Horror Movies

Best Korean Horror Movies: 10 Need to Watch Korean Horror Films To Give You Nightmares

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Welcome to a thrilling exploration into the heart of Korean horror cinema, a genre that has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide with its unique blend of suspense, psychological depth, and cultural nuance. Korean horror movies, or K-horror, have carved a niche for themselves in the global horror scene, offering stories that range from deeply emotional to chillingly terrifying. Whether you’re a seasoned fan of the horror genre or a curious newcomer eager to dive into something new, Korean horror films promise a rollercoaster of emotions.

Train to Busan
Amazon Prime
Seoul Station
Amazon Prime
A Tale of Two Sisters
Amazon Prime
I Saw the Devil
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum
Amazon Prime
Death Bell
Amazon Prime
The Host
Amazon Prime
The Wrath
Amazon Prime

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

Korean cinema, with its rich storytelling and innovative direction, has brought us some of the best Korean horror movies that stand out for their originality and ability to scare. These films are not just about jump scares or gory scenes; they delve into the psychological aspects of fear, blending traditional horror elements with poignant narratives that reflect societal issues and human emotions. From the eerie streets of Seoul to the quiet, haunted rural areas, these movies transport viewers to settings that are both familiar and unsettlingly strange.

As we embark on this journey through some of the great Korean horror movies you need to watch, prepare yourself for an experience that will not only terrify but also fascinate and move you. These films are more than just horror movies, they are a window into the depths of human nature and the darkness that lies within. So, let’s dive into the world of Korean horror cinema.

Must Watch Korean Horror Movies

In this section, we are unveiling our curated list of the best Korean horror movies, each with its unique story, setting, and characters, all of which have left an indelible mark on the horror genre. These are the films that not only define K-horror but also challenge and expand the boundaries of what horror can be.

Train to Busan or Busanhaeng (2016)

Let’s kick off with the high-octane, heart-pounding journey of Train to Busan. Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, this masterpiece isn’t just another zombie movie, it’s a riveting story of survival, sacrifice, and humanity. As a virus outbreak turns South Korea into a frenzied, apocalyptic wasteland, passengers on a bullet train to Busan, including workaholic father Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) and his young daughter Soo-an (Kim Su-an), must fight for their lives against the undead. What makes Train to Busan one of the best Korean horror movies is not just its relentless pace and thrilling action sequences but the poignant narrative that captures the essence of human resilience and the bonds that emerge in the face of disaster.

Seoul Station or Seoulyeok (2016)

Following in the footsteps of Train to Busan, Seoul Station is an animated prequel that explores the origins of the zombie outbreak, offering a darker, grittier look into the societal underbelly of Seoul. Directed by Yeon Sang-ho as well, this film delves into the lives of the city’s homeless population, setting the stage for a night of horror as a zombie epidemic begins to take hold. Seoul Station stands out for its stark commentary on social issues, wrapped within the suspense and horror of a traditional zombie narrative. Its animation style adds an eerie layer to the unfolding chaos, making it a fascinating and unsettling addition to South Korea’s horror cinema.

A Tale of Two Sisters or Janghwa, Hongryeon (2003)

A Tale of Two Sisters, directed by Kim Jee-woon is a hauntingly beautiful and complex film. Based on a Korean folktale, this story follows two sisters, Su-mi (Im Soo-jung) and Su-yeon (Moon Geun-young), who return home after a stint in a mental institution, only to face a cruel stepmother and disturbing occurrences. The film’s atmospheric tension, combined with its shocking twists and deep emotional core, make it a standout in the horror genre. A Tale of Two Sisters is not just a scare-fest, it’s a meticulously crafted psychological horror film that delves into themes of family, grief, and madness.

I Saw the Devil or Ang-ma-reul bo-at-da (2010)

For those who lean towards the thriller side of horror, I Saw the Devil is a relentless, blood-soaked revenge saga that pushes the boundaries of the genre. Directed by Kim Jee-woon, this film follows NIS agent Kim Soo-hyun (Lee Byung-hun) as he embarks on a brutal quest for vengeance against a sadistic serial killer (Choi Min-sik) who murdered his fiancée. I Saw the Devil is a visceral exploration of the thin line between good and evil, hunter and hunted. Its graphic violence and moral ambiguity may not be for the faint-hearted, but the film’s gripping narrative and stunning performances make it a pivotal piece of Korean horror cinema that explores the depths of human depravity and the cost of revenge.

