Browse Tag

Korean movie

KajoPicks: 12 K-dramas and movies starring Kim Rae-won you should watch

Known for his deep, baritone voice, Kim Rae-won is one of the most memorable South Korean actors out there.

It is not just his unique voice that sets him apart from most of the other actors, it is his appearance as well.

Perhaps because of his masculine facial features and slightly darker skin tone, Kim usually finds himself taking roles as both opposite sides of the law; a policeman or a criminal.

To top his voice and look, Kim also has the talent and passion for acting to make him a well-rounded performer and one of South Korea’s most sought after actors.

Honestly, it was hard to choose our favourite dramas and movies starring Kim Rae-won since he has so many impressive works under his belt.

But somebody had to make the hard decision, so here are 12 K-dramas and movies you should watch if you are a fan of Kim Rae-won:

1.My Little Bride (2004)

This film is a Korean remake of the 2002 Hong Kong movie My Wife is 18 starring Charlene Choi and Ekin Cheng.

Here, Kim plays the role of a male college student Sang-min who has an arranged marriage between a female high school student Bo-eun (Moon Geun-young).

Both of them are forced to get married due to their grandfathers’ arrangement during the Korean War.

After they got married, they decide to hide their marriage. Things get complicated when Bo-eun pretends to be single and starts to date.

And the whole situation escalates even more when Sang-min becomes an art teacher at Bo-eun’s school.

The movie became a sleeper hit and was the second top-crossing Korean film of 2004.

2.Love Story in Harvard (2004)

If My Little Bride was the film that made us to take notice of Kim Rae-won, the drama of his that really caught our attention was none other than Love Story in Harvard (2004).

In this romantic drama, Kim teams up with future female star of K-dramas Kim Tae-hee.

They both play the roles of Harvard students who find love while studying abroad.

Their career choices lead them to different parts of the world after graduation.

Years pass and the former lovers find each other again in Seoul but this time will they let each other go?

The release of the drama brought a lot of popularity to both of the main leads but specifically to Kim Tae-hee who saw an increase amount of advertisement deals after the series.

3.Sunflower (2006)

In this film, Kim takes up the role of a former gangster named Oh Tae-sik.

After being released from prison, Tae-sik heads back to his hometown to start a new life.

He starts a new job at a garage and in the same time tries his best to leave his criminal past behind.

It has not been easy especially because most of the people still live in fear of his past brutal reputation.

But his past eventually catches up on him when a local politician tries to demolish his adoptive mom’s restaurant in order to build a new mall.

Overall, the movie was a hit when it came out. Kim on the other hand was impressive with his acting in the film especially near the ending.

4.A Thousand Days’ Promises (2011)

What we love about Kim is that he always tries to challenge himself in different types of roles as long as there is any opportunity rises for him.

For this melodrama, he plays the role of a doting husband who never gives up on his wife who is struggling with early on-set Alzheimer’s.

Park Ji-hyung (Kim Rae-won) works as an architect. Despite having a fiancee, he has a secret affair with Lee Seo-yeon (Soo Ae).

Seo-yeon breaks up with him after being diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s.

After finding out the reason of the break up, Ji-hyung dumps his fiancée two days before the wedding to be with Seo-yeon.

Despite the fierce opposition from his parents and Seo-yeon herself, Ji-hyung insists to marry Seo-yeon.

Seo-yeon eventually agrees and the couple begins their marriage life together with hardship.

Even when Seo-yeon’s memories starting to fail her, Ji-hyung’s love for her never falters.

A Thousand Days’ Promises is a great drama to watch when you are feeling lovey dovey with your partner.

5.Punch (2014)

When Park Jung-hwan (Kim Rae-won) is told that he only has six months left to live, it makes him to reexamine his life choices.

As the chief of the anti-corruption investigation team for the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, he had made a lot of decisions that he is not proud of.

Since he is nearing to his death, Jung-hwan decides to pursue justice regardless of its price.

His main goal is to bring down his own boss Prosecutor General Lee Tae-joon, whose friendly public face masks his corruption.

Kim was nominated for the Top Excellence Award at the APAN Star Awards as well as Best Actor in Television at the Baeksang Arts Awards for his role in this drama.

6.Gangnam Blues (2015)

Kim returns to Set in the 1970s during the height of political corruption in South Korea, this action film stars Kim Rae-won and Lee Min-ho.

Kim returns to play a role he is familiar with; being a gangster.

Childhood friends, Jong-dae (Lee Min-ho) and Yong-ki (Kim Rae-won) struggle to get by, until their shanty homes are demolished by local thugs.

Desperate for cash, they get involved in violent political clashes, and are separated during one of the skirmishes.

Three years later, Jong-dae lives as an adopted son of a former gang leader, Gil-soo (Jung Jin-young) and unknown to him, as a small-time gangster.

Meanwhile, Yong-ki has risen as a made man inside Seoul’s most powerful criminal organization.

To play this role, Kim was asked to shed 15 kilograms for his character, which he did in less than a month.

7.The Doctors (2016)

Kim switches his usual police and prison uniforms for some scrubs in this medical drama.

He plays the role of Hong Ji-hong, a doctor who needs to step back in his career and become a biology teacher.

As a teacher, he plays an ‘extra’ attention to a rebellious student named Yoo Hye-jung (Park Shin-hye).

Both are caught in some dramas and eventually separated.

But 13 years later, the teacher-student pair is now reunited as colleagues as both are now surgeons working in a private hospital.

When it was aired, the drama was a hit which lead to Kim experiencing a surge in his popularity and commercial offers.

8.Prison (2017)

In this movie, Kim takes up the challenge playing someone is from both sides of the law.

He plays the role of a former detective Song Yoo-gun who got sentenced in prison for hit-and-run, destruction of evidence and bribery.

In the prison, he catches the attention of Ik-ho (Han Suk-kyu) who is known as “The King’.

Ik-ho wields his power truly like a king from the prison up to a point that the prisoners can leave the prison at nights to commit the perfect crimes.

The film was a surprise hit and Kim received critical acclaim for his realistic execution of action scenes.

9.Black Knight: The Man Who Guards Me (2017)

If you want to see Kim rocking a historical costume, this is his drama for you.

He plays two different role in this series from two different time period.

First is Lee Myung-so, an aristocrat who falls deeply in love with his housemaid/concubine and the 21st century Moon Soo-ho, a young CEO who is still in love with his first crush.

What Soo-ho does not know is that he is the reincarnation of Lee Myung-so. Since Myung-so did not get to live happily ever after with the love of his life, Soo-ho determines that he would.

It is a romantic drama with a dose of fantasy. While the series did not gathered mainstream success like Kim’s previous works, we still enjoy the overall drama.

10.Long Live The King (2019)

Kim is familiar playing the role of a gangster but this time he is playing a mobster in love.

Mob boss Jang Se-chool (Kim Rae-won) meets lawyer Kang So-hyun at an anti-construction protest and quickly falls in love.

Unfortunately, she thinks of him as a thug. She repeatedly rejects him while telling him to live a decent life.

So-hyun eventually tries to get rid of Se-chool by saying that she can never accept him because her life goal is to become a first lady.

Meanwhile, one of Se-chool’s friends is on death row, and the only way to save him is through a presidential pardon.

When Se-chool ends up rescuing passengers after a bus accident at Mokpo Bridge, he is praised as a hero; he decides to use his newfound fame to run for public office, believing that success will lead him to win So-hyun’s heart and save his friend.

Critics has praised Kim’s performance in this movie as ‘one of his finest works’.

11.L.U.C.A: The Beginning (2021)

After dipping his toes in fantasy drama, Kim challenges himself once again in a science fiction genre.

Ji Oh (Kim Rae-won) is a man with special power and unearthly fighting skill. The only problem is, he has no memory of himself, how he got his power and why he is being pursued by a mysterious group of people.

In search of his memory and looking into those who pursued him, he comes across a mysterious group of scientists at an institution named Human Tech and a secretive biotech project code-named L.U.C.A.

Through his adventure, Ji Oh gains himself one ally Ha Neul-ae-goo-reum (Lee Dae-hee). She is a police detective who has a secret past of her own.

12.The First Responders (2022)

Kim Rae won 1
Kim Rae-won going undercover as a prisoner in The First Responder (2022)

Here is another cliche role from Kim Rae-won; acting as a police detective.

The drama circles around the cases that takes place at Taewon Police Station and Taewon Fire Station.

Both buildings happened to be located next to each other and even handle most cases together.

Kim in this criminal procedural drama is Jin Ho-gae, a police detective team inspector in Taewon who was recently transferred from Regional Investigation Unit.

He starts to make friends with firefighter Bong Do-jin (Son Ho-jun) and paramedic Song Seol (Gong Seung-yeon).

Jin Ho-gae has tremulous relationship with his father Jin Cheol-jung (Jo Seung-yeon) who is the prosecutor of the Eastern District Attorney’s Office.

His father never wanted Ho-gae to be a policeman as he wanted him to follow his footsteps to read law.

Ho-gae on the other hand, resents his father who maintains dubious relationships with those who are corrupted especially among the rich and politicians.

The series marks Kim’s first terrestrial television in six years since 2016. His return to the small screen is definitely worth it as he bagged the Top Excellence Award for an Actor in a Miniseries Genre/Fantasy Drama at the SBS Drama Awards 2022.

5 sad truths about unsolved crime case, the Frog Boys that inspired K-movie Children (2011)

Children (2011) is a mystery thriller Korean movie which circles around a television producer, a psychology professor and a police detective who are investigating the mysterious disappearance of five boys.

In the movie, five years after the boys’ disappearance, Ji-seung (Park Yong-woo), a young ambitious producer at a Seoul television broadcaster, is sent to Daegu after he is caught fabricating parts of a documentary.

