Korean cinema has gained a lot of attention in recent years, after all, Parasite, the big winner of the Oscar of 2020, hails from this Asian country. Although Bong Joon Ho’s feature film is a consistent social drama, in South Korea there are numerous horror-focused titles that are truly chilling.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best Korean horror movies that will surely scare you away.
(Show East/Reproduction)Source: Show East
Despite being very famous in the West – even with a Hollywood version -, many people have not seen Park Chan-wook’s feature, commercially released in 2003.
The production explores a revenge narrative full of consistent nuances and completely ambiguous characters. Throughout his career, the protagonist Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) falls in love with a young woman, who morally prevents him from continuing with his vindictive plans.
9. I saw the devil
(Magnet Releasing/Reproduction)Source: Magnet Releasing
Directed by Kim Jee-woon, this film debuted in theaters in 2011, betting on a serial killer plot, with violence and brutality spread throughout every scene. In the film, Jang Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik) is a relentless assassin who likes to kill defenseless young girls for no apparent specific reason.
However, one of his victims is the pregnant young woman Jang Joo-yun (Oh San-ha), whom he dismembered and threw his pieces into a river. And when Kim Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun), Joo-yun’s fiance, finds his beloved, he swears revenge on the murderer who would have taken his life, thinking of all the methods of torture he could cause him.
8. the regret
(20th Century Fox/Reproduction)Source: 20th Century Fox
Much celebrated by horror movie fans, the regret (The Wailing, in English translation) addresses religious practices and other issues related to South Korean mysticism. In a small rural town, several residents are infected with an unknown disease that makes them commit extremely violent crimes.
The police officer Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won), who is desperate for an answer to what was happening in the region, starts to investigate everything.
(Sponge ENT/Playback)Source: Sponge ENT
Starring Seo Young-hee in the role of housewife Bok-nam, bedevilled shows the oppressions against women in the eastern country.
Willing to flee to Seoul with her daughter, the protagonist plans a plan that will free her once and for all from all the abuse she suffers daily. Winner of numerous awards, the production offers viewers sequences of uncomfortable agony as well as a disturbing atmosphere.
6. zombie invasion
(Next Entertainment World/Reproduction)Source: Next Entertainment World
One of the most popular horror movies in recent years is the South Korean Train To Busan (zombie invasion, in Portuguese). Released in 2016, the film presents a new take on a deadly pandemic, focusing on Seok-woo Seo (played by Gong Yoo) and the trip he took with his daughter to the city of Busan. With extremely claustrophobic scenes, the film is quite competent in scaring.
5. Wishing Stairs
(Cinema Service/Reproduction)Source: Cinema Service
Directed by filmmaker Yun Jae-yeon, this film full of stunning sequences is set in an art school, in which only girls are managed. Focused on an urban legend quite famous in South Korea, the film shows how the institution’s students are affected by the mysteries of the stairs and corridors of the place. Despite this aspect, the production also has sick jealousy as its main theme.
(Mini Films/Playback)Source: Mini Films
In this bizarre 2006 movie, Yoon-hee (Do Ji-won) is a competent plastic surgeon who has seen several friends of her daughter, young Hyeon-su (Shin Se-kyung). However, after the procedures, some of them committed suicide, slitting their faces and shouting an alarming phrase. Little by little, Hyeon-su realizes that her mother has ulterior motives in her appointments and is shocked by everything she discovers.
(Big Blue Film/Reproduction)Source: Big Blue Film
One of the most famous Korean horror movies is Fear (also known as A Tale of Two Sisters). Launched in 2003, the production is terrifying for several reasons, featuring a powerful ghost story filled with bizarre scenes. There are great twists and turns during the narrative progression, in addition to many scares, tragedies and other interesting issues.
two. Thirst of blood
(Focus Features/Reproduction)Source: Focus Features
Also directed by Park Chan-wook, the 2009 film features some very popular supernatural beings. The production vampires have different details in their mythology, showing that the genre can always subvert common practices in their respective developments. The cast even includes actor Song Kang-ho, who was also in Parasite.
1. the host
Talking about Parasite, to close the list, see the movie the host, which comes directly from the same director, filmmaker Bong Joon-ho.
Despite the frightening elements of the narrative, there is also a very pertinent social drama. After some scientists’ research doesn’t go as planned, a monstrous mutant creature wreaks havoc in a certain region of Korea, directly affecting the population’s routine. Fortunately, production is available on Netflix.