Thirst or Bakjwi (2009)

Diving into the supernatural with a twist, Thirst is an extraordinary take on the vampire genre by the acclaimed director Park Chan-wook. This film follows Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho), a devout priest who volunteers for a failed medical experiment that turns him into a vampire. Struggling with his newfound thirst for blood and forbidden desires, Sang-hyun’s life turns into chaos. Thirst combines horror, dark comedy, and eroticism to create a unique and provocative story that explores themes of faith, morality, and human desire.

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum or Gon-ji-am (2018)

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is a must-watch movie for fans of found-footage horror. Directed by Jung Bum-shik, this film cleverly uses the premise of a horror web series crew venturing into an abandoned mental asylum rumored to be haunted. As the crew explores the eerie corridors and dilapidated rooms, they encounter terrifying supernatural phenomena. Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum stands out for its effective use of suspense, atmospheric tension, and jump scares, making it a thrilling addition to the horror genre. The film’s realistic portrayal of a ghost hunting expedition gone wrong proves why it’s considered one of the best Korean horror movies in recent years.

Death Bell or Gosa (2008)

Death Bell takes the horror to a high school setting, where a group of elite students finds themselves trapped in a deadly game. Directed by Yoon Hong-seung, this film combines elements of slasher films with the psychological tension of survival horror. The students must solve twisted puzzles and face gruesome deaths, all while trying to uncover the identity of their tormentor. Death Bell is a critique of South Korea’s highly competitive education system, wrapped up in a suspenseful and gory package. Its clever plot twists and intense atmosphere make it a standout horror film that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking.

The Call or Kol (2020)

Directed by Lee Chung-hyun, The Call follows Seo-yeon (Park Shin-hye), who discovers a phone in her childhood home that allows her to communicate with Young-sook (Jun Jong-seo), a woman living in the same house but 20 years in the past. Their connection takes a dark turn when Young-sook’s path as a serial killer alters the present. The Call is a masterclass in building suspense and delivering shocking twists, making it a fresh and exciting entry in the Korean horror genre.

The Host or Gwoemul (2006)

The Host, directed by Bong Joon-ho, is a genre-defying film that combines elements of horror, science fiction, and family drama. Following the emergence of a monstrous creature from the Han River, a dysfunctional family bands together to rescue their youngest member from the clutches of the beast. The Host is not only a thrilling monster movie but also a poignant commentary on environmental pollution, government incompetence, and familial bonds. Its blend of humor, heart, and horror has made it one of the most memorable Korean films of the 21st century.

The Wrath or Yeo-gok-seong (2018)

Set in the Joseon era, The Wrath is a supernatural horror film that revolves around a cursed family haunted by a vengeful spirit. Directed by Yoo Young-sun, this visually stunning film draws upon traditional Korean beliefs and aesthetics to weave a tale of terror and mystery. Its atmospheric setting, combined with a chilling story, makes The Wrath a unique and captivating entry into the horror genre, highlighting the rich tapestry of Korean folklore and its potential for horror.

As we conclude our exploration, it’s clear that Korean horror does more than just scare, it leaves a lasting impression, challenging us to look deeper into the darkness and perhaps understand our own fears a bit better.


Korean horror cinema is a treasure trove of innovative and deeply emotional films that challenge and redefine the horror genre. From the high-speed terror of Train to Busan to the psychological depths of A Tale of Two Sisters, these films showcase the incredible talent and creativity of Korean filmmakers. Each movie on this list offers a distinct flavor of fear, proving that Korean horror is not only about scaring the audience but also about telling compelling stories that resonate on a deeper level.

The best Korean horror movies invite viewers to explore the darker corners of human nature and the supernatural, all while delivering unforgettable scares and gripping narratives. Whether you’re a fan of zombies, ghosts, monsters, or psychological thrillers, K-horror has something for everyone. So, if you’re looking to dive into the world of Korean horror cinema, these great Korean horror movies are the perfect place to start. Prepare to be terrified, moved, and mesmerized by some of the most extraordinary films the genre has to offer. Happy watching, and don’t forget to keep the lights on!

FAQ: Common Questions and Answers

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum, A Tale of Two Sisters, and I Saw the Devil are some of the scariest Korean horror movies.

If you’re looking for Korean horror classics, A Tale of Two Sisters and The Host are must-watch movies.

For those intrigued by the supernatural, Thirst, The Wrath, and A Tale of Two Sisters offer a fascinating blend of horror with elements beyond the natural realm.

For insightful reviews and deeper analyses of Korean horror movies, you can check out websites like Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb for both critic and audience opinions. Additionally, dedicated film blogs and YouTube channels that specialize in horror cinema often provide in-depth reviews and recommendations.

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