Best Korean Horror Movies: Various nominations chosen by both critics and viewers

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Best Korean Horror Movies: Various nominations chosen by both critics and viewers

In recent years, Korean art, including films, series, and songs, has been able to build great popularity in all countries of the world, especially in the Arab world. He contributed greatly to directing the attention of many young people to Korean culture, and they had a desire to delve into it and learn the Korean language.

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In general, Korean cinema has developed significantly and significantly, and the content offered in it has varied to suit all movie lovers, between drama, romance, comedy, action, and others. The horror category produced some of the best films that achieved wide audience success, and critics recognized their technical quality, innovation, and distinctiveness from others. Here is a varied list of selections from the best Korean horror films that are good candidates for horror movie fans.

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The Wailing

The Wailing
  • Production year: 2016.
  • Directed by: Na Hong Jin.
  • Screenplay: Na Hong Jin.
  • Starring: Kwak Do Won, Hwang Jung Min, Chun Woo Hyo.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 7.5.
  • Rating of the film on Rotten Tomatoes: 99%.
  • Produced by: Side Mirror, Fox International Productions Korea.
  • Budget: $8 million.

In a small village in South Korea called Goksong, a Japanese man arrives and lives in an isolated house in the middle of the mountains. Policeman Jong Joo investigates these crimes with his colleague, and they follow rumors claiming that a Japanese man has contact with evil spirits and is responsible for this disease, and they go to the mountain with a young Japanese-speaking priest to inspect his house and investigate him.

Upon their arrival, they find an altar with a goat’s head and pictures of people infected with the disease hanging on the walls of the altar, then the guard dog attacks them and prevents them from leaving until its owner returns. Jung Jo also finds his young daughter’s shoe in the Japanese’s house, which explains why she later developed symptoms. Gong is forced to do everything in his power to save his daughter by solving the mystery of the disease that afflicted Goksong Village and learning the truth about the evil spirits.

The film was a huge success at the level of audiences and critics, as it received a 99% rating from Rotten Tomatoes critics, who praised the atmosphere of mystery and excitement that the film created and put the viewer in. It is one of the best Korean horror films, and one New York magazine critic commented: The film is made in a way that makes most cinema films American devoid of imagination. The Chicago Reader pointed out the quality of the cast, and its length of more than two and a half hours is acceptable, boring, and unexpected, as it mixes ancient East Asian myths and rituals such as exorcism and village gods, with other terrifying symbols such as demonic possession, zombies and goats’ head.

Best Korean Horror Movies: Various nominations chosen by both critics and viewers

I Saw the Devil

  • Production year: 2010.
  • Directed by: Kim Ji Won.
  • Screenplay: Park Hyun Joong.
  • Starring: Lee Byung Hun, Choi Min Sik, Jeon Guk Hwan.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 7.8.
  • Rating of the film on Rotten Tomatoes: 81%.
  • Produced by: Papermint & Company.
  • Budget: $6 million.

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Kyung-Chul is a dangerous killer and psychopath who has committed many gruesome murders and mutilation of young women and children victims, and the police are trying to catch him but they can’t catch him. One day, he meets a girl who needs help changing a tire, and instead of helping her, he beats her, takes her with him, kills her in his house, dismembers her body, and disposes of his remains. News of the tragedy reaches her father when a young man finds her ear in a stream.

To solve this case, the girl’s fiancé, Soo Hyun, who works in the National Intelligence Service, vows to catch the killer and take revenge on him. After investigating four suspects, he finds that Kyung Chul is the perpetrator of the crime. Indeed, Soo Hyun can set him up, but he does not kill him, but rather puts a tracking device in his body to enable him to monitor his movements and hear his speech, then Soo Hyun begins his revenge, which he plans to catch him several times and assault him and then release him again, but later regrets not getting rid of him whenever he was He can easily.

The film was shown at the American Sundance Film Festival before it was shown in South Korean cinemas, and it was shown in many major film festivals such as the Toronto Festival. Rotten Tomatoes critics admired the film, the violent manner in which it was made, and its action, and said it would satisfy the masses’ bloody desires for revenge and vent their anger. The New York Times said that the performance was very wonderful, and the scenes are disgusting as required, with the quality of photography, as the director was able to control the film and rhythm with those elements to bring us a masterpiece and one of the best Korean horror films.

A Tale of Two Sisters

  • Production year: 2003.
  • Directed by: Kim Ji Won.
  • Screenplay: Kim Ji Won.
  • Starring: Im Soo Jung, Moon Geun Young, Yeom Jung Ah, Kim Kap Soo.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 7.2.
  • Rating of the film on Rotten Tomatoes: 85%.
  • Produced by: BOM Film Productions.
  • Budget: $3.7 million.