In Daegu, he is determined to get a scoop on the mystery case so that he can proudly return to Seoul.

There, he meets a psychology professor, Woo-hyuk (Ryu Seung-ryong), who, using his psychology theory, points to the parents of one of the missing boys as main suspects.

Ji-seung and Woo-hyuk work together to try to prove that Jong-ho’s father and mother killed the children.

But their attempt clashes with Kyung-shik (Sung Dong-il), a veteran detective from a local police station who is the lead investigator of the case.

Kyung-shik believes that a stranger who is familiar with the village committed the crime, not the parents.

Nonetheless, Ji-seung and Woo-hyuk ransack Jong-ho’s house, digging out the stone floor and emptying the toilet, hoping to find the buried bodies of the children, with scores of village residents, reporters and police officers watching.

But the search ends in vain, and the two are slammed for insulting the parents.

The movie then flashes forward to 2002 when the bones of the five children are found at a hill near the village.

The movie poster for Children (2011)

About the Frog Boys incident, the truth behind Children (2011)

The film unfortunately is based on a true story.

On March 26, 1991, a group of five boys disappeared while searching for salamander eggs in the outskirts of Daegu, South Korea.

Aged between 9 and 13 years old, the boys were Woo Cheol-won (13), Jo Ho-yeon (12), Kim Yeong-gyu (11) , Park Chan-in (10) and Kim Jong-sik (9).

They were later known as the Frog Boys.

Since the disappearance took place on a public holiday for local elections, the media went crazy over the case.

The then President Rae Tae-woo even ordered a massive manhunt to find the frog boys.

Despite all the media attention and 300,000 force dispatched to look for the boys, they remained missing until 10 years later.

On Sept 26, 2002, a man discovered their bodies on Mount Waryong while searching for acorns.

At first the police believed that they died of hypothermia. There were, however, a number of flaws in that theory.

First of all, the site where they were found was not even 100 meters from the streets. Theoretically, even if it was raining and cold that day, it would have taken them five minutes to run home.

Additionally, if they had died due to natural causes, the bones would have been found on top of the dirt, not buried underneath.

Foul play was immediately suspected after a post mortem showed they had signs of blunt-force trauma.

Meanwhile, the parents of the Frog Boys went through tremendous ordeal since the incident.

Here are five sad truths about the Frog Boys and the parents that they left behind:

Phone cards with the photos, names, and ages of the Frog Boys used to raise awareness and help find them.

1.Many of the parents of the frog boys quit their jobs to look for their sons.

Before the bodies were found, according to Channel News Asia (CNA), the five fathers quit their jobs, rented a small lorry and kept searching across South Korea.

The lorry had photos of the children pasted on the sides and coated to withstand rain. Written below were the word “please help find our missing children”.

2.There were many false leads about the case.

Reportedly, there were over 500 leads about the case. Unfortunately for now, all of them led to nowhere.

There were basically too many theories and conspiracies on what happened to the children.

On top of that, there were many prank calls which only made things worse. Some fake calls even claimed that it was from a kidnapper.

The worst lead perhaps came from Kim Ga-won, a criminal psychologist who had studied in the United States.

Kim claimed that the children were buried in Jong-sik’s house because his father Kim Cheol-gyu couldn’t remember the first three hours on the day the children went missing.

Since there were not many criminal psychologists in those days, many believed Kim, including the police force. The police even brought in an excavator to dig Jong-sik’s house.

The whole fiasco was filmed by the media as many other public members stood there watching.

Even after the house has ruined, nothing had been found.

This resulted in a group of unhappy people who directed their anger toward Kim. The police had to take him away for his own safety.

3.One of the fathers died before ever finding the truth about his son.

Speaking of Jong-sik’s father, Kim Cheol-gyu passed away due to liver cancer a year before the boys’ remains were found.

Many believed that it was caused by the stress he suffered after his son has disappeared.

CNA also reported that some of the fathers had fallen into addictions such into sleeping pills and alcohol while dealing with their losses.

4.The heartbreaking moment when the parents were asked to identify their sons

According to a news report, the first group of police who arrived at the scene were beyond horrible in their jobs.

They just dug out whatever they could find, organising the long bones and the skulls together instead of separating them as one complete body.

One of the parents told in an interview, “How dare they treat the bones like this by arranging them in piles, then call us to look at them and ask them whether this is our child or not. We couldn’t do anything, so we became angry.”

The police did called for forensic scientist Professor Chae Jong-min from Kyungbook University to the crime scene. Even he was baffled with the crime scene that he arrived to with all the bones piled up together.

5.The parents filed a lawsuit against the police for their failures but the result turned out to be heartbreaking.

Obviously lacking common of sense, it was no surprise why the Korean police was served a lawsuit by the parents.

They were sued for having ‘not done their jobs properly’ such as botching evidence at the crime scene.

Unfortunately, the parents lost not in one but three trials against the police.

In 2021, a memorial stone has been erected at Seonwan Park near Mount Waryong in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the unfortunate incident.

The monument which was named the ‘Frog Boy Commemoration and Child Safety Prayer Monument’, was installed to commemorate all the missing children and to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.

KajoPicks: 10 Korean dramas and movies starring Park Bo-young you should watch

If there is one word to summarize South Korean actress Park Bo-young’s acting career, we would say it is ‘versatile’.

She has never failed to impress her viewers in every role that she takes, be it in a melodrama, horror or even romantic comedy.

Here are 10 K-dramas and movies starring Park Bo-young you should watch:

1.Scandal Makers (2008)

This movie was so successful that it had Argentine, Chinese and Indian remakes which were released in 2010, 2016 and 2020 respectively.

Scandal Makers (2008) follows the story of Nam Hyun-soo (Cha Tae-hyun), a popular radio DJ who once a more popular teen star.

One day, his doorbell rings and there stand a young lady named Hwang Jung-nam (Park Bo-young) and a young boy named Ki-dong (Wang Suk-hyun).

Jung-nam reveals to Hyun-soo that she is his daughter and her son Ki-dong is his grandson.

Hyun-soo refuses to believe her at first but then forced to accept the truth after a DNA test confirmed what Jung-nam has claimed.

Things get complicated when the daughter and father pair are mistaken to be romantically involved.

This was director Kang Hyeong-cheol’s first ever film and it became the highest grossing Korean movie in 2008.

The film earned Park numerous awards including Best New Actress in Film and Most Popular Actress (Film) in Baeksang Arts Awards 2009 and Best New Actress awards at Blue Dragon Film Awards as well as at Chunsa Film Art Awards.

Watch the trailer here.

2.A Werewolf Boy (2012)

Most people would agree that A Werewolf Boy (2012) served as the breakout role for Korean actor Song Joong-ki in which he plays the role of a feral boy who behaves like a wild beast.

However Park, we must say, also brought so much to the table in the movie.

In the movie, she plays the role of the teenage girl who tries to befriends and attempts to civilize Song’s character.

The movie surpassed 7 million admissions to become one of the most successful Korean melodramas of all time.

Again, Park won several awards for her role including the Best Actress at the 4th Pierson Movie Festival.

Watch the trailer here.

3.Hot Young Bloods (2014)

From a fantasy-romance film A Werewolf Boy, Park offered something different in this movie which is more relatable to most people.

Hot Young Bloods is a teen romantic comedy film that depicts the loves, rivalries and friendships among four high school students.

Set in Hongseong County, Sout Chungcheong Province in 1982, Park plays the role of Young-sook.

She is the feared leader of a female gang at Hongseong Agricultural High School.

Despite her tough attitude, she is secretly harbouring crush with the school’s biggest playboy in school Joong-gil (Lee Jong-suk).

When a new female transfer student from the big city of Seoul comes to this rural town, it changes the whole dynamic of the school.

Since her character swears so much in the movie, Park later revealed in an interview that she did have fun swearing especially in a dialect.

Overall, the film is a fun, coming-of-age film that pretty nostalgic for those viewers who grew up in the 80s.

Watch the trailer here.

4.Oh My Ghost! (2015)

After seven years of absence from the small screen, Park takes up the leading role in romantic comedy drama series Oh My Ghost! (2015).

What makes this role different from Park’s previous works is that she actually play two characters in the series.

Na Bong-sun (Park Bo-young) is a loner who has an extremely timid personality and low self-esteem.

Due to this, she constantly getting reprimanded at her job as an assistant chef at Sun Restaurant.

Her life changes when she gets possessed by a lustful virgin ghost named Shin Soon-ae (Kim Seul-gi).

Believing that only by losing her virginity that she will be able to move on to the afterlife, Soon-ae is determined to seduce as many men as she can while she is possessing Bong-sun’s body.

Viewers find it entertaining to watch as Park switching between her two characters, the timid Bong-sun and the cheerful Soon-ae.

The drama was a commercial and critical hit and earning Park the Best Actress award at the 4th APAN Star Awards.

Her impressive role in this rom-com also garnered her reputation as the ‘romantic comedy queen’ by the Korean press.

Watch the trailer here.

5.Collective Invention (2015)

The Collective Invention is a 1934 painting by Belgian surrealist artist Rene Magritte. It depicts a fish merged with a woman’s legs stranded on the beach. It supposed to be a mockery of the traditional mermaid where he removed the beauty by depicting the opposites.

Writer and director Kwon Oh-kwang was so inspired by this painting that he created a character similar to the painting in his film Collective Invention (2015).

It follows the story of Park Gu (Lee Kwang-soo) who decides to take part in a clinical test for a pharmaceutical company for 300,000 won.

The medical experiment gone horribly wrong turning Park Gu into a half-fish, half-human mutant.

After escaping from the laboratory, the poor man visits a woman with whom he had a one-night stand.

