If you are a fan of Asian horror movies, this list is for you. Korean horror movies have always been different in term of their experiments with horror. Horror films in Korea have been produced since the beginning of Korean cinema. However, they got the popularity in late 1990. Here is the list of best Korean horror movies.
So what are you waiting for, just turn off the lights (if you can) and start watching these classic and cult top Korean horror movies.
1. I Saw the Devil (2010)
I Saw the Devil is a horrifying story of murder and revenge with lots of violence. Kyung-chul is a dangerous psychopath who kills for pleasure. Its a freezing and snowy night, Who will be his next victim?
I Saw the devil is brilliantly made serial killer movie which should be on your watchlist.
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2. Train to Busan (2016)
Train to Busan is a classic Korean horror movie about zombies where passengers are turning into zombies in running train. This is a must watch zombie film with lots of emotions.
Seok-woo boards a train with his daughter, Soo-an. The fast train is going from Seoul to Busan. Suddenly, the apocalypse begins and most of the earth’s population starts becoming flesh-craving zombies. While the train is heading towards Busan, the passengers have to fight for their lives against the zombies – and each other.
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3. The Wailing (2016)
The Wailing is a very entertaining and disturbing horror movie. A stranger arrives in a small village Goksung in South Korea and a mysterious disease starts spreading in the village. A police officer Jong-Goo is drawn into the incident. He investigates bizarre murders caused by a mysterious disease. He has to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.
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4. Bedevilled (2010)
Bedevilled is an excellent piece of crime drama. Hae-won is a beautiful single woman working at a bank in the Seoul city. She has to take a vacation so she heads for Moodo, a small island. She has a friend there named Bok-nam who often writes to Hae-won asking her to visit. Upon arriving at the island, Hae-won is shocked to see that Bok-nam is subject to mental, physical, and sexual abuses. She begs Hae-won to help her escape the island. Will she be able to help her escape?
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5. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
A Tale of Two Sisters is a Korean psychological thriller movie about two sisters as the name suggests. The film became the huge success and it was remade in Hollywood as The Uninvited (2009).
Two sisters return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother after spending time in a mental institution. Both face disturbing events between her stepmother and the ghosts haunting their house. All the events appear to be connected to a dark past in the family’s history.
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6. Thirst (2009)
Thirst is a dark-comic-vampire-love-story film. Sang-hyun is a priest who is working for a hospital. He volunteers for a secret vaccine development project intended to eliminate a deadly virus. However, the virus eventually takes over the priest. He nearly dies but recovers miraculously by infusion of vampire blood. He realizes his sole reason for living: the pleasures of the flesh. Now the priest is affected with vampirism, Can he abandon his ascetic ways?
The movie has everything in it – Jaw-dropping violence, gore, great humor, incredible suspense and even very realistic sex scenes. The story is so crazy that you can never guess what will happen next.
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7. The Quiet Family (1998)
The Quiet Family is a superb comedy horror film. A family decides to open a lodge in a remote hiking area. The first customer of mountain inn commits suicide. The family gets upset and they bury his body to avoid any bad publicity. Suddenly all their guests befall horrible fates and, the bodies start piling up. Can the family fix the situation?
The film has got comedy; film noir, suspense, horror, isolation and deprivation and everything you need.
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8. The Host (2006)
The Host is a monster horror film. The film revolves around Park Hee-bong who runs a small food joint on the banks of the Han River. He lives with his two sons, one daughter, and one granddaughter. The Parks seem to lead a quite ordinary and peaceful life. Suddenly, A monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and starts attacking people. The granddaughter Hyun-seo is taken by the monster and disappears. One victim’s loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches. Can they find Hyun-seo? Is She still alive? The family has to hunt down the monster and save Hyun-seo. The Host is one of the most entertaining monster films.
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9. Three… Extremes (2004)
Three… Extremes is an Asian horror film collaboration consisting of three segments – Dumplings, Cat, Box. The 3 segments have been directed by three different directors from three different countries. It is a sequel to the movie Three (2002) and follows the concept. The three short films are unique and memorable. I found Dumplings to be the most effective however all three are pretty good films.
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10. Hansel and Gretel (2007)
Hansel and Gretel is a fantasy horror film. Eun-soo is driving his car while talking on the phone with his pregnant girlfriend, Hae-young. They get into a fight and Eun-soo crash his car where he loses consciousness. He meets a mysterious girl on a dark stretch of road. Eun-soo is invited to a beautiful house that has bizarre secrets and not to mention, there is no way to escape.
