Can we just admit that ‘Train to Busan’ is the first-ever Korean movie for the majority of people? There’s hardly anyone who has not yet watched the movie. When it comes to producing thrilling zombie movies, no one stands a chance against South Korean films. Remember how ‘Train to Busan’ gave us chills and left us in tears by the end of the movie? Be it the overall plot, the character development, the cinematography or the acting performances, the film just does justice to all. Thanks to 2019’s history-making, Oscar-winning movie, ‘Parasite’ by Bong Joon-ho, which brought the Korean filming industry into the limelight once again. Here are the top eight movies that you need to watch if you loved ‘Train to Busan’.
Screenwriter: Jo Il Hyung
Director: Jo Il Hyung
Produced by: Eugene Lee, Saerom Kim, Saemi Kim
Starring: Yoo Ah In, Park Shin Hye, Lee Hyun Wook, So Hee Jung, Kim Hak Seon, Jeon Bae Soo
Alive is another zombie apocalypse survival movie that gives the same chills as Train to Busan. The story revolves around a video game live streamer, Jun Woo who wakes up to find his city breaking out with a mysterious virus that spreads throughout Seoul and the survivors are trapped inside of their apartments without any access to phone calls, cellular data, Wi-Fi or texting. Jun Woo is left with no food or weapon at his house. However, when an infected man barges into Jun Woo’s apartment, he realises it is not a safe place anymore and looks for ways to protect himself from the crisis.
The movie does a good job of delivering suspenseful thrills even though it might appear to be gross or traumatizing. The movie is full of jaw-dropping scenes and is unpredictable as well letting us enjoy the twists with an extra punch of goosebumps. You can stream the movie online on Netflix with a subscription.
The Wailing (2016)
Screenwriter & Director: Na Hong Jin
Produced by: Suh Dong-hyun, Kim Ho-sung
Starring: Kwak Do Won, Hwang Jung Min, Kunimura Jun, Chun Woo Hee, Kim Hwan Hee, Heo Jin
The movie centres on a seemingly peaceful village where people start to die strangely. The police arrives at a conclusion that the reason behind the deaths are poisonous wild mushrooms while an older Japanese man seems to be involved in it somehow. As Officer Jong Goo comes to know about the rumours, he starts his investigation and finds a witness who can place the suspect at the centre of the crime. However, his own daughter falls a victim to the disease as she is seen experiencing the symptoms like the others. As an exorcism is being performed on his daughter, he heads out to look for the suspect in the mountains.
The story is unbeatably gruesome with great cinematography that let us experience the thrills of a mysterious horror movie. The plot is very engaging and gripping with up-to-the-mark direction and acting. The movie does its job well in transporting the viewers into the small village where the film takes place. You can tune in to Prime Video, Vudu or Hulu and check out the movie.
Screenwriter: Hwang Jo Yoon, Won Sin Yun
Starring: Hyun Bin, Jang Dong Gun, Jo Woo Jin, Jo Dal Hwan, Jung Man Shik, Kim Eui Sung
Rampant is a period action zombie film revolving around the Prince of Joseon, Lee Chung who has been taken hostage to China’s Qing Dynasty. Although he spends a lot of time in gambling, boozing and womanizing, he is a great swordsman. After he returns to Joseon ten years later when his older brother Lee Young is about to succeed the throne, he somehow ends up facing zombies that have been spreading unchecked during the night due to a conflict with the Joseon minister of War, Kim Ja-joon.
‘Rampant’ can be said as one of the best takes on zombie films and can be considered as the movie version of Netflix’s South Korean drama, ‘Kingdom’. The movie has been packed with great action scenes and super scary zombies along with compelling characters. Hyun Bin’s acting is exceptionally good in an ancient setting and even the performances of the supporting cast are amazing. You can check it out on Netflix, Prime Video and iQiyi app.
The Tower (2012)
Screenwriter: Yoo Young Ah
Director: Kim Ji Hoon
Starring: Son Ye Jin, Kim Sang Kyung, Sol Kyung Gu, Kim Eung Soo, Kwon Tae Won, Lee Joo Shil
The Tower is a disaster thriller film that follows a fire breaking out on Christmas-eve, in an ultra-luxurious and residential high-rise 108-story Tower Sky, full of elite tenants and VIP guests. The manager of the skyscraper, Lee Dae-ho who is a single father must look for a solution and help thousands of people by summoning his strength and courage, with the help of a stranger.