But the woman Ju-jin (Park Bo-young) sells him back to the pharmaceutical company.

During the press conference of the film, Park shared that she participated in the film to highlight some of the social issues that influenced the movie plots.

Director Kwon revealed that he adapts various social issues to make the movie such as Hwang Woo-suk’s cloning scandal, the MBC TV union workers’ stroke and high youth unemployment rate. Hwang was a professor of theriogenology and biotechnology who had claimed to create human embryonic stem cells by cloning.

This black comedy film was screened in the Vanguard section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.

Watch the trailer here.

6.The Silenced (2015)

When asked why did she took up the role in The Silenced (2015), Park answered, “Ju-ran’s range of emotion in the movie is very deep and wide, and she is very different at the beginning and end of the film. This was a film that made me test my limits.”

In the movie, the actress plays a student in an isolated girls’ boarding school where its students begin to show strange symptoms and disappear one by one.

Park’s character Ju-ran’s worries are dismissed by the teachers but she too begins to show some of the strange symptoms.

The film set in Gyeongseong in 1938 during the Japanese occupation.

Overall, this mystery-thriller film failed to impress the critics.

According to The Korea Herald that despite the disappointing plot, the leading ladies Park Bo-young, Uhm Ji-won and Park So-dam leave a lasting impression, commenting, “The Silenced ultimately fails in its overambitious attempt to combine box office-friendly action and thrills with picturesque emotion but it remains engaging thanks to its excellent cast.”

Watch the trailer here.

7.Strong Girl Dong-soon (2016)

Korean romance fantasy dramas 2

Do Bong-soon (Park Bo-young) was born with superhuman strength, a trait that is hereditary and passed along only to the women in her family.

In the same time, her dream is to create a video game with herself as the main character.

She generally hides her super strength from people around her especially from her crush In Guk-doo (Ji Soo).

One day, her unusual power is accidentally found out by rich heir and CEO of a gaming company Ahn Min-hyuk (Park Hyung-sik) who subsequently hired her as a personal bodyguard.

The series was a commercial hit and became one of the highest-rated Korean dramas on cable television history.

There are so many things we love about this drama including the chemistry on-screen between Park Bo-young and Park Hyung-sik and the suspense and the mystery behind Bong-soon’s neighbourhood.

Watch the trailer here.

8.On Your Wedding Day (2018)

For this rom-com film, Park reunites with her former castmate from Hot Young Bloods (2014) Kim Young-kwang.

It follows the story of Hwang Woo-yeon (Kim Young-kwang) who receives a wedding invitation from his first love from high school.

From there, he starts to reminisce all the things he went through to be with her and the ups and downs they had together.

Park plays the role of Hwan Seung-hee, Hwang’s first love.

With a simple plot line and amazing storytelling by the director as well as impressive performance by the cast, the film was a box office hit and unsurprisingly received positive reviews.

Watch the trailer here.

9.Abyss (2019)

This drama is one of our top picks for Korean reincarnation series.

Go Se-yeon (Park Bo-young) is a beautiful prosecution lawyer at the top of her game, and Cha Min is her friend, an unattractive but rich heir to a cosmetics empire.

They are both revived into different bodies by supernatural beings using an “Abyss” after their deaths in separate incidents.

The “Abyss” is a celestial object which has the power to revive anything that has died; the reincarnated bodies take on the appearance of that person’s soul.

Go Se-yeon takes on a ‘plainer’ appearance, whilst Cha Min becomes very attractive and young; virtually the opposite of before.

They start working together to find out the reason for their revival and who caused Go Se-yeon’s death.

Watch the trailer here.

10.Doom At Your Service (2021)

Tak Dong-kyung (Park Bo-young), an editor for a web novel company who lives a fairly ordinary life until she stumbles into an unexpected fate.

All in a single day, she finds out she is dying from glioblastoma and has only three months to live, learns that her boyfriend is a father-to-be and has a wife, gets scolded by her superior at work, and is spied on by a pervert before the pervert falls into a sinkhole.

As she drinks her problems away, she happens to see a shooting star from her rooftop apartment and drunkenly wishes for the world to be doomed.

Her unusual wish is heard by Myul Mang (Seo In-guk) a messenger between gods and humans.

He was born between dark and light: when he breathes, countries disappear; when he walks, the seasons collapse; when he smiles, a life is extinguished.

All he has to do is exist for something to fall into ruin. This is not his intention but simply his fate.

On his birthday, he gets to choose a human’s wish to fulfill.

Sick of his fate, he chooses to fulfill Dong-kyung’s wish to end the world.

Dong-kyung ends up signing a hundred-day contract with Myul Mang, risking everything she has ever known.

Watch the trailer here.

Upcoming projects starring Park Bo-young

Fans of Park Bo-young can look forward for her working with Lee Byung-hun and Park Seo-joon in an upcoming South Korean disaster-thriller film.

Directed by Um Tae-hwa, the film is based on the second part of webtoon Pleasant Bullying by Kim Sung-nik which is about an earthquake destruction and its aftermath.

Our beloved actress will also star in a Netflix Original drama Daily Dose of Sunshine taking the lead role of Jung Da-eun.

The drama is based on the actual real-life experiences of a psychiatric nurse and will revolve around the story of nurse Jung.

Director Lee Jae-gyoo who directed the incredibly successful Netflix horror series All of Us Are Dead will direct the series.

KajoPicks: 10 Korean dramas and movies you should watch if you are a fan of Park Seo-joon

If you are a big fan of second generation K-pop music, then you must have seen Bang Yong-guk’s music video for ‘I Remember’.

Some of us may have laid our eyes on Park Seo-joon for the very first time, thanks to this music video.

Who would have thought the rookie performer who passionately kissed and intensely kicked some ass in the MV is now one of South Korea’s biggest actors?

Park made his entertainment debut through the MV and later went on to star in both film and television series.

Here are 10 Korean dramas and movies you should watch if you are a fan of Park Seo-joon:

1.The Chronicles of Evil (2015)

For his role in this movie, Park was nominated for numerous awards such as Best New Actor and Popular Star Award at the 36th Blue Dragon Film Awards as well as the Best New Actor at the 52nd Baeksang Arts Awards.

The film follows the story of a decorated detective who got himself entangled in a taxi driver’s death.

Just days before his promotion, Choi Chang-sik dozes off on his way home after a celebratory drink with his colleagues.

He wakes up to find that his taxi driver has taken him to remote mountain trail and has pulled a knife on him.

As the two struggle for the knife, Choi accidentally kills the taxi driver in self-defence.

Worried about how the incident would impact his career, he covers up the body and flees.

The next day, the taxi driver’s dead body has been strung up on a crane in front of the police station gaining a widespread media attention.

Choi is assigned to the case and he tries to misdirect the investigation as well as the media evidence.

Then a man claiming to be the killer turns himself in and threatens Choi to reveal the truth unless he reopens an old case.

Park plays the role of a rookie policeman named Cha Dong-jae who grows suspicious of Choi and begins to investigate him.

2.Midnight Runners (2017)

Directed by Jason Kim, this action comedy film is Kim’s first mainstream film.

It circles around two students of Korean National Police University; Park Ki-joon (Park Seo-jeon) and Kang Hee-yeol (Kang Ha-neul).

After coming back from a club one night, they witness a kidnapping.

When the duo report the case to the police, the investigators is busy with the kidnapping of a son of a business mogul.

Hence, Ki-joon and Hee-yeol embark on journey of amateur investigation filled with action and humour to catch the kidnappers.

The movie became the seventh highest-grossing South Korean film in 2017.

Park, in the meantime, won several awards including Best New Actor at the 37th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards, 54th Grand Bell Awards and 9th Korea Film Reporters Association Film Awards (KOFRA).

3.The Divine Fury (2019)

In this action horror film, Park reunites with director Jason Kim who also wrote the script for the movie.

This time, Park plays the role of Yong-hoo, a martial arts champion who gains divine powers to fight against a powerful evil force.

He has a tragic childhood in which he lost his parents. Since then, he hates the idea of deity.

Channeling his anger through martial arts, Yong-hoo becomes a successful MMA fighter.

However, one incident changes his life completely. Yong-hoo suddenly develops stigmata which forces him to seek the help of Father Ahn (Ahn Sung-ki).

The priest sees Yong-hoo’s ability to defeat and the two becomes partner to fight against demonic activity.

John DeFore from The Hollywood Reporter called Park’s performance ‘expressionless’ in The Divine Fury.

He stated, “Director Kim and his star Park had something of a local hit in 2017 with the action comedy Midnight Runners, but any charisma the actor might’ve shown there is hard to see here. Good looking but generally expressionless, Park finds neither brooding anger nor engaging bewilderment in Yong-hoo as the character grapples with what’s happening to him.”

Perhaps a serious, emotional role is not Park’s forte, you will be the judge.

4.A Witch’s Love (2014)

What do Park Seo-joon, Park Bo-gum, Lee Jong-suk, Jang Ki-yong, Rowoon, Kang Ha-neul and Jung Hae-in have in common besides being young, hot and talented actors?

They have all acted in ‘noona’ romance dramas. A ‘noona’ is what a male call an older sister.

A Witch’s Love (2014) is not only Park’s first noona romance drama but also his first leading role in televisions series.

He plays the role of a 25-year-old Yoon Dong-ha who runs a small errand center with his friend. His leading woman is played by Uhm Jung-hwa.

Uhm in the drama is a 39-year-old investigative news reporter named Ban Ji-yeon whose colleagues call her a ‘witch’ behind her back.

In real life, Park and Uhm have 19-year age gap. Despite this, their chemistry in the drama is obvious as one of their kiss scenes is definitely in the K-drama kissing scenes’ Hall of Fame.

