While KPOP and Korean dramas have garnered a worldwide audience, their popularity has sparked a boom in intrigue in Korean Thriller movies.
Here’s a list of the most recognized thriller films that have become some of my own favorites, based on personal experiences. The movies included below have received positive feedback from audiences as well.
Twisted Thriller: ‘Forgotten’
With his brother, mother, and father, Jin-Seok (Kang Ha-neul) seemed to have the perfect lifestyle. His sibling gets abducted one fine day. Jin-Seok finds shifts in his family’s behavior when he returns unexpectedly after 19 days. He investigates the circumstances leading to his brother’s kidnapping, only to be struck with a revelation that sets his entire life in peril.
I had no clue this movie would be that good when I initially started watching it. From inception to delivery, however, the film captivated, delighted, baffled, alarmed, and saddened me. A lot of mixed feelings, if you may.
‘Memories of Murder’
Memories of Murder, hailed by critics as one of the best mystery thrillers ever created in Korean cinema. Directed by Parasite Filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, he has a way to keep his viewers engaged until the end. The screenplay, plot, suspense, and haunting all contribute to the film’s excellence.
Based on actual events in South Korea between 1986 and 1991, Song Kang-ho plays an investigator in a tiny province. He later joins forces with others to investigate a series of rapes and killings that have the police shook and the public terrified. This movie provides a lot of suspense without many story twists, and the camerawork amazed me.
‘I Saw the Devil’
“I Saw the Devil” takes agony and sadness to a whole new extreme, depicting them in the most horrible ways. As a result, it’s hardly a cheerful movie. Whether it’s the minor characters or the prominent ones, this thriller film features terrific performances all around. The filmmaker has certainly invested a lot of time and effort in the performers, and it shows.
Pursuing a deadly psychotic serial killer (Choi Min-sik) and a secret agent (Lee Byung-hun) seeking vengeance is a thriller based on a revenge plot with extra depth. After his fiancé gets brutally murdered, the agent swears to himself that he would do all in his power to exact violent reprisal on the culprit. He considered it necessary, even if it meant becoming a demon himself, to catch this hideous and horrible murder.
‘Mother’-Son Bond Style Thriller
Again an actual work of genius by Bong Joon-ho has made it onto the list. This movie successfully portrays mothers who stay cautious of their kids despite making errors or committing misdeeds.
When a murdered teenage girl is found, a widow (Kim Hye-ja) who lives with her mentally deficient son (Won-bin) is swept into some terror. The suggestive evidence among the weak police inquiry hints at the son’s involvement. This is how he becomes the primary suspect. The mother, wronged by the justice system, takes the law on her own shoulders to redeem her son’s name.
Also Read: Top 5 K-Dramas You Need to Watch