Horror TV shows are popular worldwide, and it's unlikely that this will change anytime soon. TV show creators realize this, offering multiple new horror series each year that span this diverse genre. What not all Western viewers know, however, is that some of the best horror shows come from South Korea.
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The country excels at making both movies and TV shows across various genres, and its special brand of horror is enough to draw in viewers no matter where they come from. Korean horror shows combine elements from multiple genres, and at the same time, they still manage to be genuinely scary — at least the best of them do. Here are some great shows for folks looking to dive into the world of Korean horror.
Updated on March 15, 2022, by Ritwik Mitra: Korean shows have become all the rage in modern times, and it's easy to see why this is the case. A combination of brilliant cinematography, gripping plots, and suspenseful moments have catapulted the majority of these shows to new heights. There are several genres that these Korean shows like to explore, with horror being one of the most popular verticals of the lot. Keeping this in mind, here are some of the best Korean horror shows that fans should check out.
There was a time when Squid Game reigned supreme as one of the biggest Korean shows around... before Hellbound came into the picture and unseated this wildly popular show from its throne. The premise of this show involved nightmarish supernatural beings passing judgment on sinners.
The concept of hell and sin itself is explored beautifully in this show, making for a great time indeed. It's a short and sweet watch that fans of good horror shows should check out.
9 All Of Us Are Dead
Korean shows and zombies are two elements that go hand-in-hand almost all the time. In fact, it's downright incredible to see just how many Korean shows use zombies as a central focus for their plot.
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This is the case in All of Us Are Dead as well, where a high school becomes the hub for a vicious zombie outbreak. Watching a bunch of likable students trying to survive this epidemic is surprisingly entertaining, with the eerie zombies adding a ton of tension to some brilliantly shot scenes.
8 Save Me
The idea of a haywire cult sowing seeds of discord within a close-knit family is pretty harrowing as is. However, it's the manner in which Save Me weaves its intricate plot line around this setting that makes it a brilliant show indeed.
Save Me doesn't pull any punches when it comes to showing the brutality of humankind in more ways than one. It's one of the queasiest watches on this list, mainly because the monster that is terrorizing the characters of this show are also pretty human in their own right.
Zombies are among the most popular horror creatures in all types of horror media, so it's not much of a surprise that one of the best Korean horror shows, Kingdom, focuses on them. It takes place in a kingdom whose prince becomes the only hope against the mysterious sickness that is slowly engulfing the land.
Two seasons have premiered so far, each with six episodes, so it's possible to finish watching the show quite fast. Available on Netflix, Kingdom has it all, from captivating plotlines to intriguing characters to brutal action scenes.
6 Master's Sun
Some of the best horror stories manage to combine both drama and comedy, and the 2013 series Master's Sun is a good example of that. Its main heroine, Tae Gong Shil, doesn't lead a peaceful life — because she can see ghosts almost everywhere. Things start to change when she meets the cold and arrogant Joo Joong Won. He's the only person in whose company Tae feels normal, like everybody else.
The series incorporates humor in the dialogue exchange between the main duo, yet it's also quite terrifying at times. For viewers who enjoy unusual romances, the series is worth checking out. Just like Kingdom, Master's Sun is also currently streaming on Netflix.
5 Hotel Del Luna
American Horror Story: Hotel isn't the only scary series taking place in a hotel. However, Hotel Del Luna couldn't possibly be more different from the American show. It focuses on Jang Man-Wol who's been leading the Del Luna hotel for over a thousand years. Unsurprisingly, this hotel is far from ordinary. Its guests are the souls of people who died but remained in the mortal world. It's unusual for living people to stumble into the hotel, until one day when exactly that happens, and everything changes.
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The show is full of fascinating concepts that make it worth watching. It has sixteen episodes in total and has since stopped airing, so it's possible to binge-watch it without the need to wait for the story's resolution. It manages to combine multiple genres, and its characters will keep the audience intrigued.