Viewers have called it ‘The Beer Kiss’. Much like the pasta scene in ‘Lady and The Tramp’, when a can of beer overflows, Ji-yeon and Dong-ha immediately stop the foam from spilling over by slurping it at the same time.

Then after what the Japanese would call a ‘moe’ moment, Dong-ha grabs Ji-yeon for an intense kiss.

Well, that is a scene makes the whole series worth watching.

5.Kill Me, Heal Me (2015)

Speaking of chemistry, Park shares so much sparks with a fellow actor in this drama that they won the Best Couple Award at the MBC Drama Awards 2015.

Kill Me, Heal Me (2015) follows the story of Cha Do-hyun (Ji Sung), a business heir who is suffering from dissociative identity disorder.

He tries to gain control over his life with the help of psychiatric resident Oh Ri-jin (Hwang Jung-eum).

Meanwhile, Ri-jin’s twin brother Oh Ri-on (Park Seo-joon) is following Do-hyun as he seeks for inspiration as a novelist.

Even though Park is acting alongside with two more experienced actors such as Ji and Hwang, he shines in his own way through this drama.

Besides winning the Best Couple Award with Ji Sung, Park also won the Excellence Award Actor in a Miniseries during the same award show.

6.She Was Pretty (2015)

In the same year, Park reunites with his former co-star Hwang Jung-eum in She was Pretty (2015). Instead of as his sister, Hwang this time plays as Park’s love interest.

The former fictional siblings becomes two childhood friends who have harbour feeling for each other in this romantic comedy.

Set in the backdrop of a fashion magazine’s publishing office, Hwang is Kim Hye-jin while Park takes the role of Ji Sung-joon.

Hye-jin grew up as a beautiful, wealthy and smart girl but lost everything when her family went bankrupt.

She is now becomes embarrassed at her life and insecure with her look. So when her childhood friend Sung-joon asks them to reunite again as adults, Hye-jin refuses.

Instead, she asks her best friend Min Ha-ri (Go Joon-hee) to pretend to be her.

She was Pretty was a hit in China, pushing Park’s popularity in that country.

7.Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth (2017)

For BTS fans aka ARMY, this drama is known for being the series in which V made his acting debut under his real name Kim Tae-hyung.

To this day, it remains his only acting gig.

V, however, still remains friends with two of his co-stars from Hwarang namely Park Seo-joon and Park Hyung-sik.

Park Seo-joon acts as Moo-myung, a young man of low birth and becomes a legendary Hwarang warrior while Park Hyung-sik is Sammaekjong, a young King who joins the Hwarang under a hidden identity.

Despite the star-studded cast, the plot is messy and not attractive enough to keep viewers glued to the screen.

But then why is the drama on this list? Just because of its star-studded cast.

Where else are you going to watch Park Seo-joon along with K-pop idols Park Hyung-sik from ZE:A, Minho from SHINEE and of course V from BTS sharing the same screen?

8.Fight for My Way (2017)

While Hwarang is a miss for Park, Fight for My Way is a definite hit for him in his career.

It was raved for its realistic plot and great performances from its cast including Park.

In the series, Park plays the role of a former glorified taekwondo player who is now a nameless MMA fighter named Ko Dong-man.

His long time best friend Choi Ae-ra (Kim Ji-won) is a department store employee who dreams of becoming an announcer.

Along with their two other friends Kim Joo-man (Ahn Jae-hong) and Baek Seol-hee (Song Ha-yoon), the group is like any other young adults in this world who are trying to find their places in this society.

The series was a hit in South Korea, topping ratings in its time slot.

During the KBS Drama Awards 2017, Park bagged the awards for Excellence Award for Actor in a Miniseries and Netizen Award for Actor category.

9.What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim (2018)

No matter how much Park tries to diversify his acting roles, we have to accept that rom-com is his home ground.

Based on the novel of the same title by Jung Kyung-yoon which was first published in 2013, the story was also adapted into webtoon comic by KakaoPage in 2015.

After almost ten years working together, Kim Mi-so (Park Min-young) announces that she will resign from her post as a secretary.

Her boss Lee Young-joon (Park Seo-joon) is not having it.

While trying to ways to convince Mi-so to stay as his secretary, Young-joon unknowingly finds himself falling in love with her.

As they spend more time at a personal level, Young-joon and Mi-so find out they share a traumatic past together like 90 per cent of fictional couples in K-dramas.

Again, the series was a hit and the Korean press called him the ‘master of romantic comedy’.

His performance also earned him the Top Excellence Award for Actor in a Miniseries during the APAN Star Awards 2018.

10.Itaewon Class (2020)

Park Seo joon

Unlike any of his television roles in previous project, Itaewon Class (2020) shows the darker side of Park.

Here, Park takes up the role of Park Sae-ro-yi who founded a bar-restaurant in Itaewon called DanBam.

He was expelled from high school for punching CEO’s son named Geun-won who was at that time bullying a classmate.

Sae-ro-yi’s anger toward Geun-won escalated when his father was killed by Geun-won’s reckless driving.

Due to this, he attacks Geun-won which later caused him three-year imprisonment.

Seven years after his release from jail, Sae-ro-yi opens DanBam with the goal to expanding it into a franchise and defeating Geun-won’s chaebol company.

Based on the webtoon of the same name, the series won Best Drama Series at the 25th Asian Television Awards.

As for Park, he was nominated for Best Actor in Television at the prestigious 56th Baeksang Arts Awards.

Park Seo-joon’s upcoming projects

Park has two films from his home country that are coming to us. Concrete Utopia is an upcoming disaster-thriller film directed by Um Tae-hwa. We expect to see him starring alongside Lee Byung-hun and Park Bo-young.

His second upcoming film is Dream which was recently wrapped on Apr 13, 2022 in Hungary.

Park will put on a hat as a football coach for a special national soccer team. The team consists of homeless people who never played a ball before but will compete in the Homeless World Cup.

In addition to this. Park will make his comeback to the small screen in a historical drama sets in 1945.

Gyeongseong Creature is set to depict Gyeongseong (the old name for Seoul) in its darkest era.

The filming is currently in progress but the series is scheduled to premiere on tvN in 2023.

Of all Park’s upcoming projects, the most talked about is none other than The Marvels. He is reported has been cast in an undisclosed role in the sequel to Captain Marvel (2019).

The film is scheduled to be released in the US on July 28, 2023 as part of Phase Five of the MCU.

Whatever his role is, we hope that he will make us proud.

KajoPicks: 10 South Korean mystery movies you need to watch

If you need a dose of whodunit or what-on-earth-is-going-on type of entertainment, here are 10 South Korean mystery movies to watch:

1.Helpless (2012)

Imagine David Fincher’s Gone Girl (2014) but with an even darker approach.

Based on the bestselling novel All She Was Worth by Japanese writer Miyabe Miyuki, this South Korean mystery/psychological thriller is written and directed by Byun Young-joo.

One month before their wedding, Moon-ho (Lee Sun-kyun) and Sun-young (Kim Min-hee) decides to take a road trip to Andong.

Moon-ho plans to formally introduce his fiancee to his parents.

On their way to Andong, they pull over at a highway rest stop.

While Moon-ho goes inside the rest stop to get coffee, Sun-young stays in the car.

But when Moon-ho returns, he is shocked to discover that his fiancée is missing.

After looking all over the rest stop, Moon-ho file a police report. One thing after one another, Moon-ho begins to realise that his fiancée is not the person he thinks she is.

For starters, her name is not even Sun-young.

Helpless (2012) was the twelfth most-watched Korean film in 2012.

Watch the trailer here.

2.Moss (2010)

A remote village with villagers acting all suspicious always makes a good background story for a mystery movie.

Ryu Hae-kook (Park Hae-il) arrives at a village to attend his father’s funeral.

After the funeral, Hae-kook decides to stay to investigate as he suspects his father is a murder victim.

From there, Hae-kook finds himself entangled in murder attempt, arson, real estate fraud and corruption.

Can he discover the truth behind his father’s death?

This Korean mystery movie is based on the popular webtoon of the same title by Yoon Tae-ho.

Watch the trailer here.

3.The Wailing (2016)

Speaking of remote villages, here is a Korean horror film centering around mysterious killings and illnesses.

In the small village of Goksung, police officer Jong-goo (Kwak Do-won) investigates a series of bizarre murders allegedly caused by a mysterious disease.

Rumour has it that a Japanese stranger, who lives in a secluded house in the mountains, is responsible for the illness.

Additionally, the stranger is reportedly to be a spirit.

Jong-goo decides to visit the stranger along with his partner and a young priest who speaks Japanese.

There, they find an altar with a goat head, pictures on the walls of the infected people that died.

Among the items, Jong-goo finds his daughter Hyo-jin’s shoe. Soon after that, she becomes sick.

Is the stranger really responsible for the illness falls upon Gokseong?

The film was both a commercial and critical success.

Watch the trailer here.

4.The Silenced (2015)

Set in Gyeongseong in 1938 during the Japanese occupation, the film centers on Ju-ran/Shizuko (Park Bo-young).

She is a sickly young girl who gets transferred to a sanatorium to recover her health.

Her physical condition improves thanks to her new friend Yeon-deok (Park So-dam) and the headmistress (Uhm Ji-won)’s special treatment program.

However, she soon notices that students are disappearing one by one.

Adding on the weird thing around her, her own body is undergoing abnormal changes.

Determined to uncover the truth, Ju-ran starts to investigate the mysterious happenings around her.

Where do her schoolmates go? Who is behind it? Additonally, what is happening to her body?

5.M (2007)

After the success of his first novel, the pressure is high on young author Min-woo (Kang Dong-won) to write another best-selling book.

