Best Suspense Thrillers from South Korea
written by Souranath Banerjee.
Today’s list consists of the Best Suspense Thriller films from South Korea since this country seems to be specializing on this particular genre.
In-spite of suffering long periods of political censorship in the past South Korean film industry has evolved and produced numerous quality cinema that have achieved international acclaim!
Be it the infamous gang wars or the merciless serial killers or the classic police-gangster action – you name it and they have made it.
Statutory warning: The realistic approach of these South Korean thrillers often get too violent for some audience’s taste. So watch these graphic action films at your own risk!
Ok … let the fun begin.
10. A Hard Day (2014)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r1lJuk4EjA
A homicide detective kills a man in a car accident, and desperately tries to hide the body and he succeeds too … well almost.
Soon he is threatened by some mysterious guy who seems to have witnessed everything and knows all about it!
Directed by Seong-hoon Kim, a very well crafted thriller indeed.
9. Cold Eyes (2013)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH15-Aj57fc
The police surveillance team with their latest techno gadgets clashes with a team of ruthless bank robbers who seems to be unstoppable in their mission.
This Korean thriller was one of the biggest box office hit of the year.
8. New World (2013)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rln9Hx_wPFw
The police with the help of an undercover agent tries to take on the dangerous mafia but then certain unexpected twists completely turns the rules of the game.
A complex and gripping storyline, brilliant acting and the element of suspense intact till the end.
Directed by Hoon-jung Park, this is Korean thriller at its best.
7. Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (2012)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPRFKk3gYBE
A corrupt customs official who was about to get fired randomly gets associated with a vicious gangster and becomes the most powerful crime partner of the town!
Directed by Jong-bin Yun, this one is a pure gangster movie with lots of twists and turns in the storyline.
And it’s also about friendship and rivalry, loyalty and betrayal, respect and murder.
6. Hwayi: A Monster Boy (2013)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EODuG-0Y9E
A boy raised by five criminals (fathers), who finally goes in search for the truth as he was forced to take part in a killing spree.
Directed by Joon-Hwan Jang, a brilliant film that needs to be known to the thriller fans all over the world.
Graphic violence is an essential part of this particular thriller, so you be prepared.
5. A Dirty Carnival (2006)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWtiC1JFRnE
This one is an action pact drama portraying the life of the gangsters from a dangerously uncomfortable perspective.
Directed by Ha Yoo, a perfect crime drama that reveals the merciless world of crime and criminals.
Also a story of a man’s realization of the his capabilities and more importantly his own limitations.
4. No Mercy (2010)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhHugFH3WFg
A merciless serial killer who decapitates his victims; and a man who is the member of National Institute of Scientific Investigation attempts to uncover his identity!
A perfect suspense thriller directed by Hyeong-Joon Kim, this film is unique because it has enough twists to take you by surprise in the end. A clever serial-killer drama with unexpected conclusion!
3. Montage (2013)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kV5Hom6_GxE
15 years ago a crime was committed, a kidnap, and a mother lost her child forever.
And now, the crime is being repeated, another kidnap, same style – but this time can they stop the crime and tackle the kidnapper?
Directed by Geun-seop Jeong, a perfect thriller that turns out into a deadly game of wits.
2. Memories of Murder (2003)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTnyhLywdJc
Young girls from a particular town are being raped and murdered in regular intervals. The local detectives are baffled and are in need of professional help.
It’s a creepy and violent film that makes you sit at the edge of you seat till the very end.
Directed by Joon Ho Bong, one of the best murder mystery films I have ever seen!
1. The Chaser (2008)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ai0GambXj-s
A detective turned pimp tries to trace his call girls who seem to vanish into thin air. Is there a particular client who is responsible for their disappearance?
Directed by Hong-jin Na, this film has some of the most extreme moments of tension and violence – terrific storyline and superb level of acting.
According to me, the best Korean thriller ever made till date.
and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).
+1. Breathless (2008)
Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zzcGQkuTs4
Not exactly a thriller, but definitely one of the most brutal Korean crime drama of recent times.
A story of a touching friendship between a heartless loan shark and a troubled young school girl.
Directed by Ik-joon Yang, a brilliantly emotional film that deserves a lot more attention and appreciation.
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