The Best South Korean Horror Movies You’ve Never Seen

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we take a look at the best South Korean horror movies you’ve never seen.)

Train to Busan and The Wailing are two of the best horror films in recent years, and they couldn’t be more different. The former is a highly energetic and suspenseful zombie tale while the latter blends a methodically paced battle between good and evil with some incredibly intense sequences. Toss in less recent fare like Thirst, The Host, and A Tale of Two Sisters, and it’s clear that South Korea is home to some terrific and terrifying horror movies.

Of course, as you probably surmised by the title of this post, I’m not here to talk about the great movies you’ve already seen – I’m here to recommend ones you haven’t. Below, you’ll find six Korean chillers featuring murder, madness, monsters, and more. Some of the threats are supernatural while others are all too human, but all of them are worth watching with the lights off and a hot cocoa in your hand.

Keep reading for a look at the best South Korean horror movies you probably haven’t seen.

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WarGames Sequel

(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series that explores the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrical released movies. In this edition: we take a look at a DTV sequel to a beloved ’80s film featuring a trouble-making Matthew Broderick and a dead child named Joshua.)

WarGames was a big hit back in the summer of 1983 despite its dark subject matter – nuclear war, millions of lives at risk, teens forgetting to put lids on trash cans – and its self-contained story and highly satisfying conclusion left no need for a follow-up. 25 years later, though, some asshole decided to make one anyway.

2008’s WarGames: The Dead Code is a direct sequel despite arriving a full quarter of a century later, and audiences reacted by completely ignoring its existence. The film immediately disappeared into the ether, but as a firm believer that every movie deserves a chance – and as someone with a column concerned with DTV sequels to wide releases – I decided to give it a spin. Could it have been unfairly dismissed? Is it deserving of reappraisal and a fan base dedicated to turning it into a cult hit? Should you, dear readers, invest cash money and 100 minutes of your precious time towards seeing it?

For the love of all that’s holy, the answer to all three of those questions is a resounding no.

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Movies Directed by Actors

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition we take a look at some lesser-known movies directed by actors.)

The big film hitting screens this weekend is a horror film starring and directed by John Krasinski, and while A Quiet Place is neither the first nor the last movie to be directed by an actor it’s definitely the most recent. The joke about actors wanting to direct is an old one, but most never actually make the jump behind the camera. Those that do often leave acting behind in the process while others find a way to balance the two careers – sometimes in the same film.

Robert Redford, Sarah Polley, Denzel Washington, and Angelina Jolie are just a few of the many actors turned directors whose films have won both awards and recognition, but plenty of others have toiled behind the camera far less noticeably. Did you know that Al Pacino and Tom Noonan have each directed four movies? Or that two of the six friends from Friends have helmed films? I’ll let you Google to see if I’m lying on that count, but for now, keep reading for a look at some worthwhile movies you’ve probably missed that were directed by actors.

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(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series where we explore the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrically released movies. In this edition we bite down hard on two sequels to one of the most popular vampire movies of the ’80s.)

Not every movie that deserves a sequel actually gets one, and those that actually get a follow-up don’t always deserve it. Hollywood’s a mysterious place, a place where box-office dictates content more often than talent and creativity, and one of the unfortunate results of that formula is that sometimes a sequel can be greenlit strictly in the hopes of a quick cash-grab. In the most egregious of those cases, the follow-up doesn’t even make it to theaters and is instead aimed squarely at the direct-to-video (DTV) market. The original filmmakers are rarely involved, the level of onscreen talent is typically several rungs down the ladder of fame, and the films themselves are usually forgotten immediately…if they’re even noticed at all.

Well, that ends now.

It’s time to take a bite out of the two DTV sequels to 1987’s The Lost Boys.

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the hitcher II

(Welcome to DTV Descent, a series where Rob Hunter explores the weird and wild world of direct-to-video sequels to theatrical released movies. In this edition: The Hitcher II: I’ve Been Waiting.)

Not every movie that deserves a sequel actually gets one, and those that actually get a follow-up don’t always deserve it. Hollywood’s a mysterious place, a place where box-office dictates content more often than talent and creativity, and one of the unfortunate results of that formula is that sometimes a sequel can be greenlit strictly in the hopes of a quick cash-grab. In the most egregious of those cases, the follow-up doesn’t even make it to theaters and is instead aimed squarely at the direct-to-video (DTV) market. The original filmmakers are rarely involved, the level of onscreen talent is typically several rungs down the ladder of fame, and the films themselves are usually forgotten immediately…if they’re even noticed at all.

Well, that ends now.

And by “that,” I mean the lack of attention these DTV sequels get, not their continued production. (I’m not that powerful.) Some are passable entertainment, most are wet garbage, and together we’re going to explore every single one of them.

Let’s start The Hitcher II: I’ve Been Waiting. Because we have to start somewhere.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we unsheathe a handful of good to great movies that feature unexpected scenes of swordplay.)