He is struggle with writer’s block, nightmares and hallucinations. Hence, all of these end up affecting his career and personal life.

Slowly, Min-woo finds himself unable to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

In the meantime, a charming young woman named Mimi (Lee Yeon-hee) shows up. He seems to have a history with her, but what?

The movie had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival and Pusan International Film Festival.

6.White Night (2009)

When a pawnbroker is found dead in a remote town in a derelict building, the police are divided on whether it was a murder or a suicide.

Detective Han Dong-su (Han Suk-kyu) investigates the case and it leads him to a homicide case that took place 14 years ago.

The prime suspect of that case, is a woman who suspected to be the dead man’s lover. Soon afterwards, the woman is also found dead leaving behind her daughter Lee Ji-ah (Son Ye-jin).

After the death of her mother, Lee Ji-ah changes her name to Yoo Mi-ho.

Now, fourteen years later, Mi-ho is set to marry a rich CEO. Is there any connection between Mi-ho and these deaths?

White Night (2009) is based on the Japanese novel Journey Under the Midnight Sun by Keigo Higashino, who is mainly known for his mystery novels.

Watch the trailer here.

7.Forgotten (2017)

Jin-seok (Kang Ha-neul) moves into a new home with his older brother Yoo-seok (Kim Moo-yul), mother (Na Young-hee) and father (Moon Sung-geun).

One rainy evening, Jin-seok sees Yoo-seok being thrown into a van by a group of men.

After 19 days, Yoo-seok returns home but he doesn’t remember anything from his disappearance.

Jin-seok though notices enough changes in his older brother’s personality and behavior that he begins to suspect that the person who has returned is not Yoo-seok.

What if the one who lost his memories is Jin-seok and not Yoo-seok? And that even his memory fools him of what happened.

The director Jang Hang-jun said he is inspired from a story told to him by a friend whose cousin left home for about a month and returned with a drastic changes in personality.

8.Perfect Number (2012)

Here is another Korean film based on the work of mystery writer Keigo Higashino’s 2005 novel Yogisha X no Kenshin.

Kim Seok-go (Ryoo Seung-bum) is an ordinary high school math teacher who was a brilliant mathematician as a child.

He lives a normal, introverted life which includes a morning exchange with Baek Hwa-sun (Lee Yo-won).

She is a cafe employee with whom he buys lunch from.

When Hwa-sun’s ex-husband mercilessly beats Hwa-sun and her niece, Hwa-sun kills him.

Meanwhile, Seok-go overhears the fight from his house next door and decides to cover up the killing and protect her from the police.

He uses his genius in meticulously planning the perfect alibi for her, and thanks to his efforts, Hwa-sun is cleared in the case.

But is she completely cleared from the murder?

Watch the trailer here.

9.Blood Rain (2005)

This Korean mystery movie is set in 1808, touching on historical discrimination against the Roman Catholics during the Joseon dynasty.

On Donghwa Island, there is technologically advanced paper mill allowing its townspeople a certain degree of wealth.

Suddenly, this peaceful and isolated island is shaken by a string of gruesome murders.

Even more, the victims were killed the most sadistic way.

With the killer still on the loose, the government sends in special investigator Wonkyu (Cha Seung-won) to crack the case.

His investigation leads him to an incident that takes place seven years earlier, in which the former owner of the paper mill was executed for practicing Catholicism.

In the meantime, the residents are convinced that the dead man’s is back for revenge.

Can the ghost of a dead man bring so much trouble into the land of the living?

10.Intruder (2020)

After the lost of his wife in a hit and run accident, architect Kang Seo-jin (Kim Mu-yeol) is a mess.

He is struggles to manage his work and taking care of his daughter as well as finding the driver who kills his wife.

One day, he receives a call from an orphanage claiming that his long lost sister was found.

Kang Yoo-jin (Song Ji-hyo) was abducted 25 years ago and now she finally comes home.

Soon, Yoo-jin gets close to the whole family including with Seo-jin’s daughter who follows everything her aunt tells her to do.

After a series on incident, Seo-jin begins to realise that Yoo-jin might not be his sister but an intruder.

Although the film was originally scheduled for a release in March 2020, its premiere was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

After its premiere on June 5, it breaks the records of highest number of first-day moviegoers achieved by any film in South Korea since the pandemic.

Watch the trailer here.

Korean mystery movie
Watch Song Ji-hyo’s unbelievable acting in this Korean mystery movie called Intruder (2020). Credit: Youtube.

KajoPicks: 10 motivational Korean movies to inspire your day

Sometimes, a little short escape from reality to watch a movie can inspire your day.

These movies do not serve only as entertainment but they have plenty of lessons to teach the audience.

ian schneider TamMbr4okv4 unsplash 2
Watch these motivational Korean movies to inspire you in fueling your passion.

If you are looking for motivational Korean movies to inspire your day, here are KajoMag’s suggestionS.

1.Marathon (2005)

Based on the true story of Bae Hyeong-jin, an autistic marathon runner, this movie was the fourth most attended Korean film of 2005.

Hyeong-jin’s mother, Park Mi-gyeong told in an interview that she didn’t want people want to label him as a child who couldn’t do anything.

When he was 10 years old, she started to teach him all kinds of sports, including running, swimming and hiking.

After years filled with training and challenges, Hyeong-jin finished the 2001 Chuncheon Marathon in the outstanding time of 2 hours, 57 minutes and 7 seconds.

Meanwhile, the movie circles around 20-year-old Cho-won (Cho Seung-woo). He lives with his highly protective mother Kyung-sook (Kim Mi-sook) and younger brother (Baek Sung-hyun).

Noticing that Cho-won had a gift for running, Kyung-sook decides to hire a proper coach to train her son.

Besides raising awareness on autism, this motivational Korean movie inspires viewers to persevere in facing adversity.

Watch the trailer here.

2.Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013)

Before you start to watch this drama, you might want to prepare tonnes of tissue. This motivational Korean drama is what happen if Sean Penn in I Am Sam (2001) was wrongly accused of murder.

The film circles around Lee Yong-gu (Ryu Seung-ryong) who is mentally challenged with the intellect of a six-year-old.

Due to an ugly twist of fate, he is wrongfully accused of molest and murder.

In the prison, he makes friends with other criminals in his cell. Touched by his kindness and purity, his cellmates help him to see his daughter by smuggling her into the prison.

The movie was a box office success, making it the fifth highest grossing Korean film of all time.

The main character Yong-gu is inspiring in a way that he teaches us to be child-like. Not in the sense of being childish and immature, but be kind to others like an innocent child.

Watch the trailer here.

3.Little Forest (2018)

If you are into a slice of life with no out of the world villain kind of movie, Little Forest (2018) is the film for you.

Directed by Yim-Soon-rye, the film is based on a manga series of the same name by Daisuke Igarashi.

The story follows Song Hye-won (Kim Tae-ri) who returns to her childhood home in a small village after failing to pass the national qualification exam to become a teacher.

In her home, she starts to reconnect with her childhood friend and trying to find her purpose of life again.

This movie carries a simple message about life. When things do not go the way you plan, it is important to take a step back and reflect on what to do next. Sometimes letting go can lead you to the things you always wanted in the first place.

Watch the trailer here.

4.The Sound of a Flower (2015)

How about a Korean movie about breaking barriers and stereotypes to inspire your day?

Here is a period drama based on the life on Jin Chae-seon. She was the first female pansori singer during the Joseon dynasty.

Pansori is a Korean genre of musical storytelling performed by a singer and a drummer.

Chae-seon grows up enjoying pansor performances. At that time, females are not allowed to learn pansori and perform in public.

She manages to find herself a pansori teacher, Shin Jae-hyo who agrees to train her for the national pansori contest organised by the king’s father Heungseon Daewongun.

However, no one must discover that Chae-seon is a woman or they both will be executed.

The movie stars Bae Suzy as Chae-seon who practiced pansori for year to prepare for the role.

Watch the trailer here.

5.Harmony (2010)

After killing her abusive husband, Hong Jeong-hye (Kim Yunjin) is sentenced to serve 10 years in prison.

Pregnant at the time of her arrest, she gives birth to a baby boy while in prison.

According to the law, she has to give the baby up for adoption. The time finally comes for her to give up the baby.

The prison chief promises that she can spend one day with her baby outside of prison if she successfully forms a prison choir group.

Jeong-hye recruits fellow inmate as the choir’s conductor. Moon Ok (Na Moon-hee) was once a musical professor at a university. But now, she is on death row for killing her adulterous husband.

Will Jeong-hye be able to succeed? This women empowering movie was the fifth best selling film of 2010 in South Korea.

Watch the trailer here.

6.As One (2012)

Speaking of women empowerment, As One (2012) is based on the first ever united South and North Korean table tennis team that completed at the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships in Chiba, Japan.

During table tennis competition, South Korean player Hyun Jung-hwa (Ha Ji-won) always comes up short in the gold medal matches against a rival Chinese table tennis player.

One month before the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships, she hears that a single Korean table tennis will be formed from South and North Korea.

Jung-hwa and her teammates oppose the idea. Despite the opposition, the united Korean table tennis team is formed.

When players from the South and North Korea teams meet at a training camp in Japan, they cannot even get along.

Meanwhile, Jung-hwa enters a war of nerves with the top North Korean player Lee Boon-hee (Bae Doo-na).

The movie serves as a reminder that sports has a gift to bring people together and should always stand above political barrier and differences.

Watch the trailer here.

7.His Last Gift (2008)

Tae-joo (Shin Hyun-joon) is a murderer serving a life sentence in prison. His old friend Yeong-woo has a daughter, Se-hee who is suffering from Wilson’s disease and desperately needs a liver transplant.