4 Sweet Home
The Netflix horror show Sweet Home is based on a comic book. Hyun is a high school student who must fight for his life since monsters have seemed to take over the planet. Luckily, Hyun won't be the only one who takes the monsters on.
Unlike other series that work with well-known monsters (such as zombies), Sweet Home features a large variety of creatures. They keep the audience on the edge of their seats, since they never know who or what will show up next. The heroes are sympathetic, and it's easy to cheer them on.
Being a psychic might be a dream come true for many people, but the main heroine of this series, Hong Seo Jung, doesn't see it that way. She tries to hide her powers from others, but when the detective Kang Pil Sung finds out, he convinces her to work with him.
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It's not the first show featuring an unlikely duo working together. However, Possessed presents the old formula in a refreshing, interesting way. Hong and Kang are so different that it takes them a while to get along — but meanwhile, they have to solve problems that would have most people shaking in their boots.
2 Zombie Detective
Some TV shows have names that simply speak for themselves, and Zombie Detective is one of those. A zombie becomes a detective after its resurrection, joins forces with a writer, and the two solve crimes together.
It might sound like a bizarre idea, but the show makes it work. It's equal parts frightening and hilarious, appealing to those who love horror comedies The first season has 24 30-minute episodes, which makes it easy to watch the entire series in a relatively short time. And even though the main hero is a zombie, he's far more sympathetic than many human characters audiences see on TV.
1 Strangers From Hell
Living in a flat with other people can be difficult, especially if they're complete strangers. In Strangers From Hell, the main hero moves to Seoul for a job and discovers that his new housemates are…a bit odd.
The series successfully creates a mysterious, suspenseful atmosphere and keeps the audience invested in the protagonist's situation. The actors give excellent performances and the story maintains a fast pace, despite the fact that each of the ten episodes lasts over an hour.
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What is the most scariest KDrama? ›
- All Of Us Are Dead. If you haven't yet watched this popular kdrama then you are surely missing out. ...
- The Witch: Part 1. This 2018 Netflix series starred Kim Da-mi. ...
- Kingdom. ...
- Sweet Home. ...
- Strangers From Hell. ...
- Save Me.
A combination of brilliant cinematography, gripping plots, and suspenseful moments have catapulted the majority of these shows to new heights. There are several genres that these Korean shows like to explore, with horror being one of the most popular verticals of the lot.Which Dabbe is most horror? ›
Psychological and disturbing horror! Dabbe 4 is a disturbing, unsettling and chilling movie. It is a class film and if you liked The Blair Witch Project and paranormal activity you will love this.Which KDrama should I watch? ›
Best KDrama to Watch This 2022
- Squid Game. Squid Game | Official Trailer | Netflix. ...
- Cliffhanger. ...
- Penthouse. ...
- Start-Up. ...
- Fight For My Way. ...
- Mine. ...
- Taxi Driver. ...
- Law School.
- Hell Is Other People (Strangers from Hell) ...
- The Penthouse: War In Life. ...
- Extracurricular. ...
- Taxi Driver. ...
- Extracurricular. An intelligent high school student turns to a life of crime to ensure he can pay for college and escape his dead-end life. ...
- My Name. ...
- The King's Affection. ...
- Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.
While Squid Game lacks monsters and jump scares, it is scary, violent, and an unnerving and upsetting film. The participants' childhood games are all brutally created and invariably end in horrific deaths. The show is based on an insidious psychological terror that wraps its tentacles around you.Is the Squid Game a horror? ›
Despite the memes, while Squid Game has its comedic moments the show is far from a comedy. Netflix has categorized the show under thrillers and dramas, and it has a TV rating of MA. But just how scary is Squid Game? The story itself doesn't deal with ghosts, monsters, or anything of the supernatural.Why is Korean TV so popular? ›
K-dramas are generally known for having high production value, intense and often engrossing storylines, and quality acting that helps build an emotional connection between the characters and the audience.Is Dabbe a true story? ›
The movie Allegedly inspired by a true story which occurred in Turkey's Ankara. Real events or not The movie is intelligently done in the fact that it shows you both sides of the story, how it could have been Jinn possession or sleepwalking? If you want to feel real scares you have to know something about the Jinns!
