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8 Crime Thriller Korean Movies To Watch before they ruin in Hollywood

by Char|September 23, 2012|in Best & Worst Lists, News|

Crime Thriller Korean Movies

South Korea is not only known for where Samsung and LG came from. Actually, they are more associated into the best television dramas that hit the worldwide, dubbed or subtitled in English but still making each one of us cry. But because of the craze on Korean dramas, we managed to check out the Korean movies too and the reception is remarkable.

I’ve been a Korean Movie fan for past ten years now and I must say I can tell you what normally a typical Korean movie is about. If it’s a drama, it is about a girl who has either needs a new bone marrow or has Alzheimer’s disease that makes her forget the love of her life. If it’s a comedy, it will star a very pretty girl and a very odd-looking Korean guy who jaw-drops every time he sees the very pretty girl. If it is a horror (although I haven’t watched any horror Korean film except for the Tale of Two Sisters), everything scary will do actually. For crime thriller Korean films, the genre extends to the vast stories of typical crime thriller film; from serial killer to mafia to high-ranking mobster.

Crime thriller Korean films are very accomplished genre that gave various film festivals to take a look at. This is the same reason why most of these films are purchased by big Hollywood producers and will do English remakes. But, as a Korean movie fan, I have told you and will keep telling you – it won’t work that way. Korean films are good as they are – in Korean setting, with Korean actors and Korean language.

Take a look of the 8 Crime Thriller Korean movies that you should watch before they ruin them in Hollywood.

8 Crime Thriller Korean Movies

1 of 8

Oldboy (2003)

Oldboy is the most acknowledged South Korean film worldwide. The film is loosely based on the Japanese manga by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya. It won Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and high praise from the President of the Jury, director Quentin Tarantino. It also won Best Foreign Independent Film at the British Independent Film Awards. Not only that, Asia Pacific Film Festival, Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya, Bergen International Film Festival and European Film Awards fully recognized the authenticity of Oldboy.

A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Lee Byung-hun is known in U.S. as Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra and the upcoming sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation. But, in South Korea and actually around Asia, he was known as a notorious high-ranking mobster in A Bittersweet Life, which premiered at 2005 Cannes Film Festival. It received positive feedback and Empire Magazine named it third in a poll of the

I Saw the Devil (2010)

Lee Byung-hun is a favorite actor in leading crime thriller films. Another successful film he had is I Saw the Devil, which premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and had a limited U.S theatrical release. It received persuading feedback. Rob Nelson from Variety magazine commented that “ Kim's pic is so beautifully filmed, carefully structured and viscerally engaging.

The Chaser (2008)

Among all Korean crime thriller films, The Chaser is the one close to reality because it was inspired by Korean serial killer Yoo Young-chul. It was quite popular in South Korean, being the third most popular film.

The Man from Nowhere (2010)

Won Bin is one of the adorable South Korean actors I really love. I first saw him in Korean TV Series Autumn in My Heart and I fell in love with him instantly. His most promising film and the last project we saw him is The Man from Nowhere which follows the story of a vengeful man who embarks on a murderous rampage when the only person that seems to understand him is taken from him. The movie was premiered with various film festivals in Canada and United States.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is first part of The Vengeance trilogy which the Oldboy follows as second part. However, Oldboy is more popular than this film because of the mediocre plot. The film follows the character Ryu trying to earn enough money for his sister's kidney transplant and the path of vengeance that follows.

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

Popularly known as Lady Vengeance in U.S. and Europe, this is the third installment Park's The Vengeance Trilogy. I must say – this is kind of similar to Steig Larson’s The Millenium Trilogy because of the degree of violence applied on it. If the Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Oldboy has male leading, here of course, it’s the female’s revenge conquering. It stars Lee Young Ae as Lee Geum-ja, a woman released from prison after serving the sentence for a murder she did not commit. The film tells her story of revenge against the real murderer. The film competed for the Golden Lion at the 62nd Venice International Film Festival in September 2005. While it failed to win in competition, it did walk away with Cinema of The Future, the Young Lion Award and the Best Innovated Film Award in the non-competition section. It won the award for Best Film at the 26th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

Blood Rain (2005)

It is a murder mystery set in 1808 during the Joseon Dynasty. This film touches on historical prejudice against Roman Catholicism in Joseon Korea.


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Comment (1)

dennisho November 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm

This really makes me sad… how can they possibly ruin an art like that?

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