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Making classic Korean movies marathon is like taking a tour of some of the best movies ever made, from thrillers to dramas to zombie stories. Korea has not only been the best at making TV shows like “Estamos Muertos” and “The Silent Sea”, but it has also been making movies that have become classics and have a very specific way of telling their stories for a few decades.
Directors like Bong Joon Ho and Park Chan-wook have worked to improve Korean cinema and won many awards in the process. Their films are part of a long list of hits that put their own spin on stories about ghosts and killers. from comedies and love stories to existential tales and even comedies.
There are a lot of classic Korean movies out right now, but if you want to watch more Korean movies, there are a lot of good places to start.
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The best classic Korean movies are:
The Age of Shadows
This historical thriller by Kim Jee-woon has a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is about a group of rebel Korean soldiers in the 1920s who plan to sneak explosives and blow up a mall. controlled by the Japanese, who try to crush any signs of resistance in the country. To do this, they force the rebels to act in secret, with the help of a policeman who has to decide which side he supports.
Train to Busan
People think this movie has one of the best zombie stories out there right now. This movie is directed by Sang-ho Yeon. It’s about a father who has to take his daughter home, but there’s a zombie outbreak on the way. He, his daughter, and a group of other survivors have to take shelter on a train, where they have to find a way to get away from the zombies and get to a safe place away from the virus.
This movie, which is on the list of the 100 best in the world, was directed by Park Chan-wook. In the story, a man wakes up in a strange hotel room and quickly figures out that he can’t get out. After being locked in that room alone for years, he is let out, but he must find out by the time he is 5 days old who locked him up and why, or he will die.
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Burning, which you can watch on Netflix, is based on a story by Haruki Murakami. It’s about a man who runs into a woman from his past. She asks him to take care of her cat while she’s away on a trip. When she comes back, she is with a mysterious man who loves to start fires. This forces the main character to follow his feelings and deal with a situation that could be dangerous.
This movie by Bong Joon Ho won the Oscars for Best Film and Best Foreign Film, as well as the Palme d’Or at Cannes. It is about a poor family who, in order to stay alive, decides to lie to and take advantage of a wealthy family to get a number of jobs for which they are not qualified. He wants to get ahead by hurting his family, but someone else had the same idea, and it’s part of a secret that could get out and ruin all their work.
This thriller based on the book Fingersmith won Park Chan-wook a BAFTA. The Handmaiden is about a woman who is hired to help a Japanese princess who is about to inherit a lot of money. This is part of a con man’s plan to steal everything he has, but when the two women meet, things change. When they fall in love, things get even more difficult.
Another great film by Park Chan-wook. Thirst, starring Song Kang-ho and Kim Ok-bin, is a kind of vampire story. A priest agrees to be part of a medical experiment to get rid of a dangerous virus, but it goes wrong and leaves him with dangerous instincts and a thirst for blood. These things push him to the limit and make him question his beliefs, faith, and morals in order to stay alive.
This is one of the best-reviewed classic Korean movies. This mystery horror movie is written and directed by Na Hong-jin. A mysterious stranger comes to a small town at the same time a mysterious disease that kills its victims quickly starts to spread. In the middle of all the chaos, a police officer must find out where the disease came from and if there might be a way to stop it before it’s too late to save his daughter, who got sick.
A Tale of Two Sisters
This is one of the scariest and classic Korean movies ever made. It was directed by Jee-woon Kim, and it’s about two sisters who go to a mental hospital and then come home. There, they have to deal not only with their cruel new stepmother, but also with ghosts and other strange things that keep happening in their house and put them all in a lot of danger.
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This movie is directed by Bong Joon Ho and stars Chris Evans. In it, he tells a story about the end of the world. The story takes place many years after a new ice age starts, which forces the people who survived to live on a train that never stops moving. The train has everything, but it’s separated by class, which makes it hard for those in the back. So, they start to plan a rebellion to change the way the train works, but that could also destroy the only thing that keeps them together. life.
Memories of Murder
This is another movie that Bong Joon Ho and Song Kang-ho worked on together. Memories of Murder is based on real events and takes place in a small Korean town in the 1980s. Two detectives are looking into a string of rapes and murders of women, which points to a possible serial killer who won’t stop until the police find him and lock him up.
On the Beach at Night Alone
This drama, which stars Kim Min-hee, is directed by Hong Sang-soo. This is the story of an actress who breaks up with a married man. She then goes to Hamburg, where she spends her time walking the streets and thinking about the relationship, the possibility of getting her lover back, and what she wants for her life. She analyzes what happened to help her figure out what she should do next with her life.
The first scene of Lee Chang-dong’s first movie as a director is a messy man throwing himself in front of a train. The movie works backwards through his life to show what brought him to that point. In doing so, it shows 20 years of Korean political history, from the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s to the Gwangju Massacre, which was a fight between citizens and police in 1980. It’s a strong melodrama with a sad tone and an ending that will break your heart.
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Save The Green Planet
In this crazy, genre-bending comedy-fantasy, a paranoid beekeeper (Shin Ha-kyun from Sympathy for Mr Vengeance) kidnaps the CEO of a pharmaceuticals business (Baek Yoon-sik, The President’s Last Bang), believing him to be an alien from the planet Andromeda. Inspired in part by Rob Reiner’s Misery (1990), this oddball cult classic’s aesthetics also harken back to Terry Gilliam’s sci-fi-tinged masterpieces. A remake in the United States was announced for 2020. Is it really this euphoric and giddy?
Because of the country’s authoritarian regime, South Korean movies were heavily censored during the 1970s. When the dictatorship fell, filmmakers like Park Ki-hyung, who had been obliged to wait on their more daring ideas, were able to ride a fresh surge of inventiveness that supercharged Korean cinema. This K-horror, the first in a loosely connected five-part Whispering Corridors series, is exactly the kind of film that was previously prohibited: a chewy indictment of the country’s education system that executes truly gnarly vengeance on abusive teachers via a supernatural force.