Top 10 scariest horror K-drama series & movies
To celebrate Halloween, we’ve compiled a list of the most thrilling and terrifying horror K-dramas and movies currently available for streaming online.
Audiences know of more than a few popular titles like the zombie K-drama Kingdom, All of Us Are Dead, Train to Busan, and more. But what makes up a good horror movie besides blood-thirty zombies?
Some of the most popular horror K-dramas and movies are about inescapable hauntings, monsters, and even your neighbor being a serial killer. Die-hard K-content fans know a majority of work in the horror genre isn’t about bloody gore and guts, but what goes on in the dark.
From classic South Korean horror movies like The Wailing to some eery K-dramas, here’s a list of what to watch and where to stream.
The Guest has a priest face the world’s darkness
What happens when a disbelieving detective, a cold-headed Catholic priest, and a psychic get entangled with demonic possession and death in The Guest?
Yoon Hwa-pyung (Kim Dong-wook) was born into a shaman family with psychic abilities. As a young boy, he learns about a heinous demon named “Son” (Guest). It has the ability to control other demons and possess weak humans. Hwa-pyung is possessed and is aided in an exorcism by an older priest and his apprentice Priest Choi (Kim Jae-wook).
Priest Choi is soon possessed and murders his family before crossing paths with a policewoman and her daughter. Twenty years later, Hwa-pyung uses his psychic powers to find demons, while Priest Choi is still performing exorcisms. The young girl from the past is now an adult and also a detective.
When the same method of various murders begins happening again, the three meet by fate and help each other root out the evil demon before it’s too late.
Where to watch: Netflix
Thirst is described as an erotic-horror movie
Thirst scratches the itch K-drama and movie fans may have for a vampire horror, but with some added twists and comedic tones to balance everything out.
Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) is a Catholic priest and well respected for his unwavering faith. While helping at the hospital, he volunteers to become a test subject for a new vaccine to fight the Emmanuel Virus. But the experiment goes terribly wrong, and Sang-hyun awakens with an insatiable thirst for blood and sex.
Everyone believes he’s a miracle for the virus, but Sang-hyun is having a hard time containing his blood thirst. The symptoms of the virus only go away when consuming human blood. Along the way, he begins an affair with Tae-ju (Kim Ok-bin), an unhappily married woman. Thirst’s storyline progresses as Sang-hyun struggles to hang on to his morality.
Where to watch: Peacock and Apple TV+
Sweet Home has tenants turn into monsters based on their desires
Song Kang’s Sweet Home K-drama has been praised for its gory and monstrous storylines of an apocalyptic outbreak as humans turn into grotesque monsters.
A fan-favorite horror thriller K-drama is Sweet Home developed by Netflix. It follows Cha Hyun-soo (Song Kang), a reserved teenager who recently lost his whole family and moves into a new apartment complex. Overnight, the world changes, and the tenants find themselves locked inside the building. An apocalypse has descended with humans becoming ugly monsters based on their innermost desires.
While the tenants try to stay alive and not turn on each other, Hyun-soo is special. He exhibits all the signs of turning but has maintained his humanity. Sweet Home is an intense battle of larger-than-life and blood-thirsty monsters with Hyun-soo fighting to protect his newfound friends. All the while, not succumbing to the monster within him.
Sweet Home will return with a second and third season.
Where to watch: Netflix
White: Melody of Death is a Korean horror movie about K-Pop idols
The life of K-Pop fame is not all stars and glamour in White: Melody of Death as a female group faces horrid accidents after watching a VHS tape.
The plot for White: Melody of Death sounds familiar to The Ring and the concept of becoming cursed after watching a tape. Pink Dolls have seen little to no success after their K-Pop debut. Eun-ju (Ham Eun-jeong) is bullied by the other three members for her relationship with her sponsor. Soon the label and group move to a new building that went through a fire 15 years ago.
While cleaning the rehearsal room, Eun-ju finds a VHS tape titled “White.” When seeing the tape, the sponsor demands the group to remake the song as their own. Overnight, they reach stardom. But they soon learn the truth of the tape and its connection to a series of accidents on set. Behind their success is a curse.
