3 Reasons Why South Korean Movies are Taking Over Hollywood

By Juliet D'cruz

Between Parasite and Forgotten or even the recent success of the Netflix Original Squid Game, South Korean movies and tv shows are becoming more and more popular across the globe. But why is that? What makes Korean movies so much better than recent Hollywood motion pictures. In this article, we’ll share with you three reasons why we think South Korean cinema is slowly taking over the cinematic world. 

The characters are well-written and interesting

Having well-written characters is key to a great movie, unfortunately it has become rarer and rarer in Hollywood, everything feels hollow and badly thought out. So, let’s take a closer look at Parasite, the Oscar Winning movie from Bong Joon-ho, all the characters have a complex backstory but also really unique personalities, they all have a purpose in the story and bring something to the table. They can be funny but also complex and dark. In addition, Korean directors also don’t turn away from tragic (almost mythological), intricate and ambiguous characters such as Oh Dae-su from Oldboy, they’re simply not scared of exposing their viewers to the darkest of humanity. 

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They know how to make good horror movies

Nowadays, South Korea produces some of the best modern horror films. They don’t purely rely on jump scares but instead focus on complex plot-twists, relatable characters, and terrifying monsters/villains, contrary to current popular US narratives. Train To Busan is possibly one of the greatest zombie films of the modern era, both horrifying and touching at the same time. The same goes for The Wailing, it’s a great unsettling, disturbing movie filled with demonology, ghosts and exorcisms. Korean horror doesn’t feel the need to over-show or even over-explain scenes, the focus is solely on subtle horror. 

They’re a joy for the thrill-seekers

Korean thrillers offer amazing plots, well-paced suspense and, as previously stated, great characters. Movies like Forgotten are the perfect example on how intelligent, twisted, and unpredictable a thriller can be while being visually stunning and moving. The Call with its time travel based story and female leads is also incredibly smart and well-written, always keeping you on the edge of your seat while dealing with strong themes such as female serial killers. Furthermore, South Korean thrillers often have a deep narrative with a strong emphasis on human relationships, making them enjoyable to a wide audience while pleasing thrill-seekers. 

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