25 Best Korean Horror Movies of All Time

Best Korean Horror Movies
A horror genre unlike any other...

Sometimes, English horror just doesn’t do it for you. Korean horror, also known as k-horror, takes a different form of fear to scare you. A sense of dread. A sense of no happy ending in sight as you watch the main characters suffer from both evil people and entities. These 25 movies are guaranteed to give you that scare that you crave without the cop-out of a happy ending.

25. Tale of Two Sisters

Tale of Two Sisters trailer

Following the story of Bae Su-mi and Bae Su-Yeon, Su-mi has just returned from a mental institution to her family. Everyone is happy to see her, except for their stepmother, Eun-Joo, who is abusive to Su-Yeon. Tale of Two Sisters is a classic k-horror with a heart-wrenching twist that is a must-watch for any fan of the sub-genre. The movie is the most-watched horror film in South Korea.

The perfect family portrait

24. Ghost Sweepers

Ghost Sweepers trailer

Also known as The Fortune Tellers, this comedy horror tells the story of a group of shamans from across South Korea. Their mission is simple; to perform an exorcism in a small village plagued with dark spirits. Naturally, someone has to cover that story, or else did it really happen?

Shamanism, exorcism, exercising?

23. Doctor

Doctor trailer

Most of us know that the cosmetic surgery industry in South Korea is booming. Let’s just hope that your doctor doesn’t have mood swings. Or that his wife is cheating on him. You might end up needing more than a plastic surgeon.

The doctor will see you commit adultery now

22. Sector 7

Sector 7 trailer

The creation of a new life-form leads to disaster as this creature escapes within an oil rig. With bodily fluids that ban burn up to 30 hours and the main power turned off, a team of rig workers needs to hunt this monster down before it hunts them. Sometimes creating a new life isn’t as fun as people think it is.

Playing God wasn’t a good idea

21. The Priests

The Priests trailer

A dangerous demon-possessed a young girl, and the priest whose parish she was a part of and a young seminarian intend to exorcise it. The demon has already killed two priests and might make that count four before the end of the night if they don’t succeed.

It’s killed two priests; will it kill two more?

20. Bedevilled

Bedevilled trailer

Kim Bok-Nam has been the subject of abuse, mental, physical, and sexual. Desperate to survive, she and her daughter seek escape from the claustrophobic island they are imprisoned on. When the law fails you, you have little choice.

She’s finally had enough

19. Ghastly

Ghastly trailer

After losing her parents, orphaned Bin is taken in by her relative, Seo-Ni. Soon after, the household becomes plagued with nightmares. Seo-Ni begins to realize there is a more horrifying secret surrounding Bin.

Something’s wrong with Bin

18. Office

Office trailer

Sometimes people die with no explanation. Sometimes people kill with little explanation. But no one does it for no reason. Detective Jong-hoon investigates Kim Byong-gook after he kills his whole family, and suspects he is hiding within his workplace.

Work stress kills, and so does he

17. The Piper

The Piper trailer

A man and his son travel through Korea to get to Seoul after the end of the Korean War in order to treat the young boy for tuberculosis. They stop to rest in a remote village, where the chief agrees to let them stay. The only condition is that they cannot tell the rest of the village that the war has ended.

The rats are the least of your worries now

16. Human Form

Human Form trailer

Shorter than the rest of the movies on this list, but still just as scary. This short film shows a girl’s obsession with plastic surgery and wants to look unique in a world that looks the same. In a world where everyone is the same, wanting to be different can drive someone to extreme lengths.

In a world full of them, be you

15. The Wicked

The Wicked trailer

Being the new person at work can be hard. Se-young, who is already awkward and introverted, is picked on by her co-worker Lee-Sun. Unfortunately for Lee-Sun, Se-Young has a few wicked tricks up her sleeve.