Where to watch: Tubi
The Cursed is a horror K-drama worthy of a few scares
A big IT conglomerate has a dark and treacherous secret a journalist is devoted to uncovering while meeting a young girl with special abilities in The Cursed.
Im Jin-hee (Uhm Ji-won) is a dedicated journalist who wants to do the right thing. While investigating a case, she learns about IT company Forest, led by CEO Jin Jong-hyun (Sung Dong-il). Behind his success and public persona is dark as he relies heavily on shamanism.
While investigating all connections to Forest and their ties with a spiritual consultation company, she meets So-jin (Jung Ji-so). She is far from ordinary being possessed by a spirit and able to bring death by using photos or special belongings.
Where to watch: Netflix
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is Korea’s best found footage horror movie
Based on a real-life psychiatric hospital, Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum uses found footage to document the story of a horror web series crew and their haunted adventure to an abandoned asylum.
Like Megan is Missing and other popular found footage movies, the Korean version will have audiences fearful of what is or isn’t behind them. Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital is known for the rumors of it being haunted after the ping-pong-loving director went missing in 1979 and his patients died by suicide.
When two teenagers go missing at the hospital, it captures the attention of Ha-Joon, owner of the YouTube channel “Horror Times.” A group of six venture to the haunted asylum to experience absolute fear, and begin live streaming from inside.
Where to watch: Tubi, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video
Goedam focuses on eight urban legends turned horror
Nighttime can be dangerous as everything that goes bump in the night and lurks in the shadows come out to play and harm humans in Goeedam.
The K-drama uses eight popular urban legends to create different episodic stories of hauntings and horror. As night falls over the city, spirits and ghosts take over and begin their fun on humans. Goedam is rated 18+ for gore and profanity.
Where to watch: Netflix
The Wailing is a South Korean horror movie classic
Directed by Na Hong-jin, The Wailing focuses on a police detective investigating a series of odd cases in a small town to help save his daughter.
In a joyride of complex twists and horror, the small town of Gokseong begins to feel the bloody path of death when a strange visitor arrives. The cases that plague the mountainside town has villager murder their families overnight.
Officer Jong-goo is led to investigate the local townspeople and learns of a mysterious stranger with glowing red eyes. A stranger he was warned about nights prior by a nake woman claiming it’s all because of a Japanese man before disappearing into thin air. His investigation soon targets his daughter and his partner. Before it’s too late, Jong-goo must find the person or entity behind it all.
Where to watch: Viki, Peacock, and Tubi
Hell is Other People will have you questioning your neighbors
A low-end and cheap residential building in Seoul has an intern weary of his neighbors as he feels watched and that they are hiding a horrible secret.
While knowing Lee Dong-wook as a master of romance in Tale of the Nine-Tailed, he also scared the wits out of fans in Hell is Other People. Based on the popular webtoon, it follows Yoon Jong-woo (Im Si-wan) as he landed an intern job in Seoul. Low on money, he can only afford a cheap dormitory called Eden Studios.
While trying to keep to himself, his neighbors are the people he actively tries to avoid. He soon meets the charismatic Seo Moon-jo (Lee), a dentist. While staying at the dormitory, Jong-woo begins to hear odd sounds at night and like someone is watching him. He soon stumbles into the dark truth behind the tenants and Moon-jo.
Where to watch: Apple TV+ and Disney+
The Tale of Two Sisters is a 2003 South Korean psychological horror
One of the must-watch Korean horror movies is Kim Jee-won’s The Tale of Two Sisters as one sister returns from a psychiatric hospital to experience bizarre occurrences at home.
Among all horror K-dramas and movies, The Tale of Two Sisters is based on a well-known Joseon-era folklore. Being treated for psychosis and shock, Bae Su-mi (Im Soo-jung) returns home to her family’s secluded estate. She reunites with her little sister and has a less-than-welcoming meeting with her new stepmother, Eun-joo (Yum Jung-ah).
Back home, she begins to have dreams of her late mother and learns Eun-joo was her nurse while she was terminally ill. But Su-mi is forced to endure for her father’s sake and to protect her sister. Sooner rather than later, Su-mi and her sister begin to witness odd occurrences around the home. Is Eun-joo to blame?
Where to watch: Amazon Prime Video
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