Let’s face it, we all watch Kdramas to get a kick out of our romantic daydreams and stuff we wish to happen in our romantic fantasies. However, how about we talk about the Netflix thriller Kdramas? I never thought I’d be as hooked to Korean thrillers but are we even surprised?
Korean thrillers always get me going. There’s just something about these shows and movies that are so starkly different and immersive yet simple and relatable enough for you to wonder whether it’s possible for anyone out there to find themselves in such situations. Maybe one day someone from the past might just give us a call and proceed to wreck our lives. Who knows?
That being said, these are some of the best Netflix Kdramas that got my blood rushing and my eyes peeled to the screen. They are sure to keep you on edge and unhealthily binging and will keep you guessing long after they are over.
So, what do you do when you have to pay rent and your school expenses but all avenues seem to close in front of you? Well, you lead a double life, of course! No, but seriously, this is what this Netflix thriller Kdrama is about. Oh Ji-soo’s struggle is relatable and somewhere down the line, you pity him. He’s wrong, but you want him to catch a break and thus, you support him as he does one mistake after another and gets deeper into trouble. However, his illegal life is bound to catch up to him somewhere down the line and the fallout cannot be pleasant. That’s exactly what this series is about… and a lot more.
Watch it here.
I needed a minute or two after I finished watching The Call, Netflix’s 2020 thriller Kdrama release. It made me feel things I thought I was incapable of feeling after watching too many horror movies and shows. The Call gets under your skin. Apart from the cinematography and design being top-notch, much like most of the shows on this list, there’s something so inherently chilling about someone in the past having the power to wreck your life over and over again that you might just catch yourself getting a shiver down your spine.
The Call is one of Netflix’s most interesting movies that will live in your mind rent-free. You will want Seo-yeon to win in her battle to keep everything she holds dear close to her, but Young-sook feels almost like an unstoppable force – someone whom Seo-yeon cannot catch or control and the helplessness, desperation and sheer brutality of the situation is what keeps this movie going. Well, that and some severed heads.
Starring Song Kang, whom I have endlessly fangirled over in my Nevertheless, reviews, Sweet Home is a different kind of thriller. Well, if you get up one morning and find your neighbour savagely eating a pet cat, it’s going to make you feel a kind of way. More so if everyone randomly starts turning into monsters – next thing you know, the city is laden with different kinds of monsters and there’s just no way to stop them… or the phenomenon. What do you do?
Sweet Home is a post-apocalyptic survival story. The answer to why and how people are turning into monsters isn’t the important part here. First of all, the resident building we are focusing on, Green House, is a place that houses people who are desperate, running away from something or have something to hide. There’s something terrifying about these people – some of whom are worse than the monsters. So, when these people are forced inside and have to fend off attacks, it becomes a risky situation of lies, deceit and a lot of human consumption.
This thriller Kdrama keeps you on the edge of the seat with its interesting and very creepy characters and equally scary monsters – although, full disclosure, I wasn’t really a fan of the animation.
I didn’t have a lot of information on Beyond Evil before I started watching it. Truth be told, I had no expectations. But after an episode or two, I was hooked. The growing closeness between Joo-won and Dong-sik, two people who couldn’t be more different from each other, the secrets that they harbour and their complex characters, as well as a gruesome murder which smells just like the past, are just some of the things that this series has. Complete with absolutely wonderful twists and turns, there are not a lot of moments that Beyond Evil will give you to take a breath.
The chemistry between the characters is absolutely amazing, the ways the plot can twist and turn through the different characters is unimaginable yet, the plot is so tightly bound that it’ll make you pause for a breath or two. Plus, even the supporting characters are just so well written – you’d think that they would just be there to push the main story and arc forward, but you’d be wrong. Every character has their own story and motivations that are explored and added with care and thought which makes this even more of an interesting watch.
Watch it here.
One of the most recent shows that kind of got lost due to Squid Game’s popularity, Hellbound is a different kind of horror. Squid Game gave you somewhat of a choice to join the games (although, really, choosing between homelessness and slow death and maybe death with a chance to become extremely rich isn’t much of a choice), Hellbound gives you no choice at all. I mean, when a demonic voice just tells you one fine day when you’re drinking your coffee that you’ve been marked to go to Hell and then three Hulks appear from nowhere to beat the everliving daylights out of you, before dragging your ass back with them – I mean, what can you do?