It’s the quiet ones you should worry about

14. Manhole

Manhole trailer

A serial killer is loose in a Seoul neighborhood. His next victim, 14-year-old Soo-Jung, is trapped within the manhole where he traps his victims. Her older sister now must find her before the killer claims her as another number on his kill count.

There’s a whole world out there, and no one can hear you scream

13. Mourning Grave

Mourning Grave trailer

In-soo can see ghosts. Because of her ability, he is isolated by his peers. After moving from his school, he befriends a female ghost. One by one, though, his classmates begin to disappear.

Best friends are more than to the end

12. Killer Toon

Killer Toon trailer

Sometimes we write about things that we wish were real. This isn’t the case for Kang Ji-Yoon, who writes horror webtoons. Her life begins to mirror her comic, and it ends her up as a suspect when a string of murders mimic her work.

Blood makes better ink

11. Watching

Watching trailer

Workaholic Young-woo has been kidnapped. The perpetrator is none other than security officer Joon-ho. When the person who is supposed to protect you is the reason you’re in danger, you need to take matters into your own hands.

Security’s already here

10. Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis trailer

Gang-goo, Myung-Joo, and their family have moved into a new home. But with a new home comes new problems. The devil transforming into a family member wasn’t originally on the list of problems, but now it’s definitely on the to-do list.

On Earth, as it is in Heaven

9. Monstrum

Monstrum trailer

In 1527 Korea, a plague spreads in Joseon and rumors of a vile creature called Monstrum stalks the country. During King Junjung’s reign, the country may need more than it’s king to save the country.

The rumors are true, and it’s worse than we thought

8. The Wrath

The Wrath trailer

When tragedy falls upon your family, you can only trust each other. But what if the tragedy causes your family to turn on each other? Two Joseon women fall to this when a family of three sons dies on their wedding day. The movie is a remake of the 1986 film Woman’s Wail.

Water is thicker than blood

7. The Whispering

The Whispering

Nothing says “bonding” like getting stuck in a haunted house

6. Train to Busan

Train to Busan trailer

Zombie fans, this one is for you. Train to Busan follows a divorced father taking his daughter to Busan for her birthday. When a young woman boards, she begins to turn into a zombie, and quickly, everyone becomes infected.

Next stop: Dead End

5. Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum

Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum trailer

A found footage film following six people, this movie centers around the broadcasting of a horror web series. The crew travels to an abandoned asylum for views and publicity, but nothing ever goes right after you enter an abandoned asylum. Gonjiam: Haunted Asylum is the third most-watched film in South Korea, after Tale of Two Sisters and Phone.

Do it for the fans

4. The Mimic

The Mimic trailer

Based on the urban legend, Jangsan Tiger, a woman takes in a young girl she finds near Mt. Jang after her son goes missing. Mt. Jang is known to be a mysterious mountain, where a creature mimics the voices of humans.

Trust no one; not even your child

3. The Divine Fury

The Divine Fury trailer

After his father is killed in an accident, Yong-hoo is distrusting and resentful to people. Years later, he is a martial arts champion and has a mysterious divine power that is capable of combating a powerful evil. With his help, Priest Ahn uses his exorcism skills to fight against the demonic evils terrorizing South Korea.

Fighting demons is the same as fighting humans, right?

2. The Odd Family: Zombie On Sale

The Odd Family: Zombie On Sale trailer

Another zombie movie, but on a more comedic-horror side! Man-Deok, who dreams of living the rest of his life in Hawaii, has a new goal in life once a strange man infects his family and village. Now, all he can think of is surviving long enough in a zombie apocalypse.

A family that kills zombies together stays together

1. The Wailing

The Wailing trailer

A commercial and critical success upon release, The Wailing follows a policeman who is investigating a series of mysterious deaths and illnesses. Soon afterward, the investigation turns into a race against the clock, as the incidents force him to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.

Strange illnesses call for strange treatments

Like these movies we've suggested? Check out these other articles for more horror from our favorite foreign writers!

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