The film is based on a traditional anecdote that has been treated as a movie several times. It tells the story of two sisters, Soo Mi and Soo Yeon, the first receiving psychotherapy for manic and traumatic shock in a psychiatric institution. Her life takes a turn when she returns to her father’s reclusive country house, home to his troubled wife Eun Joo and the younger sister she tries to protect, as she has a nightmare about her late mother.

The next day, So Mi stumbles upon old family photos revealing that their stepmother Eun Joo was a home nurse to her deceased mother. And her life turns into a terrible nightmare that Eun Joo is the cause of with her suspicious and evil actions, as ghosts appear to the inhabitants of the house, which becomes hell for everyone in it, including Eun Joo.

Since its inception, the film has received positive reviews from critics and won the Best Film Award at Fantasporto Festival in Portugal, becoming the highest-grossing Korean horror film in South Korea and the first South Korean film to be shown in American cinemas.

The film was well-received by critics of Rotten Tomatoes, who said that it is a suspicious, confusing, frighteningly influential horror movie that limits you annoyingly. Described by Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times as a triumph of gloriously crafted, dark, absurd horror films, he dazzles the viewer with the heinous and evil things people can do to each other.

The Host

The Host
  • Production year: 2006.
  • Directed by: Bong Joon Ho.
  • Screenplay: Bong Joon Ho, Ha Won Joon, Baek Chul Hyun.
  • Starring: Song Kang Ho, Byun Hee Bong, Park Hae Il, Bae Donna.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 7.1.
  • Rating of the film on Rotten Tomatoes: 93%.
  • Produced by: Chungyorahem Film, Seigo Entertainment.
  • Budget: $11 million.

On the banks of the Han River running through the city of Seoul, Korea, Mr. Park Hee-bong lives with his small family, owning a small kiosk from which he earns a living. The family consists of his eldest son Jang Do, who has failed in his social life and his longtime wife left him with their young daughter Hyun Seo, second son Nam Il, an unemployed gambler, and finally daughter Nam Joo, a sports champion and member of the national shooting team.

The tragedy occurs when a strange and brutal creature appears in the Han River and attacks the population, spreading panic and kidnapping the little girl. The appearance of this monster is due to the intentional dumping of toxic chemicals into the Han River by a US military base. The life of that family becomes miserable as they lose the little girl they love and are trying to search for and rescue her from the hands of this unknown monster.

The film’s director was inspired by his story when he read a story in a local newspaper about the appearance of a strange fish resembling the letter S in the Han River. The success of the film was expected after it was shown in Cannes, then in a large number of South Korean cinemas, and achieved huge revenues that made it top the list of the most profitable Korean films in history. The film won several awards at several festivals, most notably the Best Film at the Asian Film Festival.

The film received a very high rating on Rotten Tomatoes and its critics commented: The film is a wonderfully balanced film that pleases the audience and their minds and blends horror, comedy and irony. The French magazine “Cinema Notebooks” placed it in third place in its list of the best films of 2006. The famous director Quentin Tarantino considered it among the twenty best films produced after 1992 – the year in which he became a director -.


  • Production year: 2002.
  • Directed by: Ahn Byung Ki.
  • Screenplay: Ahn Byung Ki, Lee Yoo Jin.
  • Starring: Ha Ji Won, Kim Yoo Mi, Woo Jae Choi.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 6.2.
  • Rating of the film on Rotten Tomatoes: 63%.
  • Produced by: Twilight Pictures.

Journalist Ji Won receives threatening calls on her personal phone after writing a bunch of articles on a pedophile scandal, forcing her to change her number. Her best friend, Ho-jung, offers her to move into her other empty house. But the weird stuff doesn’t stop there, and Ji Won keeps getting calls, as well as seeing the ghost of a teenage girl playing Beethoven on the piano.

On one occasion, her friend Young Soo’s daughter answers one of these calls, causing her to go into a panic attack and scream. Young’s behavior has changed since then and she begins to feel a terrible pathological attraction to her father and change from her mother. By searching for the previous owners of her phone number, Ji Won finds that the number belonged to a girl who disappeared in mysterious circumstances and was used by two people who died in an unusual way, thus continuing the curse of the girl with the original number and disturbing her life.

The movie was a huge success in Korean theaters and was among the highest-grossing films in 2002, and an American version was made in 2009. Jason Gibney, the critic of AllMovie, said that the level of horror in the movie is good, but it relies heavily on visual fears that have been used a lot before. In the past with movies like Ring, The Eye, Ju-on.

