Top 10 Best Korean Horror Movies You Should Watch


korean horror movies

Hey guys!. In this post, I’ll be discussing a list of Top 10 Best Korean Horror Movies You Should Watch. We will be looking back at one of our favorite iterations of the horror genre, which comes to us from South Korea. Strap yourselves in, we'll be looking at 10 Korean films you should definitely watch, as well as a few of your own selections. Rest assured, there will be no spoilers. Now let's get started!

10. The Quiet Family. 

Since many great Korean films, horror, or thrillers, end up leaving with us feeling empty and hopeless, we will begin our list with a film that mixes comedy with horror elements. The Quiet Family. A family-owned inn near a mountain barely gets any business from people that explore the area. One day, an odd traveler stays over and commits suicide in his room. As the bumbling family is stuck taking care of the fallout, they also must deal with the sudden increase in paying costumers...and the growing number of bodies piling up in their property. This movie takes a simple premise repeats it and sees how absurd it can get. The Quiet Family is a funny yet dark way of dipping your toes into Korean horror. It's also nice to see both Song Kang-ho and Oldboy himself acting like buffoons with only the risk of accidently killing someone. 

9. A Tale of Two Sisters.

The second film on our list comes to us from: Jee-woon Kim, the same director as the first one. He isolates us in another home in the middle of nowhere but this time, instead of comedy and slasher horror, we are in the middle of a type of gothic horror. A Tale of Two Sisters. Su-Mi and Su-Yeon reluctantly return to their house, where their father and stepmother await them. The stepmother is antagonistic towards the girls and the father is oblivious as to what his wife is doing. On top of the tension brought on from the familial disagreements, there is an increasing number of strange occurrences, apparitions and nightmares that inform us that something is very wrong with this whole situation. This film is a very somber and moody slow burn that requires us to pay attention to the details and rewards us with a brutal ending. 

8. The House Maid.

The House Maid is one of South Korea's most significant movies and came out at the end of their golden age, you can even detect its influence in the much-celebrated Parasite. But like many older Korean films, it almost disappeared as two of the original reels went missing. Thankfully, a lot of effort went into its restoration (which is still noticeable). I mention all of this so we can appreciate our ability to view this once lost, claustrophobic and tense familial implosion. An upper-class family is about to welcome a new addition to their home and decide to hire a house maid to help around the house. Sadly, this turns out to be more than what they bargained for. Like a reverse Mary Poppins, the titular housemaid ruins everything she touches and has a way of bringing out the worst in people. She's also a bit too fast and loose with the rat poison. Together with the family they spiral into a deadly melodramatic madness. It becomes a nightmarish social commentary about envy, status, and human desire. 

7. Whispering Corridors.

Like The Housemaid, this movie is an important staple of the South Korean cinema canon, becoming a popular production in its post censorship era. Instrumental in the South Korean new wave and avoids falling under the influence of J-horrors like Ring because they came out in the same year: Whispering Corridors. Students at an all-girl school are left rattled after the mysterious and theatrical suicide of their homeroom teacher. At the same time, a new teacher, former student at the same school, starts discovering that the mystery is somehow connected to the death of her old friend. Not only do these students have to deal with a possible ghost haunting the halls but with the equally frightening South Korean education system. This story can be at times slow-paced and show signs of now well travelled narratives, but it sets the right atmosphere filled with an endearing charm that only a classic 90s supernatural school ghost story can offer. 

6. The Host.

For our following pick, we will be looking into award winning director Bong Joon Ho's filmography. The Host. A mutated creature emerges from the Han River and terrorizes the people who were going about their daily lives near the area. The military tries to shut everything down to control a possible contagion, but the protagonist and his family go out to look for one of their own, while being careful not to run into the monster or getting caught by the authorities. This creature feature mixes humor, with melodrama giving us strong performances from all over the genre spectrum. Bong Joon Ho's signature directing style is on full display as he brings us a sprawling exploration of social issues buried deep within the horror facade. 

5. Bedevilled.

This next movie will surely scratch your Korean revenge itch. The intense Bedevilled. A woman goes back to the remote island she grew up in, there she reunites with an old friend and meets her family. Together they reminisce on forgotten times but things on the island aren't as idyllic and peaceful as they would appear. Away from the rest of civilization, this island and its inhabitants have estranged themselves from normalcy... where abuse has gone unchecked for too long. This movie goes into some disturbing subject matter that's not easy to take in since it's about a woman reacting to her trauma. Honestly, you will be left infuriated with most of everyone on-screen and hope for their quick demise save for the unyielding main character. You will be rooting for the deranged swings of her sickle. Good for her. 

4. Train to Busan.

The following movie on our list is one that introduced many casual horror movie fans to Korean cinema. Train to Busan. The premise is very simple: people from all walks of life try to survive a zombie-apocalypse while on a train...which might be misleading in making us think that it's just another zombie movie. Sure, there is an outbreak, there are high tension moments, there is violence and gore, but the strength in this movie lies in its characters. We connect easily with the protagonists, their relationships and end up caring for their survival, which is worrisome because it's shown early on that no one on this train is getting to their next stop unscathed. 

3. Thirst.

Staying withing the realm of creatures associated with the horror genre, the next film on our list explores vampires. Thirst. A priest undergoes an experimental medical procedure to help cure a disease but unfortunately, the blood transfusion he receives turns him into a vampire. Soon, the pious man that had his impulses under control is being tempted by his sexuality and his growing lust for blood. Now...I know what you're thinking...another horny vampire that stares longingly into the distance as he hungers...and you would partially be right because there's some of that in here. But this film was made by the same director as Oldboy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and The Handmaiden: Park Chan-wook. So, expect the director's unique idiosyncratic irony embedded in the scenes and his tongue and cheek irreverence. It's a generous serving of the devilish and disturbing. 

2. Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum.

In Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum we follow a group of young people as they explore an abandoned insane asylum that is said to be haunted. The group's exploration is broadcast live through the internet with the intention of getting one million views. Unbeknownst to most of the explorers, what they experience while inside the asylum has been staged in order to attract more viewers...but eventually, unexplainable things happen to the group, making them realize that they aren't alone and that they should have never come inside the asylum. This movie follows the found-footage format and since every explorer is equipped with Go-Pros, we get to have different angles and points of view of the action, making us feel like we are also inside the dark and decrepit building, which adds to the tension, especially when certain creepy and uncanny scenes unfold. This is a fun rollercoaster ride of a movie to watch with a group of friends. 

1. The Wailing.

And so, we've arrived at the last film on our list. Our favorite Korean Horror movie and also one of our favorite horror movies in general. The enigmatic and devastating The Wailing. There is a disease that has been spreading among the inhabitants of the small village of Goksung. It's been leading to violent behavior and death. It all began since a stranger moved in. An oaf of policeman investigates and is he slowly swallowed up in an occult force that threatens more than just his life, but his soul. The Wailing is not the type of movie you play in the background or decide to watch on a have to be in a specific mindset to view it. It's a long film that takes its time to create an atmosphere of mystery and dread, slowly building as it tries to extinguish any hope of a happy conclusion. If you are left hollow by this one, remember to check A Quiet Family as a pallet cleanser. 

That is it from today’s post on Top 10 Best Korean Horror Movies You Should Watch. If you do not agree with the points in the post and have some of your own opinions, share them with us in the comments section down below. 

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Chandan is the writer of “Top 10 Best Korean Horror Movies You Should Watch”. Also, Connect with me on Facebook.


Hey there! I'm Chandan and I'm from India. I'm a writer and youtuber. You can contact me at: pinterest

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