A Seal of (Queer) Love and Unhappy Queer: Focusing on Epitaph

Proceedings of The 2nd International Conference on Gender Studies and Sexuality

Year: 2022



A Seal of (Queer) Love and Unhappy Queer: Focusing on Epitaph

LEE Moon-Woo



This paper examines Epitaph as a horror film and tries to read the meaning of queerness in Asako’s episode. Examining Epitaph as a horror film provides a new methodology for how the matter of time in the Japanese colonial period affects the present. In addition, reading Epitaph in a queer way provides a way to see how queerness is constructed negatively and the history of unhappy queers is continued.

 For this examination, this paper analyzes features of horror film and queer temporalities in Epitaph. As the horror genre expresses a repressed desire in a normative social system, this paper examines how Epitaph constructs horror and which desire is repressed and taboo is violated in three episodes. Also, I will examine how queer love cut off the possibility to connect the past and the future focusing on Asako’s episode. Asako’s queer love is connected to melancholia and mutism over a metaphor of the construction of gender identity and it extends to punishment on Asako. Consequently, Asako reaches death which is the old symbol of queer and she succeeds as a figure of unhappy queers. In the final chapter of this paper, I will try to re-signify the ending of Asako.

keywords: Epitaph, Horror Film, Queer Temporality, Queer Negativity, Unhappy Queers.