It tells the story of a young man,Yoon Jong Woo (Im Si-wan) in his 20s who moves to Seoul after landing an internship in a company.While looking for a place to stay,he stumbles upon Eden Studio,a ominous cheap dormitory and decides to stay there as he is low on money.Though not thrilled about the quality of the place and its abnormal residents including his next-door neighbor Seo Moon Jo (Lee Dong-wook) he decides to tolerate it until he saves enough money to move out.However,mysterious occurrences start occurring in the studio,causing Jong Woo to start fearing the studio's residents.
'Strangers from Hell' (a.k.a 'Hell Is Other People') is a South Korean television series which was adapted from Naver Webtoon (Type of Digital comic originated in South Korea) of the same name by Kim Yong-Ki. The series follows the story of a young aspiring crime novelist who moves from Busan to Seoul to pursue his dream whilst working as an intern at a company owned by his former college senior. While looking for a place to stay in the new city, he stumbles upon a residence named Eden Studio which suits his low budget. Right from the day of his arrival, mysterious incidents start occurring and the abnormal residents there make it tougher for him to live there. Jong-woo (Im Si-wan) who has no choice continues to reside amidst the crazies and the series of unfortunate events that follows forms the crux of the story written by Jung Yi-do and directed by Lee Chang-hee.
It would be unfair to just praise one character because the entire cast was a brilliant bunch. Whether it’s Im Si-wan’s (Jong-woo) vulnerability or Lee Dong-wook’s (Seo Moon-joo) evil presence. Or the central cast who were eerily crazy. The entire cast was outperforming each other as the episodes progressed. The characters were well etched by the writer and one of the best performances I’ve seen till date in this genre. In every episode, the actors take turns in surprising you with their diligent performances. It becomes a little hard to place a finger on one favourite. In the end you’re left in awe of all of them.
Crime dramas and psycho thrillers are favourite genres when it comes to Korean entertainment besides cheesy romantic series. But Korean drama's excel in the dark territory more than candy land. Their films have been a great inspiration for potential remakes in other regional languages. What makes this series stand out is its approach to present the tried and tested method in a fresh and crazy manner. Every episode ends with a cliff hanger moment. That leads you to binge the entire series in one sitting, which is spread across 10 episodes with a runtime of 10 hours. Exploring the darkest corners of a crime-thriller 'Strangers from Hell' instils a kind of fear of every moment as it unfolds, which in the end might give you nightmares. Although it may sound exaggerated but trust me it takes you on a trip where crazy and evil becomes an understatement. The series picks up a gripping pace after first two episodes and gets scarier with each episode after. One may ask how you would define good or evil. But it becomes hard to arrive at a conclusion as both are equally deceptive. So each plot which keeps you guessing and just when you think you’ve cracked the case, it surprises you with a twist.
Music and other Departments
'Strangers from Hell' has a brilliant technical team. The cinematography was top notch and puts you right in the centre of the action. One of the best which gives a virtual walkthrough, your television screens. Editing was eerily poetic. Background score is one of the main aspects of a thriller and SFM had the best which was enveloped with crisp sound design and mix.
Whether it’s the characters or the writing it literally gets under your skin. A spine-chilling thriller which takes craziness to another level. Performances by the entire cast were brilliant. It’s one of those rare occasions when all the aspects fall in order with hardly any room left for errors. It keeps your engrossed but doesn’t gross you out.
On an individual note, I really couldn’t find any. If you do find any, please feel free to leave your comments in the comments sections below.
Did I enjoy it?
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Do I recommend it and why?
Strongly recommend it. If you’re a person who enjoys crime-thrillers then you’ll be in for a treat. It defines the genre and in places re-invents it.