If you ever had any doubt as to Asians having a sense of humor, you need look no further than this film to see just how wicked that humor can run. This is one of my favorite Koran films because it’s just deliciously full of black humor and situational comedy.
It’s a cross between Psycho and The Trouble with Harry. A family inherits an unlikely inn in a remote mountain region of Korea. They are doubtful that anyone could even find the place much less their chances of making a financial go of the place, but they knuckle down and figure they may at least get a few hikers (mountain hiking is a big time past time in Korea).
So the spiffy the place up and after their first guest checks in and promptly kills himself the next day, they face that age-old dilemma…tell the cops and ruin the business before it even has a chance to get started, or hide the body. Of course you can guess which one they choose, and that decision lead to even more confusion when the next couple who checks in also ends up dead. More bodies to hide. It just keeps going and going. There’s a subplot with a hit man hired to kill someone’s sister, but instead kills an undercover cop sent to investigate all the missing people.
There’s digging up bodies, hiding bodies, burning bodies…it’s nonstop…all in the name of a decent shot at commercial success of the family’s investment. We’re filing this one…for sure…under Black Comedy. A black comedy is one that employs dark humor or humor about traditionally humorless situations…namely death. It’s similar to Gallows Humor in that it plays on our fears in a humorous way making us even more uncomfortable, if that’s even possible. In this film, every time a new customer shows up, the audience is forced to root for the family, but the fact WE know they will inevitably end up dead due to the pattern established employs a dramatic irony in its most lethal sense and the result is delightful…even if it is very dark.