|Directed by||Jung Sik
|Running time||98 minutes|
Epitaph (기담/奇談 - Gidam) is a 2007 South Korean film directed by brothers Jung Sik and Jung Beom-sik. The film is a horror film set primarily in 1942, while South Korea was under the colonial rule of Japan. It is framed by scenes set in 1979.
Dr. Jung Nam finds a photo album dating back to his days as an intern at the Ansaeng Hospital. This triggers memories of his life. In 1942, as a young medical intern, Jung-Nam's arranged marriage ended when his fiancée, whom he had never met, committed suicide. Later he was assigned to monitor the morgue late at night. There he fell in love with a corpse, which is later revealed as the body of his deceased fiancée. Soon other mysterious events take place in the hospital, involving a young girl haunted by ghosts and a serial killer targeting Japanese soldiers.
Whilst "Epitaph" has not been widely reviewed in the English-speaking press, the few critics who have reviewed it have criticized it as derivative, and for incorporating numerous formulaic genre tactics from more famous films, such as the dissociative identity disorder plot twist in A Tale of Two Sisters and the three-episode structure from Three Extremes and other similar examples. Slant Magazine reviewer Nick Schager wrote that the genre "cannibalizes itself until there's nothing left except the tattered remains of once-effective conventions and the rapidly fading memories of superior scares gone by." Schager also called attention to Epitaph's convoluted plot, characterised by "jumbled chronology, dull repetitions, corny otherworldly melodrama."
Nonetheless, the cinematography, directing and acting by K-Horror mainstays Kim Eung-su and Ye Soo-jeong have earned the film praise as "visually as well as intellectually impressive, with some gorgeous cinematography and wonderfully composed shots." and "a significant contribution to rehabilitating K-horror's international reputation"
- KoreanFilm.org review of Epitaph by Kyu Hyun Kim, retrieved May 1, 2007
- Slant Magazine review of Epitaph by Nick Schager, published March 17, 2008, retrieved May 1, 2008.
- BeyondHollywood review of Epitaph written by James Mudge, published January 6, 2008, retrieved May 1, 2008