We’re all sick and tired of staying at home. We want to go outside and frolic in the meadow! Or at least, you know, go watch a movie with our friends. Not only are the cinemas closed, but the entire industry is in a deep slumber. Without new Hollywood movies to watch, we’re left with those pretentious Europen artsy-fartsy films that are only good for putting people to sleep and the exotic land of unexplored Asian cinema!
Clearly, as you can see from the title, we’re going to look at some of the best South Korean films that can easily surpass Hollywood hits.
1. I’m a Cyborg, but That’s OK, 2006
This is the story of a patient in a psychiatric hospital who suddenly decided that she was not a regular human, but a cyborg instead. No sleeping or eating for this lady. She doesn’t need rice because she’s powered by batteries. But it wouldn’t be a good drama without a love story. The patient from the room next to her is apparently madly in love with her, and now he must save her! Oh, but how? That’s for me to know and for you to find out.
2. The Host, 2006
One lazy Sunday afternoon, a huge monster crawls out from under one Seoul bridge and starts attacking tourists. What else do you need to know? Okay, I’ll tell you this, if you’re a fan of layering, subtext, and seemingly incompatible themes mashed together – you’ll love the Host.
3. Oldboy, 2003
Oldboy is a modern classic and one of the most popular Korean films in history, believe it or not. It’s so good that Hollywood tried to Americanize it and failed miserably. Just watch both versions back-to-back and see for yourself.
4. The Tale of Two Sisters, 2003
How about some horror, eh? Here we have two sisters returning to their old family house where their parents lived. After a while, the girls begin to notice that strange and inexplicable things are happening all over the place. Very atmospheric and spooky.
5. A Man from Nowhere, 2010
Chha Tae Sik is the owner of a pawnshop. His only friend is the little neighbor girl, So Mi. Her mother works as a dancer in a bar, and one day, she snaps and robs a drug courier to get some quick money. Of course, she hides her loot in the pawnshop. Shenanigans ensue as the boss of the drug mafia, takes the mother and girl hostage, and sends thugs to Tae Sik. It’s basically the Korean John Wick.
6. Train to Busan, 2016
A movie about a deadly virus spreading throughout the world should be a nice change of pace for us. This virus, however, can turn people into the living dead. Millions have been infected, and our main characters find themselves locked in a train going to Busan. A dynamic action flick about a zombie apocalypse with social and political overtones? Sign me up!
7. The Wailing, 2016
A series of unexplained killings take place in the remote forest village. Due to a strange disease people start killing one another like savage animals. Policeman Jung Gu, who is slowly investigating this case, is forced to get to the bottom of what’s happening when his own daughter shows the horrible symptoms. The director managed to create a sticky atmosphere of a real nightmare, and the finale will answer almost none of your questions.
8. Parasite, 2019
Of course, we’d be including the best movie of 2019 in this list! A lot of you know all about the Parasites, and probably watched it a couple of times already. But I know there are film buffs out there who still need to see how the poor Ki family lived and what they had to do to survive in this world. It’s not a fluke that the Parasite blew up not only at film festivals around the globe, but also got several Oscars, becoming the first non-English film to receive the “Best Picture” award.
Do yourself a favor and watch these fantastic movies. It’s not like you have anything better to do, right?