Countdown, Days 29 & 30: South Korean horror

I have become a fan of South Korean film over the past few years. One of my favorite directors, in fact, is Bong Joon-ho. The Host (2006), Mother (2009), Snowpiercer (2013), and Okja (2017) vary in style or genre but all are great.


I mention him here because I love his work but he didn’t make this countdown. The Host is science fiction/horror, but I decided it wasn’t clearly enough a horror film for my purposes here; I tried to stick with movies that fall more clearly within genre lines. If I’d included The Host, I would also have wanted to include Gojira (1954, dir. Ishiro Honda) and Silence of the Lambs (1991, dir. Jonathan Demme), so I just simplified my list by cutting them out. If I have any regrets about my list, this is where to find them.

The South Korean films I did include here are Train to Busan (2016, dir. Sang-ho Yeon) and Thirst (2009, dir. Chan-wook Park). Beyond their origin, these two films don’t have too much in common, however.

train to busan.jpg

Train to Busan is a well-executed zombie film that takes place largely on a train and in train stations. It reflects some interesting cultural values and ideas about community and about fatherhood and has some impressive action sequences. It also uses sentiment in a way that worked for me, and it made me cry.

Thirst is much slower and very bloody. I want to watch it again – I need to in order to be able to say much about it – but I remember it as being very intense and very good.


Earlier countdown entries:

  1. Night of the Living Dead, dir. George Romero (1968)
  2. Dawn of the Dead, dir. George Romero (1978)
  3. Invasion of the Body Snatchers, dir. Philip Kaufman (1978)
  4. Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele (2017)
  5. Hellraiser, dir. Clive Barker (1987)
  6. Psycho, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1960)
  7. The Birds, dir. Alfred Hitchcock (1963)
  8. Jaws, dir. Steven Spielberg (1975)
  9. Teeth, dir. Mitchell Lichtenstein (2007)
  10. Candyman, dir. Bernard Rose (1992)
  11. Creep, dir. Patrick Brice (2014)
  12. The Wicker Man, dir. Robin Hardy (1973)
  13. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, dir. Tobe Hooper (1974)
  14. Cabin in the Woods, dir. Drew Goddard (2012)
  15. Suspiria, dir. Dario Argento (1977)
  16. The Witch, dir. Robert Eggers (2015)
  17. Rosemary’s Baby, dir. Roman Polanski (1968)
  18. The Babadook, dir. Jennifer Kent (2014)
  19. It Follows, dir. David Robert Mitchell (2014)
  20. Carrie, dir. Brian de Palma (1976)
  21. Ginger Snaps, dir. John Fawcett (2000)
  22. American Werewolf in London, dir. John Landis (1981)
  23. The Thing, dir. John Carpenter (1982)
  24. The Fly, dir. David Cronenberg (1986)
  25. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, dir. Ana Lily Amirpour (2014)
  26. It Comes at Night, dir. Trey Edward Shults (2017)
  27. Shaun of the Dead, dir. Edgar Wright (2004)
  28. 28 Days Later, dir. Danny Boyle (2002)

1 thought on “Countdown, Days 29 & 30: South Korean horror

  1. Pingback: Countdown to Halloween, Day 31 | Dr. Christy Tidwell

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