South Korea has emerged as a major player in the global film industry in recent years, with a number of critically acclaimed and commercially successful films coming out of the country. From horror to drama to action, South Korean movies offer a diverse range of genres and storytelling styles. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best new South Korean movies that have come out in recent years.
1. “Parasite” (2019)
Winner of four Oscars including Best Picture, “Parasite” is a black comedy thriller directed by Bong Joon-ho. The film follows the story of a poor family who infiltrates the home of a wealthy family by posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals. The film deals with themes of class, social inequality, and the human condition.
2. “Minari” (2020)
“Minari” is a drama film directed by Lee Isaac Chung and based on his own childhood experiences. It follows a Korean-American family who moves to rural Arkansas in the 1980s to start a farm. The film deals with themes of family, identity, and the American Dream.
3. “The Handmaiden” (2016)
Directed by Park Chan-wook, “The Handmaiden” is a psychological thriller set in Korea in the 1930s. The film follows the story of a young woman who is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but who is secretly involved in a plot to defraud her. The film deals with themes of power, desire, and deception.
4. “Train to Busan” (2016)
“Train to Busan” is a zombie horror film set on a train travelling from Seoul to Busan. The film follows a group of passengers who must fight for their lives as a zombie outbreak occurs on board. The film deals with themes of survival, sacrifice, and humanity in the face of a crisis.
5. “Burning” (2018)
Directed by Lee Chang-dong, “Burning” is a mystery drama based on a short story by Haruki Murakami. The film follows the story of a young man who becomes involved with a mysterious woman who disappears without a trace. The film deals with themes of obsession, class, and the search for meaning.
6. “The Wailing” (2016)
Directed by Na Hong-jin, “The Wailing” is a horror film that takes place in a small village in South Korea. The film follows a police officer who investigates a series of mysterious deaths that are linked to a strange illness. The film deals with themes of superstition, belief, and the unknown.
7. “Okja” (2017)
This film is a science fiction adventure film about a young girl who befriends a genetically modified pig named Okja. The film follows the girl’s efforts to save Okja from being taken away by a multinational corporation. The film deals with themes of animal rights, environmentalism, and corporate greed.
8. “The Age of Shadows” (2016)
Directed by Kim Jee-woon, “The Age of Shadows” is a spy thriller set during the Japanese occupation of Korea in the 1920s. The film follows a group of Korean resistance fighters who attempt to smuggle explosives into Seoul to blow up a Japanese building. The film deals with themes of patriotism, betrayal, and sacrifice.
9. “A Taxi Driver” (2017)
“A Taxi Driver” is a historical drama based on the true story of a taxi driver who takes a German journalist to cover the Gwangju Uprising in 1980. The film follows the driver’s journey as he witnesses the brutality of the military regime and decides to join the protest movement. The film deals with themes of political activism, human rights, and the power of the media.
10. “The Villainess” (2017)
Directed by Jung Byung-gil, “The Villainess” is an action thriller about a young woman who is trained as an assassin by a secret government agency. The film follows her as she attempts to start a new life, but is drawn back into the world of violence and betrayal. The film deals with themes of identity, revenge, and redemption.
11. “Peninsula” (2020)
“Peninsula” is a sequel to the hit zombie film “Train to Busan.” The film takes place four years after the initial outbreak and follows a group of survivors who attempt to escape the Korean peninsula. The film deals with themes of survival, sacrifice, and the consequences of human greed.
12. “The Battle: Roar to Victory” (2019)
Directed by Won Shin-yun, “The Battle: Roar to Victory” is a historical war drama set during the Japanese occupation of Korea in 1920. The film follows a group of Korean resistance fighters who attempt to sabotage a Japanese military operation. The film deals with themes of patriotism, sacrifice, and the struggle for independence.
13. “Beasts Clawing at Straws” (2020)
“Beasts Clawing at Straws” is a neo-noir crime thriller about a group of characters whose lives intersect over a mysterious bag of money. The film deals with themes of greed, desperation, and the consequences of immoral actions.
14. “The Divine Fury” (2019)
“The Divine Fury” is a horror action film about a champion fighter who discovers he has the power to exorcise demons. The film follows his journey as he teams up with a priest to battle an evil force threatening humanity. The film deals with themes of faith, redemption, and the battle between good and evil.
15. “Time to Hunt” (2020)
Directed by Yoon Sung-hyun, “Time to Hunt” is a dystopian thriller about a group of friends who attempt to pull off a heist in a world where the economy has collapsed and the government has implemented a brutal crackdown. The film deals with themes of desperation, survival, and the consequences of societal collapse.
South Korean cinema continues to produce some of the most exciting and thought-provoking films in the world, and these recent releases are a testament to the country’s artistic and storytelling prowess. Whether you’re a fan of horror, drama, action, or any other genre, there’s something for everyone in the world of South Korean cinema.