What does Dabbe mean in Turkish? ›
The word Dabbe means an animal or a creature, often a baby animal in Classical Arabic. Specifically, it refers to a baby camel.Is the djinn based on a true story? ›
There is no official announcement about the film Djinn (2021) is based on a real event. Though many Djinn exorcism cases are similar to the movie story it is still not confirmed from any legit source.What is No 1 K-drama 2022? ›
Twenty Five Twenty One
With a beautiful narrative and an excellent cast, this is one of the highest-rated K-dramas of 2022. Set against a tumultuous backdrop of South Korea facing a severe financial crisis, the story revolves around characters who see their hopes and ambitions crash down.
- Vagabond. The Swoon. 3.26M subscribers. ...
- Healer. Viu Philippines. 256K subscribers. ...
- Taxi Driver. Viu Singapore. 327K subscribers. ...
- Descendants Of The Sun. iflix Malaysia. 77.5K subscribers. ...
- The K2. tvN drama. 6.4M subscribers. ...
- Vincenzo. The Swoon. ...
- My Name. The Swoon.
Vincenzo is a bit typical, but it's fun and everything looks cool, so if you're looking for a new K-Drama to binge-watch, I'd recommend it. Just don't have too high expectations.Is Vincenzo a thriller? ›
A year after Vincenzo ended, here's looking back at Song Joong-ki's crime drama that was the perfect mix of comedy and thriller.Which Korean drama is trending now? ›
- Alchemy of Souls Light and Shadow. December 2022. __
- Cha Eun-woo for W Korea 🖤
- Woo Do-hwan for GQ 🖤
- Jisoo and Jung Hae-in backstage at Blackpink conce.
- Park Seo-joon for Elle 🖤
- Song Joong-ki is back in Reborn Rich 🖤 ☆www.k.
- Rookie Cops.
- All of Us Are Dead.
- Forecasting Love and Weather.
- Twenty Five, Twenty One.
- Juvenile Justice.
- A Business Proposal.
- Military Prosecutor Doberman.
He knows what is fake and it doesn't faze him at all.” In an emailed statement, a Netflix spokesperson said that “Squid Game” is intended for mature audiences, which means it may not be suitable for ages 17 and under.Is Squid Game OK for kids? ›
Not surprisingly, Squid Game is rated TV-MA, meaning for mature audiences only.
Why is Squid Game rated 18+? ›
Parents need to know that the level of violence is very intense in Squid Game. Characters are systematically tortured and killed for the sadistic pleasure of a game master. Adults have sex, and there are threats of sexual violence: Women are grabbed by the hair and beaten.Should 13 year olds watch squid games? ›
The age rating for "Squid Game" on Netflix is TV-MA, which means for mature audiences only. According to TV Guidelines, TV-MA indicates "this program is specifically designed to be viewed by adults and therefore may be unsuitable for children under 17.Is Squid Game a true story? ›
The 456 participants are a nod to the fictional series, which features the same number of players, with its main protagonist Seong Gi-hun also referred to as Player 456. The South Korean thriller series tells the story of debt-ridden people competing for a huge cash prize in a deadly series of children's games.Who is the girl from squid games? ›
Squid GameWhat Oppa means? ›
Borrowed from Korean 오빠 (oppa, “elder brother or close elder male friend (of a female)”).Which country watch Korean drama most? ›
Viewership of Korean media content worldwide Q1 2020
The global analysis revealed that China was also shown to have a significant proportion of viewers, with 37 percent of respondents reporting that they sometimes watch Korean TV series or movies.
