages, having survived the fire. Without a single word, the family quietly has dinner until there is a sudden knock at the door. Unsure of what to do, they all stand quietly in the doorway of the dining room, waiting for whoever is at the door to go away. When the dog starts barking at the knocking, the family, in unison hushes the dog; they have become the quiet family.

The film ends with a wide shot of the lodge in winter, with Mina outside, looking at it, and then to the camera with an uncertain look on her face; all to the sound of The Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You".


  • Park In-hwan as Kang Dae-goo
  • Na Moon-hee as Jeong Soon-rye
  • Song Kang-ho as Kang Young-min
  • Choi Min-sik as Kang Chang-goo
  • Go Ho-kyung as Kang Mina
  • Lee Yoon-seong as Kang Mi-soo
  • Gi Ju-bong as lonely man
  • Choi Cheol-ho as man with pills
  • Shin Young-ae as woman with
  • Ji Su-won as Eun-soo
  • Jung Woong-in as Mi-soo's admirer
  • Jung Jae-young as Hyun-seok
  • Jang Ka-hyeon as Hyun-seok's lover
  • Lee Ki-young as killer
  • Han Seong-sik as Police officer Oh
  • Ha Deok-bu as Doctor
  • Jo Deok-je as Police officer Jo
  • Yoo Hyung-kwan as Mr. Jang
  • Kim Jong-goo as substation chief

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