Most Thrilling Korean Content on your favourite Platforms
The South Korean film industry has undergone a renaissance recently. While their cinema has been around for many decades, and filmmakers like Jeong Jae-eun, Lee Chang-dong, Kim Jee-woon and Bong Joon-ho have been churning out some of the greatest films of the modern generation, it is only after this year’s Oscar sweep for Parasite (2020) that the industry gets its much deserved global recognition. Meanwhile, as the accessibility to long-form content grows, Korean dramas have surpassed the best of Western prestige TV in terms of viewership. Their gripping storylines, lush cinematography and an immense sense of style make them addictive, and they are not all soapy (if you can believe). So here are a few thrilling Korean shows that you can stream right now.
Also known as Secret Forest, Stranger stars Jo Seung Woo and Bae Doo Na. The show is about a prosecutor who teams up with a detective to solve a serial murder case. Together, they unravel a dark link to corruption. The 16-episode show is considered one of the best from Korea.
Political conspiracy meets racy entertainment in this series when two of Korea’s biggest stars collaborate. Bae Suzy and Lee Seung-gi star in Vagabond as a ditzy embassy intern, and a stuntman respectively. When Lee (who plays Cha) discovers that the plane crash which killed his nephew may not just be an accident, he starts to investigate. The show goes beyond romance and action, and presents a thrilling picture of the govt. And aerospace industries.
An ancient dynasty at its peak. And suddenly, thousands of its people wiped out in days. It all comes down to the Crown Prince, Chang, to solve the mystery and bring his kingdom back to light. What we soon discover is that it may be supernatural elements at work and a zombie apocalypse to deal with. But essentially, this show is about an incompetent bureaucracy, and we can all identify with that. Also, check out season 2 because it’s better.
A ghost whisperer and a dishevelled detective. Possessed is a classy, intriguing and sexy show about two souls fighting the same demons. But while they look great and share immense chemistry, there is so much blood, gore and supernatural intrigue to Possessed, to have the right entertainment factor for everybody.
If you love police procedurals and detective shows, then Signal is right up your alley. In the year 1986, a detective finds himself with the ability to communicate with a modern-day criminal profiler with just a walkie talkie. This riveting drama follows an unlikely pair that solves cases together while also being at constant risk of messing with the space-time continuum.
Having ‘Bodyguard’ withdrawal symptoms? The K2 has everything. Action, political intrigue, drama and romance. A fugitive is hired as a bodyguard to the wife of a Presidential candidate and what follows is a series of episodes which leave you on the edge-of-your-seat.
One case has plagued its investigation team and those involved in it for thirty years. Detective Park Kwang Ho may be investigating a few murders right from 1986 to 2016, but perhaps they are not unrelated. This fast-paced but slow-burn show takes three core characters and weaves a delectable thriller, while also providing great closure to victims and survivors.
For a slight change in pace, try this romance. Memories of the Alhambra is based on a sci-fi thriller concept and has exceptional plot twists to keep you going in every episode. At its core though, it is a beautifully shot love story about a woman on the run, and a tech mogul, both of whom mysteriously land up in the same hotel. There is a lot at stake… you’ll find out.
This nail-biting thriller follows Dae-ho as he unravels the mystery behind his son's disappearance via a series of investigations that mix the real world with his own uncharted dreamscape. The twists are clever and they keep coming, while the central driving force of Dae-ho's desperation to find his child makes this thriller a gripping watch.
When his abducted brother returns, seemingly a different man with no memory of the past 19 days, Jin-seok chases after the truth behind the mysterious kidnapping.
While you’re at it, check out these movies which are considered some of the best in the world:
Parasite - Amazon Prime / Netflix / Hulu
Snowpiercer - Netflix (Directed by Bong Joon Ho, in South Korea)
Train to Busan - Netflix
The Host - Netflix
Okja - Netflix