When The Quiet Family was put on screen amid high expectations of a box-office hit, cinema magazines did special features on spooky films of korea. However, this film is far different from the horror movies of the 1960s and 1970s that usually dealt with a pre-modern ghost with a sharp shrill. If one has to find a previous production that inherited any hints of traditional Korean horror movie to TheQuiet Family, it would be Director Sang-ok Shin's Her Miserable Life.
The Quiet Family appeals more to young spectators well accumstomed to the sentiment and sensitivity of modern cinema than to the older fans who are well-versed in the idiomatic expressions of the old Korean horror movies. The stylistic actions, simple shooting style, fast-developing episodes, and superficial approach to the many characters would be the attractive factors. Therefore, the spectators would better give up any expectations for a female ghost when the old woman appearing in the early part of the movie disappears. Another decisive difference between this film and other Korean horror movies is that, here, the spectators are encouraged to reserve their judgment on the reality of the episodes. In other words, this film, like the fantastic movies of the West, has the system of inducing the hesitation of the spectators concerning their judgment on whether the incidents in the film are real or just a fantasy. Mi-na who narrates and adjourns this film is watching television all the time. Then, is The Quiet Family a fantasy born from this quiet yet weird girl's boring life or the uninteresting TV dramas.
The Japanese actress Yuko Fueki was inspired by the film to pursue a career in Korea; Yu Aoi desired to act with Han Suk-kyu ; Chinese singer Lee Jian wrote his own version of "Christmas in August" as a pop ballad; a close Japanese remake by director Shunichi Nagasaki was released in 2005. Many Sinophone filmmakers have also named it as among their favorite South Korean films: Andy Lau, Tony Leung Chiu Wai (at Korean press conference for Hero, January 16, 2003), Leslie Cheung (as movie recommendation to Chinese radio listeners), and Feng Xiaogang.
The film's also had an enduring influence within the Korean film industry. Actor Jang Hyuk reportedly studied the film in preparation for his comeback role in MBC drama "Thank You" . Assistant Director Park Heung-shik was influenced by particular scenes of Jung-won washing rice and teaching his father the VCR remote control, for his film Bravo, My Life!. The muffled weeping scene also found its way into My Mother, the Mermaid. Characters in Barking Dogs Never Bite and Girls' Night Out are shown, respectively, watching scenes of the VCR remote and lovers' stroll. Han and Shim are named as ideal casting choices by the eponymous aspiring script writer in My Sassy Girl.
While investigating the school files, the frightened teacher Mrs. Park startles and calls the young teacher Eun-young Hur, telling her that the deceased Jin-ju Jang is back. The line dies and Mrs. Park is attacked and killed by a ghost. On the next morning, the teenager Jae-yi Yoon waits for her friend Ji-oh Lim, who has the ability to call the spirits, and they begin a close friendship. The abusive and aggressive Mr. Oh, a.k.a. Mad Dog, is the substitute of Mrs. Park and prohibits Ji-oh to paint and compares the performances of the pretty So-young Park and the weird Jung-sook Kim, raising a barrier between the two former friends. Miss Hur misses her former friend Jin-ju, who committed suicide, and while trying to contact her, she discloses a dark secret about the past of her friend and Mrs. Park.
Please be aware this movie is rated R and may contain material not appropriate for all ages.
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