South Korea appears to be particularly adept at generating horror films and superb thrillers.
K-Horror samples that will keep you awake for days.
Because of the popularity of Parasite and, more recently, Squid Game, there is now a well-deserved interest in Korean film.
South Korea appears to be particularly adept at generating horror films and superb thrillers. Many prominent American horror film stereotypes conflict with the terror seen in Korean cinema.
A Tale of Two Sisters’ (2003)
A Tale of Two Sisters, a South Korean psychological horror-drama film, was inspired by a Joseon Dynasty folktale. The film follows a newly released patient from a mental institution with her sister, only to be confronted by her stepmother and the spirits who inhabit the house, all of which have links to the family’s tumultuous past.
A Tale of Two Sisters is best described as gloomy, dismal, and depressing; Hollywood opted to remake it as The Uninvited, starring Emily Browning and Arielle Kebbel. Furthermore, the picture is rather disturbing due to its use of color and music, which is a little different from the bulk of horror films that we see. Many viewers may be impressed by the unexpected finale.
Killer Toon (2013)
Kim Yong Gyun, who also helmed The Red Shoes, is the first Korean director to create a film based on the webcomic Killer Toon. The story revolves around Ji-Yun (Lee Si-young), a well-known manga artist whose life was flipped upside down by the inexplicable suicide of her editor-in-chief. Soon, a series of heinous crimes occurred, and how they were carried out was exactly as Ji-Yun had described, creating severe concerns.
Killer Toon features a built-in thought process and a narrative that wonderfully intertwines reality with fantasy, which may confuse viewers who aren’t paying attention. Furthermore, while there aren’t many jumpscares in the picture, the excellent use of cartoon methods and effects heightens the brutality and frightfulness of each image.
Death Bell (2008)
Death Bell’s narrative revolves around the mass murder of 20 pupils in a whole class due to an obsession with achievement and a bribe made to the instructor to gain a seat in the class. The death begins when a mystery voice instructs the kids to do a specific task or else they will die one by one over the speaker.
Death Bell uses a range of horrible murder tactics and outstanding music to create a claustrophobic, dismal mood that haunts the spectator. Despite having all of the elements of a horror film, the film also cautions against South Korea’s obsession with academic success, where university test failure is one of the main reasons for suicide.
The ‘Whispering Corridors’ Franchise (1998 – 2021)
Whispering Corridors was one of the most popular horror films of the 1990s. Because of the popularity of the original film in 1998, it received five sequels, the most recent of which was released in 2021. As a result, it became one of South Korea’s most popular girls’ school horror series.
Although there are multiple volumes, and they all take place in all-girls high schools, the franchise never duplicates its plot or cast of characters, and each one stands on its own. Furthermore, the filmmakers investigate and condemn the dire condition that South Korean students are in due to academic fixation and peer pressure, which is genuinely and relatably shown.