10 Best Korean Horror Films

Tuesday, January 25 by Andrea Miller

Since Asian horror movies have been rapidly gaining popularity in the United States over the last decade, you may be interested in learning about the 10 best Korean horror films. Known as "K-horror" by many fans, the Korean horror genre exploded in the mid-2000s. Read on for the list of ten best Korean horror films:

  1. "A Tale of Two Sisters" (2003). This ghost story is often cited as one of the best Korean horror films. The two sisters referenced in the title return to their home after a stay in a mental institution and are haunted by a ghost. The film won twelve awards, and an American remake has long been rumored.
  2. "The Host" (2006). In this monster movie, one of the ten best Korean horror films, a monster created by toxic chemicals emerges from the river and goes on to attack in Seoul. It won eighteen awards, including the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror's prize for Best International Film.
  3. "Cello" (2005). In another supernatural story that is so popular in Korean cinema, a cellist has a car wreck and afterward, her life begins to take strange, eerie turns.
  4. "Voices" (2007). This Korean horror film is a unique tale of paranoia. A young woman struggles to figure out why those around her have been getting killed, and whether she will be the next to die.
  5. "To Sir With Love" (2006). This Korean horror film, also known as "Bloody Reunion," is actually a classic American-style slasher movie. In the film, a group of classmates gather to get revenge on a teacher who treated them poorly.
  6. "The Red Shoes" (2005).  In this dramatic South Korean horror movie, a woman who has been cheated on by her husband brings home a pair of high heels that she finds on the subway. But once they are in her home, she is beset by bloody visions of revenge and murder.
  7. "Hansel & Gretel" (2007). This horrific Korean adaptation of the classic fairy tale "Hansel & Gretel" makes the list of best Korean horror movies. As much of a fantasy as a horror movie, it is a dark, original twist on the story we all know.
  8. "R-Point" (2004). In this cross between a horror film and a war movie, a Vietnamese military base receives radio transmissions from a platoon they presumed dead. When they attempt to rescue the soldiers, strange events ensue.
  9. "Phone" (2002). Another supernatural Korean horror film, this movie tells the story of a journalist who receives strange, threatening phone calls after she publishes a series of articles on child pornography.
  10. "Uninvited" (2003). After witnessing the deaths of two young girls, a man starts to see them everywhere he goes. This best Korean horror film, one of the most well-known of the genre, won five awards.

Comments Closed

COMMENTS

  1. January 25, 2011 3:12 pm

    Dan

    The Host was not meant to be campy. I remember when it first came out here in South Korea. My friends were actually telling me it was a scary movie. Imagine my disappointment when I saw it. Besides, its subtext is xenophobic (long story, but it’s about the presence of American armed forces in South Korea), which is something I can’t condone.


  2. January 25, 2011 3:12 pm

    Dan

    The Host was not meant to be campy. I remember when it first came out here in South Korea. My friends were actually telling me it was a scary movie. Imagine my disappointment when I saw it. Besides, its subtext is xenophobic (long story, but it’s about the presence of American armed forces in South Korea), which is something I can’t condone.


  3. January 25, 2011 3:12 pm

    Eoin Forbes

    The Uninvited (2009) is the American remake of A Tale of Two Sisters.


  4. January 25, 2011 3:12 pm

    Eoin Forbes

    The Uninvited (2009) is the American remake of A Tale of Two Sisters.


  5. January 25, 2011 3:12 pm

    Gomushin Girl

    . . . ? What an incredibly odd list. Several complete duds, a bunch of the so-so horror films that crowd the theaters every summer in SK, and a film that only just barely makes it into the genre. Where on earth is “Momento Mori” or “The Quiet Family”? What about “Tell Me Something”? Hell, why isn’t “The Housemaid” on here?


  6. January 25, 2011 3:12 pm

    Gomushin Girl

    . . . ? What an incredibly odd list. Several complete duds, a bunch of the so-so horror films that crowd the theaters every summer in SK, and a film that only just barely makes it into the genre. Where on earth is “Momento Mori” or “The Quiet Family”? What about “Tell Me Something”? Hell, why isn’t “The Housemaid” on here?


  7. January 25, 2011 3:12 pm

    Gomushingirl

    The Host was definitely intended to be slightly humorous and camp, and the subtext isn’t xenophobic. Critical of the US military presence in Korea, yes, but that’s not even close to the only group targeted by the film – several aspects of Korean society and culture were also held up for ridicule and criticism. The problem with The Host on this list is it isn’t solely or even primarily intended as a horror film, but rather a genre-bending social criticism that happens to feature a monster.