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OyeYeah picks top Korean horror movies

Horror films have evolved significantly over the decades. And thanks to  OTT platforms, South Korean horror dramas and films are now growing on us. 

Korean cinema has produced some truly captivating horror films that have gained international acclaim for their unique storytelling, chilling atmosphere, and innovative approach to the genre.

Here OyeYeah has picked some of the finest Korean horror films which offer a diverse range of storytelling styles and themes, each delivering its brand of suspense, terror, and thought-provoking narratives.

These South Korean films offer a diverse range of horror experiences, from psychological thrillers and supernatural tales to intense zombie apocalypses and revenge dramas.

If you are a horror movie fan, here are some top Korean horror movies you might enjoy:

Exhuma (2024)

also known as “Pamyo” in Korean, is a horror-thriller directed by Jang Jae-hyun, known for his work on occult films. The film stars Choi Min-sik, Kim Go-eun, Yoo Hae-jin, and Lee Do-hyun. It revolves around a team of paranormal experts who, upon exhuming a wealthy family’s ancestral gravesite to solve a supernatural affliction, unleash a malevolent force they did not anticipate.

The movie premiered on February 16, 2024, at the Berlin International Film Festival and was released in South Korean theaters on February 22, 2024. It has been well-received both critically and commercially, topping the South Korean box office upon release and grossing over $97 million worldwide by May 2024.

Critics have praised “Exhuma” for its realistic portrayal of Korean shamanism and detailed exhumation rituals, with special attention to practical effects and minimal use of CGI.

The Wailing (2016)

Directed by Na Hong-jin, this supernatural horror film follows a police officer investigating a series of mysterious deaths in a rural village. As he delves deeper into the case, he uncovers dark secrets and faces terrifying supernatural forces.

Train to Busan (2016)

Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, this horror-thriller revolves around a group of passengers trapped on a speeding train during a zombie outbreak. The film not only delivers intense action sequences but also explores themes of survival, sacrifice, and human nature.

A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

 Directed by Kim Jee-Woon, this psychological horror film is a chilling tale of family secrets, trauma, and supernatural occurrences.

The film follows two sisters who return home to their father and stepmother, only to confront disturbing events from their past.

The Host  (2006)

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, this monster movie combines elements of horror, comedy, and social commentary. It follows a dysfunctional family’s quest to rescue their daughter from a mutant creature that emerges from Seoul’s Han River.

Thirst (2009)

Directed by Park Chan-wook, this vampire horror-drama follows a Catholic priest who becomes a vampire after a failed medical experiment. As he grapples with his newfound thirst for blood, he becomes entangled in a passionate and dangerous relationship.

I Saw the Devil (2010)

Directed by Kim Jee-Woon, this revenge thriller blurs the lines between horror and action. It follows a secret agent who seeks vengeance on a sadistic serial killer, leading to a brutal game of cat and mouse with shocking consequences.

The Silenced (2015)

Directed by Lee Hae-young, this period horror film is set in a girls’ boarding school during the Japanese occupation of Korea. As mysterious events unfold, a new student uncovers dark secrets and confronts supernatural forces.

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum (2018)

Directed by Jung Bum-shik, this found-footage horror film follows a group of web series creators who explore an abandoned asylum. They soon encounter terrifying paranormal events, making for a chilling watch.

Bedevilled (2010)

Jang Cheol-soo’s directorial debut tells the harrowing story of a woman on an isolated island who finally snaps after enduring relentless abuse. It’s a powerful revenge thriller that delves deeply into themes of oppression and vengeance​.

The Call (2020) – This film, directed by Lee Chung-hyeon, involves a mysterious phone call that connects two women living in the same house but 20 years apart. As they interact, a serial killer’s past actions start affecting the present.

#Alive (2020)

This is a must-watch for Zombie movie fans . Directed by Cho Il-hyung, #Alive centers on a young man trapped in his apartment during a zombie apocalypse. It focuses on his survival tactics and the psychological effects of isolation​.

The Witch: Part 1 – The Subversion (2018)

This film by Park Hoon-Jung blends horror with sci-fi, following a young girl with mysterious powers who escapes from a secretive facility, leading to a series of violent and supernatural events.

The Divine Fury (2019)

 Combining horror with action, this film features a martial artist who gains supernatural powers to fight demons after developing stigmata. Directed by Kim Joo-hwan, it explores themes of faith and redemption. 

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