Move Over Romance. These 8 Thriller K-Dramas Are On Our Binge Watch List Right Now

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Think K-dramas and inevitably we think of soft romance, lovable characters, and relatable storylines. The K-drama landscape has always been ruled by romance, historical fiction, or a slice-of-life genre. But in recent years, the K-drama industry has got the audiences hooked on to a different section for thriller shows, which aren’t for the faint hearted. Korean crime or thriller dramas depict a wide spectrum of emotional and psychological themes that will make you question your morals and beliefs.  Dirty politics, corruption, and flawed protagonists – this has it all. Which means that you’re watching murder mysteries, supernatural elements, spy thrillers, revenge sagas, dark comedies, and more. In addition to the plot, another big reason for the success of these thrillers is their intense storytelling, cinematography, high-budget VFX, and clever reflection of the real world.

Squid Game mimicked by children in playground: Sydney school

The biggest example of this genre shift has to be the worldwide phenomenon of the Squid Game. A show that had us rooted to our seats and made our heads hurt with harsh reality checks. A caustic critique of capitalist society and its erroneous notion of “equality” was found hidden under the candy wrapper of stylish, colourful, yet nightmare-inducing dollhouse settings, a survival game scenario, appealing music, and spectacular cinematography.

Here are our 8 favourite thriller K-dramas that will keep you on the edge of your seats:

1. Hellbound

Based on the webtoon of the same title, Hellbound is a supernatural thriller. The plot revolves around a religious sect that holds the notion that angels are beginning to appear on Earth and are sending humans to hell. A group of people must face their greatest fears and secrets as the world grows more chaotic and violent while attempting to comprehend the true nature of the strange happenings. The series expertly combines aspects of horror, action, and drama to produce a tense and reflective story.

Where to watch: Netflix

2. My Name

A revenge drama centred around a woman named Yoon Ji-woo (Han So-hee) who joins a gang in an effort to avenge the death of her father. She adopts a new identity and rises through the ranks of the gang in an effort to infiltrate it, all the while battling to conceal her true identity and defend her loved ones. Ji-woo learns about sinister conspiracies as she dives deeper into the criminal underworld, putting her life and her purpose in danger. The show presents an exciting and emotional journey that examines the concepts of loyalty, betrayal, and identity through its complex characters, violent action scenes, and compelling storyline.

Where to watch: Netflix

3. The Glory

This revenge story took the internet by storm. The Glory tells the story of Moon Dong Eun, a high school student who aspired to become an architect but was forced to drop out of school due to the violent bullying she endured at the hands of her peers. She then embarks on a mission to avenge herself. Keeping this in mind, she lays out her plan by becoming the primary school teacher of the child of the person who bullied her the most. The series is divided into two seasons.

Where to watch: Netflix

4. Vagabond

Vagabond, a thriller that’s dynamic and unpredictable, carries on the legacy of the greatest conspiracy thrillers. When stuntman Cha Dal-gun loses his nephew in a plane disaster while flying to Morocco, his life is permanently altered. He discovers an international plot while looking into the event. He collaborates with the National Intelligence Service in his pursuit of the truth. Vagabond goes further and ferociously assaults the entire system, exposing the full scope of the behind-the-scenes games where human lives are disposable and people are turned into monsters. It is not looking for a scapegoat or attempting to demonstrate that the system is excellent even though it is flawed.

Where to watch: Netflix

5. Sweet Home

Don’t get misled by the title; the show has nothing sweet to offer. Fans of post-apocalyptic tales where heroes must battle monsters and adjust to a new reality that fundamentally alters the social order will enjoy this series. Based on a popular webtoon of the same name, the story revolves around a reclusive high school student, Cha Hyun-soo, who moves into a new apartment complex after the tragic death of his family. However, he soon finds himself trapped inside the building with his neighbours as a mysterious epidemic turns people into monstrous creatures. As they struggle to survive, the residents must confront their inner demons and come to terms with their past traumas.

Where to watch: Netflix

6. Flower Of Evil

A thriller saga revolving around Baek Hee-sung appears to be the ideal family man in Flower of Evil. People are unaware of the fact that he has been living a lie for years. He is actually the primary suspect in a number of unsolved murders from the past. His wife, Cha Ji-won, a detective investigating the case, is forced to face the horrifying possibility that the man she loves might be a cold-blooded killer as the truth slowly emerges. The K-drama expertly combines themes of love, deceit, and betrayal, resulting in a tension-filled and engrossing atmosphere.

Where to watch: Netflix

7. Vincenzo

One of the most popular K-dramas on the list: Vincenzo’s plot revolves around lawyer and Mafia consigliere Vincenzo Cassano, who is a Korean-Italian returning to South Korea after being betrayed by his own gang. He teams up with impassioned lawyer Hong Cha-young to bring down a significant corporation by utilising his special set of abilities and contacts. Their efforts to fight corruption and pursue justice run across a number of roadblocks, including competing gangs and dishonest politicians. The show has one of the biggest plot twist in K-drama history. Leading actors Song Joong-ki and Jeon Yeo-been get praise for the series’ captivating plot, dark humour, and outstanding performances.

Where to watch: Netflix

8. Island

Island is set on Jeju Island and is about three individuals fighting against a greater evil that’s set to destroy the world. This drama is based on a webtoon series of the same name. There’s Van, a man raised and trained to be a weapon. He fights against evil, goes after possessed victims, and kills them. He contains his emotions well, but deep inside, he feels burdened and guilty about his current way of life. Meanwhile, there’s Won Mi-Ho, who comes from a wealthy family that runs a huge business. Because of certain circumstances, she was sent to Jeju Island as some sort of punishment. She starts working as a teacher but eventually gets involved in a case related to ghosts and spirits. Finally, there’s Yohan, a Catholic priest who performs exorcisms. His main mission is to protect life and banish evil.

Where to watch: Prime Video

Also, read With Chemistry So Good, These 6 Second Lead Couples Deserve Their Own K-Dramas

- Digital Writer


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