Love ‘Parasite’? Now watch these other great Korean movies
Parasite made history at the 2020 Academy Awards by being the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture at the ceremony. In addition, Parasite had also secured wins for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director, and Best International Feature Film. With these wins along with other critical praise and accolades, interest in Korean-language films is at an all-time high.
If you’re curious to deep your toes into Korean cinema, then we have a list of some of the best films to check out. Here are some of the best Korean-language films to check out.
I Saw the Devil (2010)
Do you like thrillers? Especially when one aggrieved party is after bloody revenge? Oh boy, I Saw the Devil is a film right up your alley. The film follows NIS (National Intelligence Service) agent Kim Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun) as he embarks on a quest for revenge against serial killer Jang Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik) after his fiancee is murdered by the killer.
It’s a pulse-pounder from start to finish. We should give a warning for content, especially the gore. I Saw the Devil makes Eli Roth look almost tame by comparison, but the film is so beautifully shot and engaging, then you can forgive the excess of blood.
Korean cinema has always been around, but film nerds really took to Korean cinema with Oldboy. The film follows Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) who spends 15 years held captive by a mysterious group who murders his wife and frames him for the crime. When he is released, he still finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy by the mastermind Lee Woo-jin (Yoo Ji-tae). Oldboy is considered to be one of the best films to come out of the 2000s. Period.
Again, this is super violent, which mega fan of the film Quentin Tarantino loved, and has a sort of Greek tragedy air. It’s considered to be one of the great films of the new millennium for a reason.
Memories of Murder (2003)
Of course, we were going to have a Bong Joon-ho film on the list. This the acclaimed director’s second feature film based on the true story of Korea’s first serial murders in history. Audiences follow Detectives Park (Song Kang-ho) and Seo (Kim Sang-kyung) as they try to solve the case.
Fans of the true-crime genre would definitely love this film, which wasn’t officially solved until 2019 when Lee Choon-jae confessed to 14 murders.
It’s a little odd as in addition to being based on a true crime story, Bong Joon-ho also combines social satire and comedy into the proceedings. Yet it definitely works.
Train to Busan (2016)
Do you like zombie movies? Did you like Snowpiercer? Good! Train to Busan is a perfect match for you. Widely considered to be the best zombie movie ever made (don’t front) and just one of the best movies of the 2010s, Train to Busan takes place on a train which quickly becomes overrun with zombies.
At the center of it is Seok-woo (Gong Yoo), an overworked businessman, who has to keep his young daughter (Kim Su-an) alive when a zombie apocalypse sweeps through the country. It’s a wild ride from start to finish and is a favorite of Shaun of the Dead’s Edgar Wright.
The Host (2006)
The Host is a brilliant monster movie. Like if all the Godzillas and King Kong reboots have got you down, then go and watch this film. It’s also another Bong Joon-ho film! What can we say? The man has a gift. T
The Host follows Park Gang-du (Song Kang-ho), a man who runs a snack stand near the river, when a monster arises from the waters and steals his daughter (Go Ah-sung). Not only is the monster a threat, but it also has an unknown contagion in its system.
The Host is a record-breaking movie in South Korea. Many have praised how it combines satire, horror, and comedy into one of the most intellectually challenging monster movies of all time.
The Handmaiden (2016)
It’s hard to describe The Handmaiden without really giving anything away. It’s just one of those movies that you need to watch. Partly because it was one of the most beautifully shot films of all time, but mainly because it needs to be experienced rather than told.
Also definitely of the best movies of the 2010s, there’s just something about watching The Handmaiden that will draw you in and never let you go.