Korean culture has recently come into the highlights and taken over the world like a wave. K-pop and K-dramas are the talks of the town, BTS and other K-pop bands are being nominated and winning global awards. Korean movies like Parasite and Minari were nominated for the Oscars and Parasite even won. These are classic examples of how great the industry in the east is doing.
The potential Korean cinema has is not limited to movies like Parasite or Minari. It has also made many other classic movies in a bunch of different genres. Though they aren’t as popular as the cute romantic K-dramas, they definitely are something. One such genre is horror. There are some Korean horror movies in this genre that won’t let you sleep at night.
A Tale of Two Sisters will give you nightmares
If you think that Hollywood horror movies are scary, you haven’t tried out this masterpiece. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003) is a psychological horror movie. It shares with us a story of two sisters who have just returned from a mental institution. Upon their return, the two have to deal with their stepmother and the supernatural at their home. It is all connected to the family’s dark past The story is adapted from the folklore of the Joseon Dynasty era, titled Janghwa Hongryeon.
A tale of two sisters is a Korean movie that isn’t just about spirits but as a thrilling mystery to it. The tale was so confusing and scary as it slowly unravels into unexpected plot twists. The more you watch, the more you want to go on but the fear makes you stay in doubt. It will definitely keep you up for nights, considering you make it through the entire film.
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum will make you lose sleep for days
When it comes to horror movies, Korean movies like Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is the one that could be one of the scariest out there. And the fact that it is based on a real mental asylum is what makes it scarier. It shares the story of the web series crew that makes documentaries while exploring haunted locations. The crew goes to explore the infamous mental asylum only to experience their worst nightmares come true.
The film was released in 2018 and is one of the most-watched horror movies in Korea. The story of the teenage group trapped in a real haunted mental asylum that they went to explore for fun will send a chill down your spine. Plus the movie is made in a found footage format, which makes it look a lot more real.
The Wailing will give you unrelenting chills
As if the name isn’t enough for what awaits us in this movie. 2016 tells us the story of a policeman who goes to a remote village to investigate murders, in an attempt to save his daughter. The film is so well made and produced that it was a commercial success and critically acclaimed.
The movie is about a mysterious infection that breaks out in a remote village. And kills too many villagers. The policeman in his investigation of a crime finds out the connection of the crime to supernatural occurrences. The mystery is captivating and the movie does not have a lot of jumpscares. But the ones that are there, happen so unexpectedly that you hop back on your seat. The chills it gives would stay for days.
Phone is a Korean horror movie classic
Along with Gonjiam and A Tale of Two Sisters, Phone is one of the three most-watched horror movies in South Korea. And all for good reasons. The movie is a classic in its genre and will keep you up for days. The 2002 movie is about a journalist who after writing a few articles about pedophilia starts receiving threatening phone calls. In order to keep her daughter and herself safe, she shifts into a different house owned by her sister and brother-in-law and changes her phone number. But this number has a mysterious tale to it too. The story is a lot more complex than any of us would have thought. As the young journalist investigates deeper into the mysterious calls, she finds some shocking secrets about her own family. The movie is not just horror because of the story but also the execution adds so much to it.
Train to Busan is a rollercoaster of emotions
One of the most popular Korean movies worldwide, Train to Busan is a masterpiece of its genre. The movie, released in 2016, tells us the journey of a father-duo who is stuck on a train amidst a zombie apocalypse. But this movie is not like most zombie movies. This masterpiece deals with a plethora of emotions and in the end, you’d be so overwhelmed that it’ll make you cry. Though the ending is not essentially sad. Train to Busan is so well made that it premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. It was a huge success and made a record for the number of theatergoers. It was such a big hit that the movie had a standalone sequel, Peninsula, released in 2020. Though it did not do as well as the real movie.