With film-rating sites like Rotten Tomatoes, you don’t even have to worry about picking something to watch on Netflix or other streaming sites. During these purgatory-like times, arguing about what to watch could be an emotional rollercoaster. You’d have to deal with deciding on a genre to watch. Then, you would realize that the three choices you have might only be half-decent. At this point, you’re paralyzed with the thought of making a wrong decision.
So, you will Google the ratings of your choices to find out whether or not they’re actually worth your time. In this article, we’ll be looking at the five Korean horror movies that topped Rotten Tomatoes’ charts. The Koreans have given us top-notch content that we can’t seem to get away from. They aren’t afraid to push just how dark human nature can get. Filled with jump scares and an eerie atmosphere, these horror movies will surely give you nightmares.
Top 5 Korean Horror Movies, according to Rotten Tomatoes
# 5 | Gonijam: Haunted Asylum – 91%
South Korea’s wildly successful contribution to the found-footage subgenre, Gonijam: The Haunted Asylum became the second-highest-grossing horror film. Based on a real-life place, Gonijam Psychiatric Hospital remained abandoned in Gwanju, Gyeonggi Province.
The hospital also became one of Korea’s most haunted locations, pinned as one of CNN Travel‘s freakiest places in the world. The film follows the crew of a horror web series that traveled to the hospital for a Livestream. The characters are surely likable which may be bad news due to the fact that once you get attached, it would be a grim experience to watch them die one by one.
# 4 | The Host – 93%
Under the direction of Bong Joon-ho, you will understand why The Host received such great praise. He was the director of 2019’s Parasite, the film that made Oscars history as the first foreign-language film to ever win Best Picture. Aside from being terrifying, this movie also had comedic moments due to its relatable characters who had incredible depth.
The story starts when a US military official purposely dumps biochemical waste into Seoul’s Han River. Then, out emerges a bizarre and ugly sea monster that sweeps up little Hyun-Seo. The kid’s family may be dysfunctional and flawed but they remain lovable as they band together to get the little girl back. This movie shows how ordinary people can do when their own government fails them.
#3 | Train to Busan – 94%
As Korea’s original take on the zombie apocalypse, Train to Busan brought the country’s cinema to international attention. Dubbed as one of the best zombie movies ever made, this horror film could make you bawl like a little baby. Seok-Woo and his little daughter, Su-An board a bullet train to, obviously, Busan to see her mother.
Then, an infected woman hops on and all hell breaks loose. Trapped as the passengers fight for their lives, they also realize that they must work together if they want to get out of the train alive. Tension remains high and the setting stays quite unique. You will genuinely hope that your face characters will make it. But, when they don’t, it smacks you across the face.
# 2 | The Wailing – 99%
2016 might just be a great year for Korean horror films. With Train to Busan, The Wailing also became such a huge success. This movie will disorient you until your stomach fills up with nothing but dread. The last twenty minutes of this movie might be the most terrifying thing I have ever seen in my entire life as the ending made me think for days. With Director Na Hong-jin spending six years crafting this masterpiece, it also touches the strained history of Japanese-Korean relations.
A plague of murder and illness spread through a mountain village. The afflicted goes crazy before dying in gruesome ways. Townsfolk finds a mysterious Japanese man suspicious of what just happened. When Officer Jong-Goo’s daughter begins to show the savage symptoms of the same illness, he races to save her. However, he discovers that the cause may be satanic in nature. No ghosts or zombies to beat here… The root of this problem is the actual evil.
# 1 | Seoul Station – 100%
The animated prequel to Train to Busan, the Seoul Station had its setting a day before as it shows how the zombie epidemic began in South Korea before the latter’s events. Taking place in and around Seoul Station, a young woman runs away from her former brothel, trying to survive in a world that sees her as disposable.
Revolving around two main characters, Suk-gyu searches for his daughter, Hye-sun. He finds her alive and working as a prostitute. Just as he is about to be reunited with her, the zombie epidemic breaks out in Seoul. You’ll surely get attached with the characters and just like its predecessor, you will get your heart broken with its ending.
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