This week’s biggest new release in theaters is Pacific Rim Uprising, the sequel to 2013’s Pacific Rim. Director Guillermo del Toro and stars Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam aren’t returning for the follow-up, but you’ll be happy to know the Jaeger with the big-ass sword is back for more. Why does a giant, Voltron-like mecha-suit in a sci-fi, future-set world use a weapon as old school as a sword against giant monsters? I’m not sure, but Voltron has one too so maybe it’s an homage? Regardless of the reason, there’s something oddly appealing about seeing a sword come into play where you least expect it.

It’s understood that there will be swords and swordplay in certain period films, pirate adventures, or fantasy epics, but it can be just as entertaining seeing them appear in films outside of those genres. There’s something almost anachronistic about the sudden arrival of a sword in films like Pulp Fiction, Demons, Attack the Block, or Lifeforce, but you know the drill. I’m not here to talk about the movies you know – I’m here to spread the word about the good to great to just plain fun movies most of you have never seen. So keep reading for a look at six movies that probably shouldn’t feature swords (or swordplay), but do anyway.

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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we celebrate the Academy Awards with a look at six movies that were nominated for Best Picture over the years and then barely spoken of again!)

The 90th Academy Awards were this past weekend, and without spoiling anything for those who haven’t watched it yet, some movies won and far more lost. As is always the case on the Monday morning after, a flurry of hot takes were turned into posts that I’ll never read. The thesis on a few of them boils down to a suggestion that certain films, despite their Oscar nomination (and in some cases their win), are bound to be forgotten within a decade. It seems unlikely for the films I’ve seen associated with the idea (Get Out, The Shape of Water), but it’s a definite possibility in general.

Odds are you’re familiar with all of the Best Picture nominees from this century and probably into the ’80s, but dig back a bit further and you might be surprised. Just because you don’t recall a film, though, doesn’t mean it’s not worth remembering. And just because no one’s talking about an older movie, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth being a part of the conversation. So with that in mind, here are six great movies that were nominated for Best Picture and then mostly forgotten.

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Death Sentence movie

(Welcome to The Unpopular Opinion, a series where a writer goes to the defense of a much-maligned film or sets their sights on a movie seemingly beloved by all. In this edition: not only is James Wan’s Death Sentence a good movie, but it’s also the only Death Wish remake we need.)

There’s a new Death Wish movie hitting screens this week, and while I’ll walk into it the same way I approach every film – hoping for greatness – it’s difficult to actually be all that optimistic. Not only has this remake been made redundant by four decades’ worth of movies about white men getting revenge with guns, but its journey towards production has seen a handful of interesting choices sidelined in favor of bland mediocrity. Instead of the once-rumored Benicio Del Toro for the lead, we now have Bruce Willis’ disinterested corpse. Instead of the Israeli filmmakers behind Big Bad Wolves announced for the director’s chair in early 2016, we now get the not-so subtle talents of Eli Roth. Instead of a fresh and interesting revenge tale, we’re getting what appears to be another empty and generic action film. (Seriously, watch the trailer.) It’s all made even more unfortunate by the realization that the only Death Wish remake we needed already came and went with nothing but empty theater seats and a 20% score on Rotten Tomatoes left behind.

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(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition, we celebrate the 9th Annual Women in Horror month with a look at six horror movies you haven’t seen that were directed by women!)

Every month is the right time to celebrate female filmmakers, but those of you who like labels and official designations will be pleased to know that February is Women in Horror Month, It’s the ninth for those of you keeping track, and it’s a good reminder that while there still aren’t enough women making horror movies, there are plenty of great horror movies made by women. Near Dark, Pet Sematary, The Babadook, The Invitation, Prevenge, RavenousA Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, and more all come to mind as known and loved examples.

But as I’m sure you know by now – and as the title of the post suggests – I’m not here to talk about the movies everyone already knows and loves. I’m here to suggest some lesser known titles that you probably haven’t seen despite being well worth your time.

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Friends With Benefits vs No Strings Attached

(Welcome to Seeing Double, a series where two strangely similar films released around the same time are put head-to-head. This time, we’re letting love take the wheel in honor of Valentine’s Day and looking at a pair of movie twins about sex, love, and the futility of denying your feelings.)

Every week is “Love” week here at /Film, but in the spirit of Valentine’s Day this edition of Seeing Double is focusing on the most American representation of love possible – the romantic comedy. Some say it’s the most honest film genre there is while others call it poppycock of the heart, but there’s no denying the popularity of funny movies about love. Audiences and Hollywood alike just love seeing characters laugh and kiss their way to a happy ending.

2011 saw two high-profile rom-coms hit theater screens just six months apart, both centered on an identical premise, and both starring a cast member from Black Swan and That ’70s Show. Sounds crazy doesn’t it? Impossible to believe even? But it’s true, I swear. As insane as it sounds, though, there’s an even bigger mystery surrounding No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits. In the seven years since their release, no one’s ever felt 100% confident identifying which romantic pairing of popular young actors is in which film without a quick IMDB search.

That confusion ends now. Keep reading as we put No Strings Attached and Friends Without Benefits head-to-head and end this madness once and for all.

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