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Suddenly at Midnight

Theatrical poster
Hanja 깊은밤 갑자기
RR Gipeun bam, gapjagi
Directed by Ko Young-nam
Written by Yun Sam-yuk
Starring Kim Young-ae
Yoon Il-bong
Lee Ki-seon
Music by Choi Jong-hyuk
Cinematography Jeong Pil-si
Editing by Hyeon Dong-chun
Studio Nam A Pictures Co.
Release date(s) 17 July 1981
Running time 95 min.
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Admissions 28,178

Suddenly at Midnight (Hangul: 깊은밤 갑자기; RR: Gipeun bam, gapjagi; also known as Suddenly in Dark Night) is a 1981 South Korean horror film directed by Ko Young-nam.



Kang Yu-jin, a wealthy biology professor doing a butterfly field study, takes in a new housemaid; the young woman, Mi-ok, is the daughter of a shaman priestess who recently died in a house fire. At first, Yu-jin and his wife, Seon-hee, welcome Mi-ok into their home, but Seon-hee begins to have misgivings when she sees a strange wooden doll that the maid has brought with her. Having suffered from nightmares about the exact same doll, Seon-hee becomes increasingly suspicious that Mi-ok is trying to kill her and usurp her household. In a fit of madness, Seon-hee causes Mi-ok to fall to her death. From then on, Seon-hee is tormented by visions of the doll attacking her.


  • Kim Young-ae ... Seon-hee
  • Yoon Il-bong ... Kang Yu-jin
  • Lee Ki-seon ... Mi-ok
  • Hyun Hye-ri
  • Kim Geun-hie
  • Kim Min-gyu
  • Kim Gi-jong
  • Lee Yae-sung
  • Gwak Geon
  • Yoo Myeong-sun


Suddenly at Midnight was released in South Korea on 17 July 1981, and received a total of 28,178 admissions.[1]

Critical response

The movie and Ko Young-nam are referred to as a classic work and director of Korean horror film.[2][3] In a review for, Darcy Paquet cited Suddenly at Midnight as a rare example of 1970s-80s Korean horror that was genuinely frightening, describing it as "a mysterious psychological study... that beguiles the viewer right up to its bizarre closing image." He praised the film's direction, saying, "Ko has a good feel for how to create tension from precise editing and the patient accumulation of evocative details", and also credited actress Kim Young-ae for a "convincing performance as the panicked wife".[1]


  1. ^ a b Paquet, Darcy. "Suddenly At Midnight (1981)". Retrieved on 19 April 2009.
  2. ^ Kim Ga-hui (김가희) (2006-11-26). ""고전영화 히트작 다시 보자"" (in Korean). Sports Hankook / Yonhap. "공포영화의 고전인 고영남 감독의 '깊은 밤 갑자기'(1981년)"  
  3. ^

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