The movie is quite scary, there’s a great atmosphere of isolation and the film is incredibly strange at times with all creepy children.
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11. Memento Mori (Whispering Corridors 2: 1999)
Memento Mori is the second installment of Whispering Corridors series. Min-Ah finds a strange diary which is capable of triggering hallucinations. The diary was kept by two of her senior students, Hyo-Shin and Shi-Eun, who seem to have a very close bond. Hyo-Shin suddenly commits suicide, and the entire school is shocked and depressed. Those who dare to read the diary are bound to die. What will happen to Min-Ah?
Memento Mori is a very impressive and chilling high School drama. It is probably the best of there Whispering Corridors movies.
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12. Spider Forest (2004)
Spider Forest is a South Korean horror-drama film. Kang Min is a TV producer who is recently widowed. He wakes up alone in the middle of a dark forest and sees a secluded cabin nearby. He rushes towards the cabin and witnesses some brutal crime. He comes to know about the legends of spider forest.
Spider forest has a very unique story, a solid script, and very amazing performances. Watch the film if you are looking for unique haunting and intricate movie.
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13. Into the Mirror (2003)
Into the Mirror is a Korean supernatural horror film about a series of gruesome deaths involving mirrors in a shopping mall. Wu Young-min is an ex-cop who is now working as a security guard in a shopping mall. He tries to reveal the mystery behind a series of mysterious deaths linked to mirrors. Can security guard solve the case of evil mirrors?
Hollywood supernatural horror movie Mirror (2008) was inspired by this movie. Into the Mirror is a very creepy and effective Korean horror cinema.
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14. Voice (2005)
Voice is the fourth installment of the Whispering Corridors Korean horror film series. The aspiring singer Young-Eon is mysteriously killed and her body disappears. Her ghost is trapped in the school, and only her best friend Kang Sun-min is able to hear her voice. Seon-min becomes friend with a strange and lonely girl at school named Cho-ah who can hear the voices of the dead. Can Cho-ah help her solve the mystery?
Voice is a decent horror flick with elements of sad emotions. Good performances and the excellent music help to set the perfect atmosphere.
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15. R-Point (2004)
R-Point is a Korean horror film Set in Vietnam, during the Vietnam War of 1972. The South Korean base in Vietnam, receives a radio transmission from a missing squad presumed dead. The high-command assigns the mission to Lieutenant Choi Tae-in. He has to lead a squad with eight other soldiers and rescue the missing soldiers from the R-Point.
R-Point is very creepy war horror film. The film depicts an original, scary and quite an unclear journey to the hell of the innermost fears.
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16. Killer Toon (2013)
Killer Toon is a Korean psychological horror film. Ji Yoon is a popular horror web-comic artist. She finds real life copying her own work when her publisher turns up dead in a way described in her latest comic. Detective Lee Ki-cheol suspects the cartoonist Ji Yoon for a series of murders.
Killer Toon ly offers good acting, an interesting mystery, and most importantly decent twisted plot. Overall a good horror movie.
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17. Epitaph (2007)
Epitaph is a Korean horror movie set primarily in 1942 when Korea was under the colonial rule of Japan. Dr. Park Jung-nam finds a photo album dating back to the days when he was an intern at the Ansaeng Hospital. He goes down the memory lanes. His arranged marriage ended when his fiancée committed suicide. Later he was assigned to monitor the morgue late at night. There he fell in love with a corpse. Soon a series of horrifying events take place in the hospital.
Actually, the film is an anthology, as it contains three separate stories. All the stories are set in the same place and time, a hospital in Seoul during the Japanese occupation. It is an interesting and entertaining horror flick.
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18. Possessed (2009)
13-year-old So-Jin disappears and her elder sister Hee-Jin returns to the apartment of their mother who is a religious-maniac. Soon, The neighbors die one by one and a secret underlying their deaths need to be discovered. Tae-Hwan is a cop who reluctantly takes the case. He is confronted with more and more suicides. Can he reveal the mystery?
Possessed is well made and superb performed horror film. The is creepy enough to bend your mind.
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19. Whispering Corridors (1998)
While investigating the school files, the shocked teacher Mrs. Park calls the teacher Eun-young Hur, telling her that the deceased Jin-ju Jang is back. The line disconnects and Mrs. Park is attacked and killed by a ghost. There seems to be a dark secret about the past of Jin-ju Jang and Mrs. Park.
Whispering Corridors successfully connect horror with social criticism. The film effectively uses horror genre to tell a high school story.
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We hope these Korean horror movies were scary enough to give you sleepless nights. Which are your favorite Korean horror movies? Let us know in the comments.