Then there’s the problem of a rising cult and businesses taking advantage of a hopeless situation – it’s just horrible all around. It feels hopeless and not a probability coming around in the distant future, what with the pandemic and all. This thriller Kdrama will make you question humanity and morality all the while watching a baby almost getting trampled by demon gorillas. It’s hard-hitting and nauseating, but the humans are more so. The kicker though? Doesn’t it feel too close to home? Of course, not the demon gorillas (yet) but the other parts – relatable and absolutely scary.
Hellbound is a thriller Kdrama that makes for a great study regarding people and their motivations. The complex characters, the desperation of people who don’t know what to do or even what’s going on, idol worship and trying to find a way to find absolution and the concept of sin and what constitutes sin are some of the things this Netflix thriller Kdrama focuses on.
This list would be incomplete without a zombie show or two. With two seasons to show for its popularity, the Netflix thriller Kdrama, Kingdom, gives you what you want in terms of characters and plot… and lots of brain-eating.
Ok ok, we will call it a plague and not a zombie apocalypse, but it’s definitely about a pandemic and is a political drama as well, one that keeps the viewers scared of the people on the throne and those running around eating people on the streets. So, where do you go from there? Well, if you’re Crown Prince Lee Chang, you go to the border of the kingdom and try to figure out this mysterious disease. It’s also about choices – how far would you go to protect your loved ones? Quite far, as we’ve seen many times, but there’s just something so hopeless and spooky about Kingdom that it just works more, somehow.
Watch Kingdom here.
My Name is a surprise hit in my eyes. I watched Han So-hee in Nevertheless, and I couldn’t imagine her throwing punches and slitting throats before watching this hard-hitting series about deception and revenge. However, So-hee is remarkable in this series.
A revenge-thriller Kdrama through and through, My Name is shockingly bingeable and brilliantly brutal and is a tale of survival in a world of men. What do you do when your father is murdered in front of you? Where does your life go after the person you have trusted for so long to take care of you turns out to be the person who caused the biggest heartbreak of your life? What happens when you learn to trust again but again face heartbreak? Where does it stop?
You feel pity and a strange sense of protectiveness for Ji-woo, who is bullied and left traumatised and almost raped. She trusts, but lives on the edge, living only for revenge. It’s a thriller that doesn’t really do anything new in the revenge-thriller subgenre. However, what it does with the familiar tropes is just so well executed, with its excellent cinematography and shockingly complex and likeable characters, that you can’t look away.
You want to heal Ji-woo and help her find peace. But, apart from screaming and whimpering at the screen, there’s nothing much you can do. The most heart-breaking part comes at the end when it feels like Ji-woo just loses the last part of her humanity. The emotional moments, along with the thriller aspects, just gets to you in a different way.
I couldn’t look away from #Alive. Yes, this is another zombie flick and another survival drama. But this Netflix thriller film is as much about flesh-eating zombies as it is about loneliness, helplessness and finding comfort in having someone close when you cannot go out of your house. The loneliness that Joon-woo feels is relatable and oh-so deafening for people stuck alone at home during the pandemic.
Apart from trying to keep flesh-eating zombies at bay, #Alive reminds us how to stay sane and be thrifty while stuck at home and when you cannot go out for anything. A gruesome reminder (but with more blood everywhere), the thriller will keep your heart racing and your breath will be stuck in your throat. It also showcases how much the electronic world has sometimes helped, and sometimes destroyed, our lives.
As Joon-woo and Yu-bin talk to each other after his suicide attempt, their conversations will bring a smile to your face. These small but deeply emotional moments are what makes this film different. #Alive isn’t anything new, but it’s the way that the creators have brought the old story to fit the needs of the hour we are in that keeps it fresh and exciting.
Strangers From Hell
Strangers From Hell is a psychological thriller that truly blurs the lines between the real and the fake. It’s as much about the creepy residents of Eden Studio, who are every bit of horrible as neighbours can be, as it is about Jong-woo’s descent into psychological freefall. This is one of the best Netflix thriller Kdramas out there.
Like everyone else, Jong-woo has a past, a past that haunts him and made him make the move to Seoul in the first place. However, the struggle of living in this world is a lot and although he tries to keep it all buried, it’s not that easy. The series brilliantly showcases how he goes off the deep end, even though he isn’t that kind of a person.
His relationship with Moon-jo is also deliciously interesting. Moo-jo, the antagonist, brings out the worst in Jong-woo and he knows exactly which buttons to push to get the most horrible outcomes. This phycological thriller showcases exactly why it’s a bad idea to surround yourself with bad people since we spend a shockingly big part of our lives wondering about other’s perspectives and why it’s important to accept ourselves, while also probing the point of being kind and good in today’s world.
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