Best Korean Horror Movies: Various nominations chosen by both critics and viewers

Whispering Corridors

Whispering Corridors
  • Production year: 1998.
  • Directed by: Park Ki Hyung.
  • Screenplay: In Jong Ok, Park Ki Hyung.
  • Starring: Choi Kang-hui, Kim Gyo-ri, Lee Mi-yeon, Park Young-soo.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 6.
  • Production: Cinema Service.
  • Budget: $600,000.

The film is set in a Korean girls-only school, where Professor Park works and they call her “The Big Fox” because of her strict teaching method. While browsing through some school records, Ms. Park calls her new classmate and ex-student Eun Young and tells her that her former classmate, Jin Joo, who had committed suicide, who she loved, has returned and attends school.

Park discovers the dead body of three students, talented artist Lim Ji Oh who has the ability to communicate with spirits, shy student Yoon Jae Yi, and Kim Jong Suk. The next day, Lim Ji Oh and Yoon Jae Yi develop a friendship. Mr. Oh, whom they call “mad dog”, takes over from Ms. Park and begins to separate, compare and suppress the female students. When Eun Young tries to communicate with the late Jin Joo, she discovers strange secrets about her and Ms. Park.

The film had a very big impact as it was involved in the terrible development that happened to Korean cinema and the Korean horror film industry after the censorship was modified and edited as a result of the end of the military dictatorship of Korea. It also highlights a major social problem of authoritarianism in the harsh Korean education system.

The film was a surprise success after its release in South Korea and ranked third in domestic film revenue that year. The film was released in four subsequent parts, but is not related in terms of story or characters, and was re-produced in China in 2016. The British newspaper The Guardian ranked it the tenth best classic of modern Korean cinema.

Best Korean Horror Movies: Various nominations chosen by both critics and viewers

Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel
  • Production year: 2007.
  • Directed by: Yaim Pil Sung.
  • Screenplay: Kim Min Seok, Yim Pil Sung.
  • Starring: Chun Jung-myung, Eun Won-jae, Shim Eun-kyung, Jin Ji-hui.
  • IMDB Rating: 6.7.
  • Rating of the film on Rotten Tomatoes: 77%.
  • Produced by: CG Entertainment.

While salesman Eun Soo is driving on the highway and talking on the phone with his pregnant girlfriend at the same time, he gets into a fight with her that causes him to lose focus and crash into his car and faints. Eun wakes up in the dark forest and meets a young girl named Young Hee, who invites him to go to her “Happy Children’s Home,” where he meets her parents, older brother Man Bok and younger sister Jung Sun, and notices that the little boys are trying to imitate his every move.

Eun Soo tries to escape from this crazy house but fails, but his parents leave him and tell him to take care of the children. To realize that these children are not really theirs and that they got to this house in the same way that made him stay with them. Then, a series of strange events begin when Man Bok brings a couple of home and they end up with a strange fate.

The reactions to the film were mostly positive, as one of the critics of the Twitch Film website said: It is innovative, strange, beautiful, and striking, and every detail in it is wonderful in itself. It is one of the films that use all the elements of the film in a creative way, conveys the right feelings, and ignites excitement in the atmosphere.

Best Korean Horror Movies: Various nominations chosen by both critics and viewers

Train to Busan

Train to Busan
  • Production year: 2016.
  • Directed by: Yaeun Sang Ho.
  • Screenplay: Park Joo Suk.
  • Starring: Jung Yoo, Ma Dong Seok, Jung Yoo Mi, Kim Soo In.
  • Film rating on IMDB: 7.6.
  • Film rating on Rotten Tomatoes: 94%.
  • Produced by: Next Entertainment World, Red Better Film.
  • Budget: $8.5 million.

The best thing to conclude with this diverse list is this well-known movie and one of the strongest Korean horror films, most of which take place on the train heading from Seoul to Busan when a virus spreads that turns humans into zombies in the country and represents the train heading to Busan, which The virus did not reach it, the lifeboat of this epidemic. But a woman who carries the virus boards the train and begins attacking its passengers and turning them into zombies, making the passengers panic, hiding and waiting to preserve their lives until they reach safety.

The success of the film extended to the world and was very popular in many countries, in addition to breaking the highest revenues in some Asian roles such as Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Rotten Tomatoes’ critics said they liked the movie, saying that it offers a unique, exciting, highly entertaining feel and is a great addition to the zombie genre. But Entertainment Weekly said that the scenes of the dead crowds are explicitly borrowed from World War Z, though emotion was added to it and the result came out great.

Human made

Best Korean Horror Movies: Various nominations chosen by both critics and viewers

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