He is given a temporary release to save Se-hee’s life. Tae-joo then discovers that Se-hee’s deceased mother was his ex-wife.

Even more, he also discovers that Se-hee is in fact his biological daughter.

Now, he is determined to do everything he can do to save her life.

Watch the trailer here.

8.Punch (2011)

This movie brought a lot of buzz in South Korea due to its unconventional theme circling around intercultural marriage, the economic vulnerability of the disabled and stiff education system that primarily focuses on university entrance examinations.

It follows high-school student Do Wan-deuk (Yoo Ah-in) who lives with his hunchback father Jeong-bok (Park Su-yeong) and uncle Min-gu (Kim Young-jae).

His homeroom teacher Lee Dong-ju (Kim Yoon-seok) lives as his neighbour on the rooftop.

The movie circles around the student-teacher relationship between Wan-deuk and Dong-ju and how the latter inspires him to be a better person.

It is based on the novel Wandeuk by Kim Ryeo-ryeong which won the Changbi Prize for Young Adult Fiction in 2007.

Watch the trailer here.

9.The Himalayas (2015)

Um Hong-gil is the mountaineer known to be the first person to climb the 14 highest points on Earth.

This movie is inspired by his life, primarily focusing on his mentorship of two other climbers.

During a climb to Kangchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world, Hong-gil saves the life of Park Moo-taek (Jung Woo) and his friend Park Jeong-bok (Kim In-kwon).

After that, he warns them never to climb mountains again. However when a new adventure project comes up, Moo-taek and Jeong-bok are recruited into the team.

At first Hong-gil refuses to allow the duo to join, but they would not give up. So, he has no choice to let them in.

After climbing the first mountain together, friendship forms between Hong-gil and Moo-taek.

Due to his injury, Hong-gil is not able to climb mountains again. Moo-taek then decides to form his own new team using the techniques he learned from Hong-gil.

When climbing Mount Everest, Moo-taek dies during the descent. The movie continues on how Hong-gil and his old crew go to the Himalayas to find Moo-taek’s body.

The characters in the movie are inspiring as they are based on real people. Hong-gil who against all odds, climbs mountain again despite his injury as well as Moo-taek who refuses to take ‘no’ as an answer.

Watch the trailer here.

10.A Barefoot Dream (2010)

Here is another movie based on inspiring real people. A Barefoot Dream (2010) is based on the true story of Kim Shin-hwan. He is a retired Korean footballer who goes to East Timor after his business fails. There he coaches a youth football team.

The main character Kim Won-kang (Park Hee-soon) is a former footballer who has more downs than ups in his life.

He migrates to East Timor, thinking that there will be more opportunities for him.

There, he sees a group of kids playing football with bare feet. So he opens up a sports equipment store thinking that he can sell football shoes to the children.

However, none of the children can afford the shoes. He then decides to teach the kids how to play football.

The motivational Korean film was the entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards but it did not make the final shortlist.

Watch the trailer here.

Do you have other motivational Korean movies? Let us know in the comment box.

KajoPicks: 5 Asian pandemic movies you should watch

On March 11, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic.

This was after there were over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus illness in over 110 countries.

WHO defines a pandemic as the worldwide spread of a new disease. An influenza pandemic occurs when a new influenza virus emerges and spreads around the world and most people do not have immunity.

Looking at the past, the viruses that have caused past pandemics originated from animal influenza viruses.

Pandemics have been an inspiration for many disaster movies out there. One of the popular ones is Hollywood movie Contagion (2011).

The real-life epidemics such as the 2002-2004 SARS outbreak and the 2009 flu pandemic have been inspirations and influences in Contagion.

Meanwhile, the chain of contagion in the movie is similar to the trail of Nipah virus that originated in Malaysia in 1997.

Another Hollywood movie that went viral during this Covid-19 virus pandemic was Outbreak (1995).

The movie’s screenwriter, Scott Z. Burns actually conducted months of in-depth research studying pandemics.

Besides that, he recruited several well-established epidemiologists to develop a realistic plot.

The result? A medical disaster film focusing on an outbreak of a fictional Ebola-like Motaba virus.

It also speculates how far military and civilian agencies might go to contain the spread of a deadly and contagious disease.

If you are looking for Asian pandemic movies, check out this list:

virus 4928021 1280

1.The Flu (2013)

This Korean pandemic movie explores the realistic response of humankind in the face of a pandemic.

The main character Kim In-hae (Soo Ae) is a single mother who works as a doctor in the infectious diseases.

When there is an outbreak of a mutated strain of H5N1 that kills its victims within 36 hours, the district of Bundang which has a population of nearly half a million people goes into chaos.

It also explores the worst case scenarios of what happens when rumours and fake news spread during a pandemic.

At the same time, The Flu also showcases how the lack of competency in governance could worsen the situation.

While most outbreaks start from an animal, the fictional outbreak in this movie derived from a group of illegal immigrants who died in a shipping container.

Watch the trailer here.

2.Infection (2004)

When a disaster movie meets a horror film, we have ourselves a Japanese flick called Infection (2004).

It was adapted from director Masayuki Ochiai’s earlier screenplay from the Tales of the Unusual.

Infection (2014) is set at a run-down and understaffed hospital.

When a patient with a strange black rash shows up, Dr Akiba (Koichi Sato) refuses to admit him.

The patient is left in the hallway. Then Dr Kiyoshi Akai (Shiro Sano) comes along to study his symptoms.

Things get creepy when that patient’s body mass starts to liquefy into green goo.

Watch the trailer here.

3.Pandemic (2009)

When the Covid-19 virus first started to break out in China, the doctors there dismissed it as pneumonia.

In this Japanese pandemic movie, Dr Tsuyoshi Matsuoka (Satoshi Tsumabuki) misdiagnoses a patient’s disease as a common flu.

Only after the patient’s sudden death, then he realises the disease is way more serious than he initially thought.

When he finds out that the newfound disease could possibly make a population extinct, Dr Tsuyoshi tries to find the cause of it.

4.Virus (2019)

Set against the backdrop of the 2018 Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala, this Indian medical thriller was a major box office success.

It follows a man named Zakariya Mohammed who is infected and is brought to the Government Medical College, Kozhikode.

There he is diagnosed to be infected with an unknown virus and dies a few hours later.

Before he dies, Zakariya passes on the virus to 18 other people.

Critics mostly sung praise of this movie, saying it “a well-crafted movie,” and a compassionate, gripping medical thriller.”

Watch the trailer here.

5.Deranged (2012)

What could be the reason for people to jump into a river in a strange epidemic of drownings?

Jae Hyuk (Kim Myung-min) has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and is a former professor.

Now, he works as a pharmaceutical sales representative after losing his life savings in bad stock investments arranged by his brother, police detective Jae Pil (Kim Dong-wan).

Suddenly, the country is in shock as a series of dead bodies are found floating in the Han River.

Jae Hyuk is caught up in a wave of fear that grips the country after a series of dead bodies are found floating in the Han River.

Subsequently, it is found that the deaths are caused by an outbreak of virus-infected mutant parasitic horsehair worms known as yeongasi.

Once the worms infect the human brain, the infected people start to develop excessive hunger that turns to excessive thirst.

This results In the patient jumping into the river to quench their thirst.

When Jae Hyuk’s own family starts to exhibit symptoms of the infection, can he or Jae Pil save them?

Basically, Deranged (2012) plays around the conspiracy theory of what if the pharmaceutical industry purposely create a pandemic in order to gain profits.

Watch the trailer here.

KajoPicks: 10 movies inspired by the Korean war to watch

The Korean war began on June 25, 1950 when about 75,000 North Korean soldiers headed south to begin their invasion on South Korea.

The invasion was the first military action of the Cold War.

North Korea had its support from China and the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, the United Nations, principally the United States, was supporting South Korea.

Overall, the Korean War was among the most destructive conflicts of the modern era. It was estimated about three million people died and that there were massacres by both sides.

The North Koreans were accused of torturing and starving their prisoners of war (POW). North Korea also became among the most heavily-bombed countries in history.

In popular culture, the Korean War has beenthe source of inspiration for many movies, especially by South Korea. As expected, the course of events in these movies have been heavily disputed by North Korea.

Here are 10 South Korean movies inspired by the Korean war to watch:

Korean war movie 3
The Battle of Jangsari (2019). Credits: Youtube.

1.The Last Witness (2001)

The movie follows Hwang-seok (Ahn Sung-ki), a political prisoner who is released after 50 years of solitary confinement. He is imprisoned as a communist sympathiser in the Korean war.

A day after he is released, a body with stab wounds is found near a harbour. Detective Oh (Lee Jung-jae) investigates the death and finds the deceased is named Yang, a former soldier.

Following the evidence, the detective comes across a blind antique dealer named Ji-hye.

As it turns out the murder victim Yang was responsible for the imprisonment of Hwang-seok.

This makes Hwang-seok a suspect for Yang’s murder. The plot unravels with a series of flashbacks to the Korean War and the infamous Geoje POW Camp.

Located on Geoje island, the camp was a UN POW camp which held North Korean and Chinese prisoners.

So what happened at the camp which connects with Yang’s murder?

Watch the trailer here.

2.Taegukgi (2004)

Directed by highly-acclaimed director Kang Je-gyu, this wartime action film stars Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin.

It explorers the story of what happens when two brothers fight each other from opposite sides of the war zone.

Brothers Jin-tae (Jang Dong-gun) and Jin-seok (Won Bin) are unwillingly drafted into the South Korean army during the Korean War.

A superior tellS Jin-tae if he can earn the highest award for a South Korean soldier, his younger brother can be sent home.

His heroism during the urban Battle of Pyongyang (Oct 17-19, 1950) when the UN forces recaptured Seoul finally earns Jin-tae’s nomination for the medal.

