The horror genre in the South Korean film industry is often overshadowed by the mainstream romantic K-dramas that make everyone’s heart flutter. However, Korean horror movies are also the best at making your blood run cold and deserve more rave than they get.
If you’ve never watched anything other than a K-drama, now is the perfect time to get to know South Korea’s unique flair for the paranormal and the macabre. To give you a jumpstart, we’ve listed down the best Korean horror movies. First, pick your movie snacks, and then go on and pick your poison below.
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
One of the best Korean horror movies of all time, A Tale of Two Sisters is perhaps the movie that put South Korea on the map of horror. The movie follows a pair of sisters who experience conflicts with their abusive stepmother. At the same time, a lot of strange occurrences torment the household, and everything just unravels in the most mind-boggling of ways. It’s not only the scares that will keep you up at night but also the plot twists scattered throughout the reel.
Train to Busan (2016)
The world slept for a bit after A Tale of Two Sisters for over a decade until Train to Busan. It is the first major zombie film production from South Korea, and it hit the cinemas with a bang, subsequently sweeping numerous awards.
Train to Busan follows Sok-woo and his daughter and their company of fellow passengers as they evade zombies and strive to survive until they reach the safe zone in Busan. The movie is laden with action and suspense that will surely keep you on the edge of your seat.
Contrary to the film, the real-life train to Busan, KTX (Korean Train Express) is a comfortable and efficient means to get to the port city from Seoul. Check out the amazing tours you can take in Busan!
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)
Another more recent title that gave a lot of Korean viewers the heebie-jeebies is the documentary-style movie Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum. A group of young people starts a live stream of their tour of a haunted asylum that is said to have taken teenage boys. It all goes south when fake tricks blur into reality.
In contrast with what’s soon to follow, the movie begins with footages of the group’s fun and carefree road trip to the asylum. If the lovely scenery got you curious, you’ll be thrilled to learn about what you can explore in Gyeonggi-do, which is where the real-life Gonjiam is located.
The Wailing (2016)
A remote village is struck by a mysterious plague. It causes people to lose their minds and commit murders, which villagers connect with the arrival of a Japanese stranger. The Wailing is one of the scariest Korean horror movies that don’t have a lot of jumpscares but rather, it delivers tension and unrelenting chills that you can’t easily shake off.
A South Korean classic, Phone is about a journalist who ends up with a haunted phone number after trying to avoid harassing phone calls. She soon discovers that the previous owners of the number died of mysterious causes.
Phone stands out among the scariest Korean horror movies to this day because of its effective execution of timeless elements that have never failed to scare us.
Need to neutralize the scare from watching these movies? You should know that South Korea is a vibrant and exciting place to travel. No zombies and haunted phone numbers, promise! So don’t be scared to get a Korean SIM card for your future trip, and read up on the many ways you can explore Seoul.
Written by Rei Leano
Featured image via Warner Bros. Showbox