After Parasite’s global success, the interest in Korean cinema has increased tenfold. So if you are someone who wants to take a dip into this sea of this industry’s greatest movies, but don’t know where to start, here are a few films that you should watch to initiate yourself into the world of K cinema.
A young housekeeper gets charged with the murder of an elderly client, and the only witness is a 15-year-old girl on the autistic spectrum. And she refuses to talk about it, can the housekeeper’s attorney befriend her and help her take the stand as a witness? This film won the Grand Prize at the 55th Baeksang Arts Awards.
Two teenagers find out that their father and mother, respectively, are having an affair with each other. And they have a baby on the way, which doesn’t make the situation better.
A rookie stockbroker gets himself entangled in a scam that promises him fame and fortune. But has he bitten off more than he can chew? Money is fast-paced and sure to have you at the edge of your seat.
This movie is everything, it is a romance, a thriller, a period drama and sometimes a spy film. The gist is that a noblewoman who is a prisoner in a golden cage has a handmaiden who is hiding a sinister secret. The Handmaiden won the Vulcan Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
A Tale Of Two Sisters
This film, which one the best picture at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival is for all the horror fans out there. Based on the life of a small Korean family whose daughter has just returned from a mental institution. This film was later remade by Hollywood with the name The Uninvited.
A Japanese man arrives in a small Korean village and brings with him a mysterious disease that begins with a rash but leads to violent outbursts and eventually death. A young police officer investigating the case becomes personally involved when his daughter catches it.
Kim Ji-young, Born 1982
Based on a novel of the same name, this film sparked a lot of controversy for its feminist content and the fact that both the leads are such big stars. It follows the life of a young stay-at-home mom who begins to suffer from depression and faces sexism every single day, even from the people who love her.
Ode To My Father
This film is the fourth highest-grossing in the history of Korean cinema. Based on the life of a man who forgoes everything for the sake of his family, this movie was actually the inspiration behind Salman Khan’s Bharat.
A Taxi Driver
This film is based on German journalist Jürgen Hinzpeter’s interactions with a taxi driver from Seoul who unintentionally becomes involved in the events of the Gwangju Uprising in 1980. An intense watch, this film which won the best film at the Asian World Film Festival stays with you long after its over.
Be With You
Before passing away, a young wife makes a promise to her husband and daughter that she will return on the first rainy day. And when she does, she doesn’t remember anything apart from the fact that her visit is short lived.
Train To Busan
Set in a train to Busan, this zombie apocalypse action thriller film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. A blockbuster, Train To Busan set a record as the first Korean film of 2016 to break the audience record of over 10 million theatergoers.
Welcome to the Korean wave!