Epitaph (film)

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Epitaph (film) poster.jpg
Revised Romanization Gidam
McCune–Reischauer Kidam
Directed by Jung Sik
Jung Bum-shik
Produced by Jang So-jeong
Written by Jung Sik, Jung Bum-shik
Starring Jin Goo
Kim Tae-woo
Kim Bo-kyung
Ko Joo-yeon
Music by Park Yeong-ran
Cinematography Yoon Nam-joo
Edited by Kim Sang-bum
Kim Jae-bum
Release dates
  • August 1, 2007 (2007-08-01)
Running time
98 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Budget US$2.8 million
Box office US$4,443,849[1]

Epitaph (Hangul기담; hanja奇談; RRGidam) is a 2007 South Korean film directed by brothers Jung Sik and Jung Bum-shik. 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. Park 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.

Critical reception[edit]

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,[2] 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."[3] Schager also called attention to Epitaph's convoluted plot, characterized by "jumbled chronology, dull repetitions, corny otherworldly melodrama."

Nonetheless, the cinematography, directing and acting by K-horror mainstays Kim Eung-soo and Ye Soo-jeong have earned the film praise as "visually as well as intellectually impressive, with some gorgeous cinematography and wonderfully composed shots,"[4] and "a significant contribution to rehabilitating K-horror's international reputation."[2]

Awards and nominations[edit]

2007 Blue Dragon Film Awards[5][6]

  • Best Cinematography: Yoon Nam-joo
  • Best Art Direction: Kim Yu-jeong, Lee Min-bok
  • Nomination - Best New Director: Jung Sik, Jung Bum-shik
  • Nomination - Best Lighting: Kim Ji-hoon
  • Nomination - Technical Award: Kim Sang-bum, Kim Jae-bum (Editing)

2007 Korean Association of Film Critics Awards

  • Best New Director: Jung Sik, Jung Bum-shik

2007 Korean Film Awards

  • Nomination - Best Art Direction: Kim Yu-jeong, Lee Min-bok
  • Nomination - Best Sound: Jang Gwang-su, Seo Yeong-jun
  • Nomination - Best New Actress: Ko Joo-yeon

2007 Director's Cut Awards

  • Best New Director: Jung Sik, Jung Bum-shik

2008 Asian Film Awards

  • Nomination - Best Art Direction: Kim Yu-jeong, Lee Min-bok

2008 Baeksang Arts Awards

  • Nomination - Best New Director: Jung Sik, Jung Bum-shik

2008 Grand Bell Awards

  • Nomination - Best Music: Park Yeong-ran
  • Nomination - Best Visual Effects: Kim Gwang-su

2008 Golden Cinematography Awards


  1. ^ "Gidam (Epitaph) (2007)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved May 1, 2008. 
  2. ^ a b Kim, Kyu Hyun. "Epitaph". Koreanfilm.org. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  3. ^ Schager, Nick (March 17, 2008). "Epitaph: Film Review". Slant Magazine. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  4. ^ Mudge, James (January 6, 2008). "Epitaph (2007) Movie Review". Beyond Hollywood. Retrieved May 1, 2008.
  5. ^ Noh, Jean (November 26, 2007). "The Show Must Go On takes best film award at Korea's Blue Dragons". Screen International. Retrieved August 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Epitaph - Awards". Cinemasie. Retrieved May 24, 2014. 

External links[edit]