The word "Dabbe" appears in a number of verses of the Quran, although the Surat an-Naml (the Ants) in its Ayat 82 is the only one that refers to a particular event that will occur toward the Apocalypse: the Beast of the Earth.Which country has Dabbe 6 on Netflix? ›
Dab6e (2015) – Turkey.Is Siccin 6 a true story? ›
Based on true events
“Siccin,” the new film by the director of the series “Musallat” (Haunted), Alper Mestçi, was viewed by 334,914,000 people in 10 weeks.
6- Dabbe as per Turkish language and Islam means “the one that walks on earth”. It's a movie based on life of a Djinn who has been cheated by 2 villagers and their wrong doings lead their daughters into the trap of this djinn and how the djinn plans to take revenge of father's wrong doings.
Does Netflix have Dabbe? ›
Watch Dabbe: The Possession | Netflix.Where can I watch Dabbe 6? ›
Watch Dabbe 6: The Return | Netflix.Is the kid in djinn deaf? ›
Plot. On an unspecified night in 1989, Dylan Jacobs, a mute and asthmatic young boy, finds his mother Michelle crying in front of the kitchen sink with a candle lit nearby.Is it djinn or Jinn? ›
Jinn (Arabic: جن, jinn) – also romanized as djinn or anglicized as genies (with the broader meaning of spirit or demon, depending on sources) – are invisible creatures in early pre-Islamic Arabian religious systems and later in Islamic mythology and theology.Why is djinn rated R? ›
Rated R for graphic violence.What is the most famous K-drama? ›
- Sky Castle (2018-2019) Rating: 23.779 percent. ...
- Crash Landing on You (2019-2020) Rating: 21.683 percent. ...
- Reply 1988 (2015-2016) Rating: 18.803 percent. ...
- Goblin (2016-2017) Rating: 18.680 percent. ...
- Mr. Sunshine (2018) ...
- Mr. Queen (2020-2021) ...
- Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) 2 (2021)
- Overall, 1997 > 1988 > 1994.
- In terms of the husband-hunting game, 1997 executed it the best. ...
- In terms of incorporating iconic/historical Korean events, 1994 is the best one.
- In terms of having fleshed-out, memorable and characters, 1988 is the best one. ...
- In terms of pacing, 1997 was the best.
- Snowdrop (2021-2022) | 9.0%
- Mr. Queen (2020-2021) | 8.9%
- Crash Landing On You (2019-2020) | 8.8%
- Hospital Playlist (2020-2021) | 8.8%
- It's Okay To Not Be Okay (2020) | 8.8%
- Flower Of Evil (2020) | 8.8%
- Mouse (2021) | 8.8%
- Navillera (2021) | 8.8%
“Twenty Five, Twenty One” was one of the dramas in 2022 that managed to capture the hearts of many. People were so invested in the blossoming, innocent romance between Na Hee Do and her first love, Baek Yi Jin. Fans wanted nothing more than the two to be together and were completely rooting for their happiness.Why are K-dramas so addictive? ›
Addictive properties – Korean dramas successfully create emotional connections with viewers. Characters are developed and brought through trials and tribulations in such a way that the audience relates to the characters and feels the same emotions.