As things sometimes don’t turn the way we planned, both in movies and in real life, the brothers somehow have to face each other in a battle field.

This tragic war film is one of biggest successes in the South Korean film history, attracting up to 11.74 million people to the theatre.

Watch the trailer here.

3.Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005)

Tucked away on a remote mountain and untouched by the ongoing Korean War, there is a village called Dongmakgol.

In a twisted fate, three fighting forces come together in that village.

First is a US fighter pilot whose plane crashed in the mountains, then there are three retreating North Korean soldiers and two lost South Korean soldiers.

When the North and South Korean soldiers want to fight against each other, the villagers of Dongmakgol have them agree to a temporary truce.

After a grenade destroys the village’s food storage, the soldiers decide to stay and help the villagers.

Meanwhile, the US believesthere is a major North Korean military presence in the village area and plan an air strike.

In order to spare the village from being destroyed, the soldiers decide to work together to divert the attack.

The movie is actually based on the same-titled long-running stage play by Jang Jin. Although it was director Park Kwang-hyun’s debut film, the film was a commercial and critical success.

Moreover, it was South Korea’s official entry for the foreign language film category of the Academy Awards in 2005.

Watch the trailer here.

4.A Little Pond (2009)

Noguen-ri (also known as No Gun Ri) is a village in North Chungcheong Province in central South Korea.

It is the closest site of the No Gun Ri massacre which took place during the Korean War.

The massacre saw the US military kill South Korean civilians who were fleeing their nearby villages.

A South Korean government committee in 2005 certified the names of 163 dead and missing and 55 wounded with many other victims that were never reported.

After reading the Korean translation of The Bridge of No Gun Ri by Associated Press journalists, executive producer Lee Eun of Myung Films was determined to tell the story on the screen.

Because the story is controversial, not many investors wanted to invest into the films. Many of the cast and crew involved in the movie did it pro bono with some even bringing their family members to play the roles of villagers.

5.71: Into the Fire (2010)

From June 1950 to March 1951, students were recruited to fight for South Korea during the Korean War. They called them student soldiers.

These students volunteered or were conscripted in the Republic of Korea Army as emergency troops to fight against the North Korea.

71: Into the Fire is based on a true-story of a group of 71 student soldiers during the Battle of P’ohang-dong on Aug 11, 1950.

Despite being undertrained, underarmed and outgunned by the North Korean forces, they managed to defend the local P’ohang girls’ middle school.

In the end, 48 of the student soldiers died defending the school. Directed by John H. Lee, the movie stars Cha Seong-won, Choi Seung-hyun and Kim Seung-woo.

The film was made in commemoration of those who fought during the Korean War. Moreover, the movie is to raise awareness of the existence and importance of the student soldiers at that time.

Watch the trailer here.

6.In Love and War (2011)

Inspired by the a true story of her grandmother, screenwriter Bae Se-young decided to write the movie In Love and War (2011).

A group of North Korean soldiers stayed for a couple of days at the grandmother’s home because her father was the village leader). Touched by the villagers’ hospitality, one young soldier said that he wanted to stay.

This movie, however, follows a group of North Korean soldiers who enter a small South Korean village who come to “liberate” them.

In fact, the troop’s officer actually wants to find the charming young girl he met 12 years ago when Korea was one country.

As the villagers offer them heartfelt hospitality, strong friendship forms between the soldiers and the villagers.

7.The Front Line (2011)

Set during the 1953 ceasefire of the Korean War, this movies follows the final battle in determining the border between north and south Korean peninsular.

On the Eastern front line of the Aerok Hills, the fight continues in securing a small piece of land.

Those who have watched this movie would agree; there is no villain in The Front Line (2011). Both sides are as guilty and ruthless as the other.

Moreover, there are scenes of camaraderie from both sides as well.

Like any other war films, this movie depicts the horror and sadness of wars whereby there is no “winning” side. When a war breaks, both sides are already losing as both suffer losses and casualties.

The movie stars Shin Ha-kyun, Go Soo and Lee Je-hoon. It was selected as South Korea’s submission to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. However, it did not make the final shortlist.

Watch the trailer here.

8.The Long Way Home (2015)

Set three days before a truce takes place during the Korean War, here is another about the unlikely friendship between North and South Korea.

It follows Nam-bok (Sol Kyung-gu), a simple farmer before his conscription into the army.

He then receives an order to deliver a top secret document but an attack by the North Korean army leads him to lose the document.

In the meantime, Young-gawang (Yeo Jin-goo) is a teenage North Korean soldier. While his team is heading to the South, they are bombed and he is the only one left.

As he is about to return home, he comes across a top secret document.

What happen to both of them when their paths cross?

Watch the trailer here.

9.Operation Chromite (2016)

Here, Liam Neeson plays American General Douglas MacArthur who sends eight members of the Korean Liaison Office on a secret mission behind North Korean lines.

The team is led by a South Korean Navy Lieutenant Jang Hak-soo (Lee Jung-jae). They are tasked to carry out a covert operation called Operation “X-ray”.

Their mission is to determine the placement of North Korean defenses (such as mines and artillery) and the tactical characteristics of the Incheon harbour.

The success of the mission will allow MacArthur to launch the Incheon Landing Operation.

The event in the movie is a fictionalised version of the real-life CIA and US military intelligence operation “Trudy Jackson”.

Watch the trailer here.

10.The Battle of Jangsari (2019)

Starring Kim Myung-min and Choi Min-ho, this movie is the second installment in a trilogy following Operation Chromite (2016).

It tells the true story of a group of 772 student soldiers who staged a small diversionary operation at Jangsari beach in Yeongdeok village.

By doing so, they hope to distract North Korean attention from Incheon where the Incheon Landing Operation is about to take place.

Meanwhile, an American reporter and war correspondent Maggie (Megan Fox) who covers the Korean War is trying to to get help from the international community.

Help is definitely needed as the student soldiers struggle to accomplish their mission due to lack of proper training, weapons and food supplies.

The fictional character Maggie is actually based on American war correspondent Marguerite Higgins and photographer Margaret Bourke-White. Both Higgins and Bourke-White were covering the Korean War for New York Herald Tribune and Life respectively.

One critic said the film started out as something like Saving Private Ryan and ended up on the same lines as Pearl Harbour.

Watch the trailer here.

Miryang gang rape, the case which inspired Korean movie Han Gong-ju (2013)

Directed by Lee Su-jin, Han Gong-ju (2013) is a South Korean film starring Chun Woo-hee in the title role.

Based on the infamous 2014 Miryang gang rape, the film follows a rape victim named Gong-ju who is forced to change schools and trying to rebuild her life.

The movie premiered at the 2013 Busan International Film Festival. It also won numerous award including the Golden Star at the 2013 Marrakech International Film Festival, the Jury Prize, the Critic’s Prize and the Audience Award at the 2014 Deauville Asian Film Festival.

Any and every rape case is heinous, but the Miryang gang rape case and the issues around it will make your blood boil.

Here are five things you need to know about Miryang gang rape, the case which inspired Korean movie Han Gongju (2013):

1.Behind the scenes of Han Gongju (2013)

Speaking to the Korean Film Council in an interview, director Lee Su-jin said the movie was inspired by a true story although he did not attempt to recreate the entire story.

Instead, the director decided to focus more on the life of the victim after the crime rather than on the crime itself.

At the same time, he wanted to give courage to all the Han Gong-jus out there who find themselves in the same situation.

Miryang Gang rape case
Chun Woo-hee as Gong-ju in the movie. Credits: Youtube

2.What happened?

In 2004, at least 41 male high school students gang raped several middle school and high school girls over the course of 11 months in Miryang city.

The first victim was raped up to 10 times by three to 24 high school boys in each occurrence.

The boys even blackmailed her to keep quiet unless she wanted pictures of her rape to spread around her school.

Then, the girl was ordered to bring her cousin and younger sister. Both of them became victims of the boys’ assaults. The boys were also accused of raping two other girls.

3.What happened to the criminals?

One of the victims’ aunts reported the rape to the police. In the beginning, the policeman only arrested three of the boys. This triggered anger and protests from the public.

The police subsequently arrested nine other students and booked 19 of them without detention.

The most frustrating part was that ultimately only five of the suspects were sent to a juvenile detention center. None of the 41 rapists were convicted of criminal charges.

Rumour has it that some of the boys came from affluent families but it is not confirmed.

This is not the only time the South Korean court was accused of giving light sentences in a rape case.

In an unrelated case, a suspected rapist was acquitted by the South Korean court due to his penis being too curved (!) to have been put in the victim’s vagina without assistance.

4.The aftermath of the Miryang gang rape

In 2008, the South Korean Supreme Court ordered the state to compensate the victims for violating their rights and leaking their identities to the media.

One of the police officers who was stationed at the Ulsan Southern District Police Precinct allegedly told the victim, “You have ruined the reputation of Miryang.”

Some other comments by the police include “Did you try to entice the guys?”, “The boys would lead the city were all arrested” and “I am afraid that my daughter will be like you.”

Moreover, the police leaked enough documents to the media for them to identify the victims.

Even worse, the police forced the victims to directly face the suspects instead of viewing them through a one-way mirror.

The Supreme Court stated in the ruling, “By making the victims identify their attackers in an open area, the police failed to protect the rights of the victims and caused them to suffer humiliation. Such an act can never be justified even with the stated claim by the police that they did so to expedite the probe.”

With that the court said the state must pay each victim 30 million won and their mothers 10 million won.

5.The similarities between Miryang gang rape and Han Gong-ju (2013)

The movie never directly references the real-case, although when the main character Gong-ju (Chun Woo-hee) is asked by her friend at her new school if she’s ever been kissed, after a painful pause – Gong-ju replies about 40 times. This is the number of offenders in the real life Miryang case.

