Korean zombie thriller movies are one of the most popular and terrifying creatures in horror movies. They are relentless, hungry, and often come in hordes. But what makes them even more terrifying is when they are set in a realistic and familiar setting, such as modern-day Korea. Korean zombie movies have been gaining popularity and acclaim in recent years, thanks to their innovative and thrilling plots, impressive cinematography, and stellar performances.
Top 10 Korean Zombie Thriller Movies
Here are the top 10 Korean zombie thriller movies that you should watch if you love this genre.
#10: Rampant (2018)
Rampant is a historical zombie movie that takes place in the Joseon dynasty, when a mysterious plague spreads across the kingdom and turns people into bloodthirsty monsters. The crown prince, who has been exiled to China, returns to his homeland to stop the outbreak and save his people.
He teams up with a band of rebels who fight against the corrupt officials and the undead. Rampant is a mix of action, drama, and horror, with stunning visuals and costumes.
#9: Peninsula (2020)
Peninsula is the sequel to the smash hit Train to Busan, which we will talk about later. It is set four years after the events of the first movie when South Korea has been completely isolated and overrun by zombies.
A former soldier, who escaped the country during the outbreak, is hired to go back and retrieve a truck full of money from the wasteland. He soon finds out that there are not only zombies but also human survivors who have formed gangs and militias. Peninsula is a fast-paced and explosive movie that delivers action and spectacle.
#8: The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale (2019)
The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is a comedy horror movie that follows a dysfunctional rural family who encounters a zombie that escaped from a pharmaceutical company’s experiment. Instead of being afraid or hostile, they decide to adopt him as their pet and name him Jjong-bi.
They soon discover that his bite has a rejuvenating effect on humans, and they start to exploit him for money. However, things get complicated when more zombies start to appear and threaten their business. The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale is a hilarious and heartwarming movie that subverts the typical zombie tropes.
Checkout: Top 10 Korean Historical Dramas
#7: Alive (2020)
#Alive is a survival horror movie that focuses on a young gamer who is trapped in his apartment during a zombie apocalypse. He has no contact with the outside world, except for his phone and social media. He struggles to stay sane and alive as he witnesses the chaos and carnage around him.
Also, he eventually finds another survivor across the street, a girl who lives in another apartment building. They communicate through signs and messages and try to find a way to escape together. #Alive is a tense and realistic movie that explores the themes of isolation, loneliness, and hope.
#6: Seoul Station (2016)
Seoul Station is an animated prequel to Train to Busan, which shows how the zombie outbreak started in Seoul. It follows a homeless man who becomes infected by a mysterious virus and turns into a zombie. He then spreads the infection to other people in the crowded train station.
The movie also follows his estranged daughter, who is looking for him with the help of her boyfriend and a former soldier. Seoul Station is a dark and gritty movie that depicts the social issues and inequalities in Korean society.
#5: The Wailing (2016)
The Wailing is a supernatural horror movie that revolves around a series of mysterious deaths and illnesses in a small village. A policeman, who is investigating the case, suspects that they are related to the arrival of a strange Japanese man who lives in the mountains.
He enlists the help of a shaman to perform an exorcism on his daughter, who has also fallen ill. However, he soon realizes that there is more than meets the eye in this complex and twisted story. The Wailing is a gripping and suspenseful movie that keeps you guessing until the end.
#4: Kingdom (2019-2020)
Kingdom is not a movie, but a Netflix original series that deserves to be on this list. It is set in the Joseon dynasty when a mysterious plague resurrects the dead as zombies during the night. The crown prince, who is accused of treason by his stepmother, sets out to find the truth behind his father’s death and the origin of the disease.
He also has to protect his people from both the zombies and the political conspiracies. Kingdom is an epic and captivating series that combines historical drama, political intrigue, and horror.
#3: The Host (2006)
The Host is a monster movie that follows a family who tries to rescue their daughter from a giant creature that emerged from the Han River. The creature was created by the dumping of toxic chemicals by the American military.
The family has to face not only the monster but also the authorities who try to cover up the incident and quarantine the infected people. The Host is a thrilling and emotional movie that criticizes the environmental and social issues in Korea.
#2: Train to Busan (2016)
Train to Busan is arguably the most famous and successful Korean zombie movie of all time. It follows a group of passengers who are trapped on a train that is heading to Busan, the only city that is safe from the zombie outbreak.
They have to fight for their survival and protect each other from the zombies and the selfish people who try to sabotage them. Train to Busan is a non-stop and exhilarating movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
#1: I Saw the Devil (2010)
I Saw the Devil is not a typical zombie movie, but rather a psychological thriller that involves a serial killer who preys on young women. He kills the fiancée of a secret agent, who then vows to track him down and make him suffer.
He catches him several times but lets him go after torturing him, creating a cat-and-mouse game between them. However, he soon realizes that his revenge has turned him into a monster as well. I Saw the Devil is a brutal and disturbing movie that explores the nature of evil and violence.