Is Big Mouth worth watching K-drama? ›
Its one of the best thriller drama i have ever seen. The cast is amazing and the acting is superb. The plot of the story is quite unique and interesting and keeps the suspense alive until the very last episode . The chemistry between the lead couple is sweet and awesome.Who is No 1 Korean actress? ›
1. JUN JI HYUN. Winner of two Grand Bell Awards and a Daesang(Grand Prize) for her television drama roles, Jun Ji Hyun is the highest-paid actress in South Korea.Is Kdrama save me scary? ›
Despite being a thriller that has nothing to do with the supernatural, Save Me actually felt like a horror movie in most scenes involving the cult. I'm amused that Taecyeon claims to be afraid of ghosts, and yet he keeps picking projects that fall under the horror genre.Is Hotel de Luna scary? ›
If you've held off watching this drama featuring IU and Yeo Jin Goo, we can't recommend this enough for halloween. It's filled with ghosts and talks of the afterlife, with jumpscares in scenes you'd least expect. Coupled with scenes of humour, Hotel Del Luna offers the perfect blend of comedy and horror.How scary is the guest Kdrama? ›
The Guest K-Drama does scare you and it fleshes out the horror aspect of the drama well. But the exorcism ritual does not come off as powerful or leave you with a shuddering breath. It does not have a powerful impact in my opinion. But I do like the way things take place when the possession wears off.Is sweet home worth watching? ›
Definitely add to your list. It is my favorite drama from Yeo jin goo. Also if you like I recommend the original movie version as well with Lee byung hun. Both are great.Did Netflix remove Save Me? ›
Unfortunately, the series is unavailable over on Netflix.Who is the villain in Save Me? ›
Then there's our villain Father Baek Jung Ki (Jo Sung Ha). He's the charismatic leader of the cult. His smooth talking ways and intimidating personality make him a force to be reckoned with. He's completely creepy in every way.Is Save Me 2 worth watching? ›
Plus I feel like Save Me 2 did more to explore the psychological aspect of a cult rather than the horror in Save Me. The pace worked better imo in Save Me 2 even though it is a slow buildup. Save Me did a good job at portraying how hard it is to leave a cult.Why is Hotel del Luna so sad? ›
Because of his position as the only human on staff at Hotel del Luna, it is Chan-sung's responsibility to guide all of the ghosts over to the afterlife — and that includes Man-wol. Once it's decided that she will not stay on at the hotel, the two have a bittersweet night as they spend their last moments together.
Is Crash Landing worth watching? ›
Along comes, "Crash Landing on You," which may end up being my favorite of all of them. It's a toss-up between this and Mr. Sunshine. In short, this is one of the best series I've ever seen, and for me, the Korean Dramas I've watched have not disappointed at all as most are character and plot driven.Is Hotel del Luna overrated? ›
Its a good drama but made GREAT. However, this was not due to the writing of the Hong sisters but the sheer acting capabilities of IU and Yeo Jin-goo who were INCREDIBLE in this Drama. Actually, all of the actors were incredible to be honest bringing a mediocre drama about a woman who owns her own Ghost hotel to life.Why is The Guest censored on Netflix? ›
It's a form of censorship meant to keep these series “safe” and wholesome for most of the family. This means images of weapons, anything sexual, cigarettes, and brands or logos will be blurred.Who is the villain in The Guest Kdrama? ›
As part of the drama's great narrative, the villain Park Il Do is certainly a memorable one. He has left so much impact on the lives of Hwa Pyung, Father Mateo and Gil Young. All three characters have suffered from this evil spirit's machinations.Who is the demon in The Guest? ›
Actually, “Park Il-do” is a demon who has existed since the beginning of time. Yoon commands the spirit to reveal his real name, since an exorcism can only be properly conducted with the demon's true name. Park Il-do grabs Yoon by the throat: “Yoon Hwa-pyung. That's my name now.”How scary is Sweet Home? ›
But Sweet Home isn't scary so much as relentless, soaked in enough gore to paint all the walls in the dilapidated apartment building where its action takes place. That building, the Green Home, makes for a fun setting, a single location that's expansive enough not to feel like one but remains coherent in its geography.Does Sweet Home have a happy ending? ›
The final episode of 'Sweet Home' sees Hyun Su at the edge of a moral precipice, swayed by Ui Myeong and his world domination plans. He plants the seed of differentiation between monsters and humans in Hyun Su's mind, who had so long maintained a quiet reconciliation between the two.Is Sweet Home romantic? ›
You will not find much romance here, but beyond a breathless opening episode and all the grisly fun the show has to offer, you also will not find much of a story to latch onto.