Another similarity is when a group of angry parents attacked Gong-ju for having put their sons in jail.

In the Miryang case, one of the girls reportedly had to quit school. She was repeatedly visited by the boys’ parents in the classroom and verbally attacked for reporting their sons to the police.

Besides that, the victims were blamed for “seducing the boys” and “not behaving properly as girls.”

#KajoPicks: 10 South Korean fantasy movies you need to watch

A good fantasy movie is always fun to watch. Well, primarily because these movies challenge your imagination.

Here are 10 South Korean fantasy movies for you to watch:

1.Vanishing Time: A Boy who Returned (2016)

Vanishing Time: A Boy who Returned (2016) is a Korean fantasy movie inspired by true events.

Director Um Tae-hwa was inspired by the 2014 sinking of MV Sewol where 304 people died.

He believed that the government tried to hide the truth after the Sewol disaster.

The story follows 13-year-old Su-rin who moves to a remote island with her step-father after her mother passes away.

There, she befriends an orphan boy named Sung-min. One day, they decide to explore a cave together with a group of kids.

During their adventure, they discover a glittering egg. According to their local folktale, the egg could instantly turn a child into an adult.

Believing the myth, Su-rin tries to stop the boys from taking the egg. However, the boys take the egg anyway.

When she follows them out of the cave, she finds that the rest of the group have disappeared.

Hence, the police is immediately dispatched. They assume that this is an abduction case and begin their investigation.

Meanwhile, Su-rin tells the police about finding the egg but nobody believes her.

Suddenly, a mysterious man in his 30s shows up and tells Su-rin that he is Sung-min.

Starring Gang Dong-won as adult Sung-min and Shin Eun-soo as Soo-rin, the movie is Tae-hwa’s second long film. He is mainly known for his short films.

Watch the trailer here.

2.Jeon Woo-chi: The Taoist Wizard (2009)

Here is another Korean fantasy movie starring Gang Dong-won. Based on a Korean folktale, the film was the third best selling film of 2009 in Korea.

The story begins in the Chosun Dynasty in 1509 when there is a magician named Jeon Woo Chi (Gang Dong-won) and his dog-turned-man.

Eventually, Jeon Woo Chi is sealed inside an ancient scroll for a crime he did not commit. Fast forward to 2009, he is summoned from the scroll to bring peace in a modern day Korea wracked by goblins.

The problem is Jeon Woo Chi becomes more interested in sight-seeing and womanizing rather than save the day.

Also known as Woochi: The Demon Slayer, this Korean fantasy movie is written and directed by Choi Dong-hoon.

Watch the trailer here.

3.The Piper (2015)

After the Korean War, Woo-ryong (Ryoo Seung-ryong) and his son Young-Nam (Goo Seung-hyun) walk to Seoul.

Woo-ryong wants to get Young-nam treated for tuberculosis. Along the way there, they find an obscured path on a mountainside road.

Woo-ryong decides to take the hidden path. The father and son pair soon come across a village. At first look, the village appears well-off and peaceful. The residents are led by a village leader (Lee Sung-min).

Subsequently, Woo-ryong learns the village is an idyllic place to live, except the area is infested with rats.

He offers to get rid of the rats and the village leader offers to pay him a hefty sum in return.

At the same time, Woo-ryong also falls for a young female shaman (Chun Woo-hee) in the village.

While everything appears to be going well, Woo-ryong’s nightmare is about to begin.

This fantasy movie is inspired by the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The legend dates back to the Middle Ages, describing a piper who dressed in multicoloured (which is the meaning behind ‘pied’) clothing.

The piper was hired by the town to lure rats away. We warn you; The Piper (2015) is the darker and more twisted version of the legend.

Watch the trailer here.

4.Will You Be There? (2016)

Soo-hyeon (Kim Yun-seok) is a successful physician who, during a humanitarian aid operation, saves the grandchild of an elder in Cambodia.

In return, he receives a few pills, which he tries when he is back in Korea.

As it turns out, these pills take him exactly 30 years back in time.

Knowing that he doesn’t have much time left due to a serious illness, he wants to meet his girlfriend Yeon-ah (Chae Seo-jin) who died in an accident (coincidentally) 30 years ago.

When he meets his younger self (Byun Yo-han), he realises that he can change the past.

As time runs out for him, can Soo-hyeon change his future by toying with the past?

Will You Be There? (2016) is based on the French novel, Seras-tu-la?, by Guillaume Musso.

Watch the trailer here.

5.The Phone (2015)

Here is another Korean fantasy movie about people wanting to rescue their dead loved ones.

A magnetic field anomaly allows a man to phone into the past to talk to his wife before she is murdered.

To save her, he has to identify the killer and warn her before the anomaly vanishes.

Through the phone call, the man enters a thrilling battle against time to rescue his wife.

This action thriller fantasy film is directed by Kim Bong-ju in his directorial debut.

It stars Son Hyun-joo, Uhm Ji-won and Bae Seong-woo.

Watch the trailer here.

6.The Restless (2016)

The Koreans believe that when a person dies, their soul spends 49 days in Jungcheon before their eternal fate is decided.

From there, they either go to heaven, hell or rebirth. And that is where accomplished demon hunter Yi Kwak finds himself as he lies on the edge of death.

Following his fiancee Yon-hwa’s tragic death, Yi enlisted with the royal squad of elite demon exterminators.

He enters Jungcheon where he finds Yon-hwa again. Unfortunately, she does not recognise him as she is a spirit of the afterlife now.

Moreover, she is deeply entangled in a great war between the white-clad warriors of reincarnation and a swarm of dark spirits determined to invade the living world.

The battle is desperately close to a terrifying ending, so Yi must draw his sword to defend the woman he loves.

To make matter worse, his deceased former mentor Banchu is the mastermind behind the demonic rebellion of dark spirits in Jungcheon.

Directed by Jo Dong-ho, The Restless (2006) stars Kim Tae-hee and Jung Woo-sung.

Watch the trailer here.

7.Psychokinesis (2018)

This movie is the first Korean superhero film. It is also director Yeon Sang-ho’s second live-action film after his live-action debut Train to Busan (2016).

It revolves around a bank security guard who gains telekinetic superpowers after drinking water from a mountain spring affected by a meteor.

Shin Seok-heon (Ryu Seung-ryong) then decides to use them for saving his estranged daughter and her neighbourhood from an evil construction company.

Many critics praised this movie saying it is one of the finest superhero movies of the decade.

Thrillist writer Karen Han stated, “The only pity is that Psychokinesis isn’t receiving a theatrical release outside of South Korea. Despite being about an ultimately mundane conflict, it’s filmed with the same energy and grand sense of scales as any recent blockbuster. Maybe it’s a little silly, but all superhero films are. Yeon is just the rare breed of director who knows how to turn that kind of genre stamp to his advantage.”

Watch the trailer here.

8.A Werewolf Boy (2012)

A mother moves with her daughters Sun-yi (Park Bo-young) and Sun-ja (Kim Hyang-gi) to a large home in the countryside.

They moved there under the advisement of her doctor as Sun-yi suffers from a lung ailment.

The home is provided by Ji-Tae (Yoo Yeon-Seok), the son of a business partner who worked with their deceased father.

While the family gets acclimated to their new surroundings, Sun-yi finds that a wild boy (Song Joong-ki) lives within a locked room in the barn.

At first, the family takes him in believing he is just an orphan with little social skills. Not everything in life appears like it seems, so is the boy hiding a secret?

The movie had its world premiere in the Contemporary World Cinema Section of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival.

Besides that, it was screened at the 17th Busan International Film Festival that year.

This movie is one of the most successful Korean melodrama movies of all time.

Korean fantasy movies 2
A Werewolf Boy is definitely one of the must-watch Korean fantasy movies of all-time. Credits: Youtube

Watch the trailer here.

9.Heaven’s Postman (2009)

If you could write a letter to your loved one in heaven, what would you say?

Kim Jae-joong plays as Shin Jae-joon who used to be a promising young CEO of an IT company.

One day, he unexpectedly becomes a postman. His work? To deliver the letters grieving people have written to their loved ones in Heaven.

Eventually, Jae-joon comes across Hana, who writes a letter full of resentment to the dead man that she used to love.

So he proposes that Hana delivers responses which come back from Heaven. Then they both think up various ways to give peace and happiness to those who are alive and left behind, sometimes by writing the responses themselves.

It is a story of love and acceptance as well as finding closure in the sorrowful experiences of life.

10.Along with the Gods series

Along with the Gods movies series are definitely on our list of must-watch Korean fantasy movies.

This action film is directed by Kim Yong-hwa and based on a webtoon by Joo Ho-min.

It stars Ha Jung-woo, Cha Tae-hyun, Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hyang-gi. The film was shot as one but presented in two parts.

The first part, Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds, was released on Dec 20, 2017.

In the meantime, the sequel,titled Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days, was released on Aug 1, 2018.

The third and fourth installment is currently in development with Kim Yong-hwa returning to direct the sequels.

As for the plot, the first movie follows a firefighter navigates the afterlife with the help of three grim reapers.

Meanwhile, the second film circles around the three grim reapers guiding their 49th soul. After guiding their 49th soul, only then they could gain reincarnation.

Overall, the storytelling, CGI, and especially the acting for both movies are all terrific. The second film broke the opening day record in South Korea with more than 1.2 million viewers on the first day of its release.

Watch the trailer here.

Korean fantasy movies
The third and fourth of Along with The Gods are another two must-watch Korean fantasy movies. Credits: Youtube.

Do you have any favourite Korean fantasy movies? Let us know in the comment box.