The movie, just like ‘Train to Busan,’ is based on a catastrophic event that ends up causing terror and chaos. Not only is it a thrill ride and has a lot of action sequences, but also delivers the emotional parts quite well. If you like Asian flicks, this movie is definitely for you. The movie is available to watch on Netflix and Disney+.
Screenwriter & Director: Lee Sang Geun
Starring: Jo Jung Suk, Im Yoon Ah, Go Doo Shim, Park In Hwan, Kim Ji Young, Kang Ki Young
The movie centres on an unemployed man named Yong Nam who has been graduated for many years but has failed to get a job for himself. However, when it comes to rock climbing, there is hardly anyone who can beat him. He insists on having a celebration at Dream Garden for the 70th birthday of his mother after discovering that his old crush, Eui Ju has been working there. However, a disaster strikes that covers the entire district in a mysterious white gas. Yong Nam will have to get everyone to safety with the help of Eui Ju putting his rock climbing skills in use.
The movie showcases the protagonist engaged in thrilling action sequences in order to save the lives of people just like what has been shown in ‘Train to Busan’. However, the movie includes a lot of comedy which is not there in ‘Train to Busan’ but still has come out to be entertaining. You can watch the film online on Prime Video.
The Host (2006)
Screenwriter: Baek Chul Hyun, Bong Joon Ho
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Starring: Song Kang Ho, Byun Hee Bong, Park Hae Il, Bae Doo Na, Go Ah Sung, Oh Dal Soo
The movie follows a monster that emerged from the Han river and gets involved in mass slaughter immediately. However, when the creature eats up Park Hyun Seo, the only daughter of a snack bar manager, Park Gang-du, living next to the river, he rushes with his family to rescue her, although the government declares the banks of the river as a danger zone and closes it off. The movie has been loosely inspired by the real-life ‘McFarland Incident’.
The movie is a perfect dose of suspense and horror getting people at the edge of their seats along with making them cry their eyes out during the emotional moments. Although the movie is thrilling, it still succeeds in delivering lessons on family relationships and love. You can watch the movie on Netflix with a subscription and Tubi for free.
Fabricated City (2017)
Screenwriter: Oh Sang-Ho, Bae Jong
Director: Bae Jong
Starring: Ji Chang Wook, Shim Eun Kyung, Ahn Jae Hong, Oh Jung Se, Kim Sang Ho, Kim Gi Cheon
‘Fabricated City’ is about an unemployed man named Kwon Yoo who passes his days eating cup noodles. However, in the virtual world of gaming, he is the best team leader. When he is wrongly accused of murdering someone, he attempts to catch the real culprit behind the murder, with the help of hacker Yeo Wool and his game teammates.
The movie is a rollercoaster ride of events and activities and keeps the viewers occupied till the end of it. The protagonist of the film played by Ji Chang Wook has given life to the raw and emotive scenes. The story is intense and unpredictable and comes out to be addicting as the plot progresses. You can stream the movie on Netflix and iQiyi.
The Flu (2013)
Screenwriter: Lee Young Jong, Kim Sung Soo
Director: Kim Sung Soo
Starring: Jang Hyuk, Park Soo Ae, Park Min Ha, Kim Ki Hyun, Lee Hee Joon, Ma Dong Seok
The story follows a human trafficker who gets infected with an unidentified virus and ends up dying, coughing up blood with oozing red rashes covering his body. However, the virus starts spreading all over the city within a few hours and the number of people getting infected rapidly increases. As the medical experts panic over the viral killer virus, the government orders the military to quarantine the entire place so that neither anyone comes in nor anyone goes out. A chaotic situation gets created as violence and desperation grip the public and everyone strives to protect their lives.
The movie has an interesting combination of horror, romance, comedy, and drama and forces people to be at the edge of their seats just like Train to Busan. It also has amazing visual effects which aid in making the film look scarily realistic. You can check out the movie online on Netflix and Prime Video.