We’ve all seen the pleasantly surprising news about Parasite winning the Oscar for best picture, we’ve watched the funny speeches Bong Joon Ho made and the subsequent interviews too. We also saw the slew of hilarious memes about this circulating on the web. We hope you’ve watched the award-winning movie too. But this isn’t the first movie Bong Joon Ho’s made, he’s been at it for a while. And while he definitely deserves the praise, we thought it might be fun to rank his previous movies Worst To Best. It’s actually a good way to see that practice makes perfect and you can start in one place and with enough time and effort you can achieve a level of excellence that’s equivalent to an Oscar. But also, it’s Bong Joon Ho, so you know the movies start out good and then go to great.
Barking Dogs Never Bite – Not Great
The short synopsis of the movie is that an academic living in an apartment complex is already having problems with his wife and is struggling to find a job, but the barking dog next door only adds fuel to the fire. So the academic takes matters into his own hands. This is Bong Joon Ho’s first movie and from the get-go, you see that he’s got talent and that his way of setting up scenes is pretty unique but the pacing isn’t that great at times and the protagonists aren’t very likeable which makes the movie hard to watch.
Okja – OK
Okja is a story about a corporation trying to breed a super pig that will take over the meat market. They give away 10 super pigs to farmers and ask them to breed the best one over the course of 10 years. The film then shows you Mija, a young girl who helps her grandfather take care of the super pig they bred named Okja. Mija treats Okja as a pet, and they share a beautiful bond, but then the representative of the corporation declares Okja to be the best super pig and it’s taken away. The movie centers around Mija attempting to save Okja along with some animal rights activists. The story is heartwarming and might make you reconsider your love of bacon, but the structure of the film is a little confusing and the setting change between America and Korea is very jarring. The cinematography is also different from what we’ve come to expect from Bong Joon Ho.
The Host – Solid
The Host actually is a good solid film, but you know, Bong Joon Ho makes great films so in comparison this movie ended up at this spot in the list. The story starts with a military doctor from America telling his assistant, who’s Korean to dump 200 bottles of formaldehyde in the river. This makes the fish in the river disappear and people start saying they’ve seen a monster emerge in the river. This all seems like a rumor until one day the monster snatches a snack-bar owner’s daughter and kills passersby in the process. From this point on Gang-du, the snack-bar owner is on a mission to save his daughter and protect his family. The pacing of the movie is solid, the emotional relationships are very relatable, the only thing one might feel iffy about is that the monster is revealed pretty early in the film when it could’ve been revealed later adding more suspense.
Snowpiercer – Good
Snowpiercer is a fascinating movie set in a dystopian world where all the surviving people live on a train that circles the globe. They’re divided by wealth, showcasing the class divide. The poor live in cramped conditions in bare train carriages at the back of the train and are being guarded by armed guards, while the rich have luxurious carriages up the front. One day the poor start the revolt and travel up towards the front of the train, carriage by carriage, discovering the unfair conditions they’ve been put in, but the main question posed is – “is life possible outside of the train?”. If you like post-apocalyptic dystopian films, Snowpiercer is a very good one to watch and offers a unique view on the situation that will set it apart from other movies with a similar plot.
Mother – Really Good
Mother is an old widow who sells herbs and provides services of acupuncture, but when her disabled son gets into debt – she’s faced with quite a big financial problem. Her son, in turn, while seemingly shy can become quite violent when offended. One day he’s seen following a girl into a building and the next day the girl is found murdered on the rooftop. The son gets imprisoned and Mother is trying to prove his innocence and save him. But is everything really the way it seems? Is the son innocent or is he the real murdered? Is Mother really just an old widow who’s trying her best? It’s a twisted family drama that can be quite graphic at times but you’ll be on the edge of your seat until the very end of the movie.
Memories of Murder – Great
This movie is based on the story of the first serial murders in Korea. Two women are found dead in a ditch and two detectives are on a mission to find the murderer. Their methods range from unorthodox to outrageously weird, it’s comical at times, but the suspense is real too. Plus the honest desperation that the detectives show makes them seem very believable. Memories of Murder is considered to be one of the best Korean movies in the world and once you watch it you’ll know why. It’s a great movie!
Parasite – The Best So Far
The Oscar-winning movie is a story about class and how it divides the modern society to this day. It tells a story of a poor family living in a small basement apartment and barely managing to make the ends meet with odd jobs. But one day the father gets an opportunity to work as a tutor for a girl from a rich family. From that point on the father and his family make up a scheme to all get jobs for the same family and improve their own lives by taking over all the jobs in the rich family’s house. But there’s something happening at that house that can ruin everyone’s plans. It’s a tense movie, full of cunning plans and lots of suspense. If you haven’t seen it for some reason – definitely give it a go, it’s incredible.