It’s officially that time of the year! The air is cooler, the leaves are beginning to fall, and sweater weather is slowly rearing its head around the corner. The spookiest month of the year has rolled around once again, and this Halloween it won’t be the cool breezes that give you the chills. Here’s a list of 5 Korean horror movies you should dive into this Halloween.
Fans of the K-Entertainment scene could recognize this thriller instantly, and for good reason. The Wailing was insanely successful upon its release, winning an impressive thirty awards for directing, acting, cinematography, and of course the work as a whole. The Wailing follows police officer Jong-Goo as he investigates a strange string of murders caused by a disease that drives its victims to homicidal outbreaks, and eventually death. Tensions are raised, and panic sets in as he realizes that his daughter is showing some of the same symptoms. Racing against things he doesn’t understand, the audience is strapped in alongside Jong-Goo as he tries to find the source of his daughter’s illness and extinguish it before its too late. The Wailing is gripping at every turn, with a strong story that you don’t want to look away from. It’s a must watch for the spooky season.
Based on the grim Korean fairytale of Janghwa Hongryeon jeon (장화홍련전 or The Story of Janghwa and Hongryeon), this early 2000s horror flick takes the already creepy foundation and cranks the scare factor up to a thousand. The movie tells the story of Su-mi, a teenage girl just released from a mental institution, headed back home to her sister. Only, it’s not a happy reunion as she was hoping. Faced with the hauntings of her family’s past, and an evil stepmother; the audience watches as Su-mi navigates her way through the nightmarish home while trying to protect herself, and her sister from its evils. Though the fairy tale had been adapted many times before, it was Kim Jee-woon’s adaptation that gained the most attention. It became the highest grossing Korean horror film and the first to be played in American theaters. It also inspired an American remake titled The Uninvited that missed the mark for both domestic and international audiences.
Lee Jong-suk is known for portraying the hero you can’t help but swoon for. With heart throbbing, and recognizable roles in dramas such as W — Two Worlds, While You Were Sleeping, and Pinocchio, V.I.P showcases the renowned actor in a new and terrifying light. In this thriller, Lee Jong-suk plays the son of a high ranking North Korean official. He’s accused of taking part in a string of murders that stretch across the South and North Korean borders. His father’s high ranking status makes him practically untouchable and to catch him South Korea’s lead detective pairs up with a disgraced police officer from North Korea to bring the killer down. V.I.P is action-packed and stocked full of twists and turns. It’s a grand game of cat and mouse that will have you questioning who is chasing who up until the very end of the movie.
New, and creative ways to terrify an audience is cool and all but nothing tops the classics! The third installment to the Whispering Corridors anthology, Wishing Stairs follows in the creepy footsteps of its predecessors to the highest point of terrifying tales (literally). From jump scares to ghosts, dangerous deals to rotating heads; this movie is bound to leave you sleeping with the lights on for a few days. Centered around a creepy urban legend of a twenty-ninth step that grants wishes, our protagonist finds herself living a nightmare after her wish for a spot in the ballet takes a dreadful turn. Yun Jin-Sung’s story will leave you wary of making deals (and also of stairs). Oh, and if you’re worried about watching the Whispering Corridors anthology out of order, don’t be! Each film is separate from one another and tells a different story featuring a different cast of characters. But you could sit down and stream all four in one go. If you dare.
It wouldn’t be a haunting list of Halloween movies without a school ghost story, now would it? Mourning Grave follows the story of In-Soo, a boy who can see ghosts and forms a (not as weird as it sounds) relationship with a female ghost who haunts his new school. But this isn’t a quirky comedy about a young boy who falls in love with the undead. There’s another, much darker, spirit that looms over the school. Known as the masked ghost, this resentful spirit torments the students of In-Soo’s school and one by one they begin to go missing. It’s up to In-Soo to find out what happened to the masked ghost, and why it’s so angry before its too late. The film stars Kdrama stars Kang Ha-Neul, and Kim So-Eun which offers a nice change of pace for the Kdrama fanatic.
Sadly, this list has come to an end but there are so many terrifically terrifying Korean movies out there to last you all year! These are just a few of those great ones that we hope you’ll enjoy. From ghostly hauntings, urban legends, murder mysteries, and so much more; these 5 films will make you triple check your locks at night. Happy watching!