Hellbound, or Jiok, is a South Korean TV series directed by Yeon Sang-ho and stars Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Jeong-min, and Chase Yi, alongside other cast members. The series has 6 episodes each around 45 minutes to an hour-long.
Netflix describes the movie as:
Unearthly beings deliver bloody condemnations, sending individuals to hell and giving rise to a religious group founded on the idea of divine justice.
– Hellbound review does not contain spoilers –
Coming from the director of Train to Busan, Hellbound 2021 opens quite violently letting us know what exactly to expect from its 6-episode long runtime. As ape-like angels (or… demons?) tear open a man in broad daylight, the chaos that follows is one for the staying.
The series focuses on a lot of things and essentially is layered by several plots all working simultaneously. It’s a series about religion, god and what it means to be under a “higher power”, while also being a police procedural drama. It’s a lot of things but Hellbound mostly fleets over the different topics. As I said, it’s a chaotic few hours, one that does not want to let up in any way whatsoever.
Death is a difficult topic to explore, especially after the 2020 pandemic. We are hyper-aware regarding how fleeting life is. But what happens when you don’t know when or how it’s going to come into our lives? Morality is the question of the hour and Hellbound answers that pretty well – or it tries to, at least. Most people don’t have any answers to who or what these angels are or what they are doing here and that’s where the series starts.
When rationale cannot answer the most burning questions, people look to other means for answers. That’s where the violence comes in. Sure, Hulk monsters are brutal. But the real violence lies in the hearts of the desperate and scared masses – people who don’t know where they should turn to. Desperate people are the worst of the lot and they are the easiest to manipulate as well. Hellbound plays with these different situations, and then some more, to create an air of mystery and intrigue for the audience to witness.
The biggest scare factor of Hellbound, though, is that when you will be taken to Hell is written for you. Unlike Train to Busan (which is, honestly, my favourite zombie flick of all time), the angels don’t run amock. They come out of thin air, brutally murder you just as quick, and then leave as if everything is back to normal. The fact that it’s supposed to be business as usual after a daylight murder is shocking, disturbing and a notion beyond scary.
There’s also the concept of waiting and wondering if and when our time comes. Since the population knows why the angels are coming over, it’s a fight with their own selves, past and present. How do you not sin? How do you ask for forgiveness and salvation? How do you stop yourself from going to Hell? The series explores these concepts in the most brutal ways and at 6 episodes, does its best to showcase the crumbling of society as we know it, giving birth to something more fear-driven.
If you’re someone who is easily yucked out by blood and violence, man you’re in for a treat. Hellbound starts with a man’s intestine’s being brutally ripped out and him being thrown on the floor like a rag doll (think Hulk and Loki in Avengers). For anyone who is even a bit uncomfortable, don’t get into this. However, for everyone else who wants a horror series like no other, sit tight because this is a ride.
Summing up: Hellbound
Hellbound series that dapples with a lot and is mostly able to keep a reign on everything. The chaos, confusion and the fear of the unknown are both known and unknown to us. It’s a good series, one that promises to have an impact.
Hellbound is streaming on Netflix.