No.5 Paradise Murdered (2007)
One of the oldest questions in the book is, “if you were alone on an island…” and the answers often end well. Not so much for the oxymoronically named, Paradise Murdered. The island is located off the southern coast of Korea. Seventeen people live on the island. They’re all goody-goodies living in paradise with lush greenery, great oceanfront property, and stunning mountains. Completely stress-free life… right? WRONG! In a single day all those poor bastards vanish without a trace! Why? How? Watch the damn movie! Friends turn on friends. Wives turn on husbands. Little brats get their comeuppances! It’s fantastic.
No.4 Red Eye (2005)
This 2005 offering is, I think, rather brilliant. In the U.S., we call the “red eye” one of those flights at like 4 a.m. In Korea, the “red eye” is a late train. Same concept, different mode of transportation. This particular tale involves a 1988 night train (red eye) that crashes and kills 250 people. A decade passes and the train is running the same line at the same time for the last time. This, of course, causes a few nutters to come out of the woodwork, including a couple set on crashing the train a second time (they survived the first go around as little kids), two psychic girls who are both supernaturally knocked off, possession and dead people popping in and out as the riders go crazy! I refuse to ride trains now. Even the cute one at Disney. No way, f that.
No.3 The Quiet Family (1998)
One does not go to K-Horror and think funny, but hey, even this solemn country does comedy . The Quiet Family came out in 1998, so it’s an oldie and a goody. It focuses on a family that owns a hunting lodge. This is not a place you want to book on Travelocity though, since everyone who stays at the lodge always winds up not leaving, if you get my meaning. There’s a lot of shady crap going on and it’s all in good fun. It’s like Clue but not… if that makes any sense? It’s worth a watch for sure.
No.2 A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
To date, A Tale of Two Sisters, is the highest-grossing movie in K-Horror and it’s the absolute first to be screened in the US of A. That alone screams, “Watch me or die!” and you should… before you do. This is definitely a psychological horror, which, to me, is always the best. A teen girl and her sister encounter a ghost and as tension rises, so do the attacks on the sisters. The overbearing and difficult stepmother (are there any other?) is sure it’s because of the girls. A lot of weird crap happens. Lots of twists, turns, and scares that won’t make you regret seeing it. The film is critically acclaimed for a reason and is also the basis of the U.S. version… The Uninvited.
No.1 Whispering Corridors (1998)
This film is often noted as the be all and end all of Korean horror movies. It is, arguably, the one that started the sensation behind it all, which means you have to watch it and watch it first! Essentially, the plot centers on a student who killed herself. A teacher discovers something and gets murdered. Three seniors find the teacher and get all messed up. It’s basically a political statement against the harsh South Korean educational system and blah, blah, blah… hot Korean girls in school uniforms and blood. Who cares about political statements? Not this guy! Whispering Corridors is also the first film in a very successful franchise. Check out the rest in the series. They’re all brilliant.