It’s certainly no secret that South Korean dramas have always been around, but the success of series like Squid game arouse new interest in the macro-genre. Netflix wins big with its seemingly endless content, and they’ve scored again with the new release Hell. The six-episode series reversed Squid game as the most popular title on Netflix and is quickly becoming everyone’s new obsession.
The series puts viewers on the brink of an apocalypse as beings from another world begin to prophesy down to the minute deaths. At first, many are skeptical, but after towering demons called Executors start appearing all over Seoul and cremating their victims in broad daylight, all hell breaks loose on Earth. It’s a gripping and gripping series that already has fans anticipating a second season. There is no word to know if Hell will follow in Squid games‘, but there is a lot of content to help the audience so far. Let’s take a look at six movies that match Hellapocalyptic themes.
Se7en delivers on the procedural intrigue of the police
Hell is a two-act series divided into six episodes. The first act follows the formula of a police procedure brimming with supernatural mystery, but the series takes on a more dystopian tone after episode 4, resembling the Purge movies more than Kiyoshi Kurosawa To cure. For Hell fans looking for a taste of the ingrained spiritual horror there is always Se7en, a disturbing slow-burn imbued with religious themes.
Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman are two detectives who track down a series of gruesome murders. Each victim is killed in a different way, and the crimes, at first, seem unrelated – until Detective Somerset (Freeman) links each crime to the Seven Deadly Sins. After this breakthrough, Somerset and Detective Mills (Pitt) attempt to identify the killer before he completes the seven murders. Se7en was one of the first to put director David Fincher on the map, and it’s safe to say the movie hasn’t been the same since.
Divine fury compensates for action with exorcism
The rise of Christianity in South Korea has created new themes for the country’s filmmakers to explore, and Hell is not the first to broach the subject. In 2019, director Jason Kim offered Divine fury, a genre thriller that mixes elements of spirituality with action. At its center is a duo much like Freeman and Pitt in Se7en – but Park Seo-joon and Ahn Sung-ki have real, tangible demons to face outside of their personal lives.
Park plays Yong-hu, an MMA fighter who quickly renounces his faith after the death of his devout father. When Yong-hu finds a strange red mark on his palm, he enlists the help of Father Ahn (Ahn), a priest who also serves as a part-time exorcist. They discover that Yong-hu’s mark is actually a stigma: a symbol that allows the fighter to exorcise demons themselves. In no time, the duo team up to fight an army of demons threatening to take over their city. While the film doesn’t necessarily achieve a seamless mix of genres, Divine fury is still a fun juxtaposition of man versus myth. Captain Marvel fans anticipating Park’s appearance in Wonders may also begin their foray into the actor’s filmography.
Winter Light explores the “Silence of God”
A big theme at the center of Hell is the question of the will of God. While a rising religious sect believes that God has finally lost patience and is ready to condemn sinners one by one, others say that God has simply turned His back on mankind. It was the latter idea that was explored by Ingmar Bergman, a prolific Swedish filmmaker with nearly 50 films to his name.
Any of Bergman’s films could scratch the existential itch that Hell can leave behind, but it is Winter light that truly explores the anger and resentment that flares up during a crisis of faith. The film is part of an unofficial trilogy that Bergman called “The Silence of God” and even inspired the 2017 film. First reformed. Both films follow a pastor losing his faith and trying to isolate himself from his parishioners, who also desperately seek answers.Hell is a little more inclined to put his faith in mankind after it seems God has turned away, but Winter light looks at the desolation and silent suffering that comes from carrying a burden alone.
Hellboy is a lovely relief from the demons of Hellbound
The two Hell and Hellboy are based on the existing IP. While the first is inspired by the Korean webtoon Hell, Hellboy is an adaptation of a Dark Horse comic book series of the same name. The film was a labor of love for its director, the famous monster lover Guillermo del Toro. The filmmaker has spent years getting his story off the ground. While Hellboy wasn’t the instant hit that producers initially hoped for, it became a cult favorite soon after.
Del Toro has always been adamant about practical effects, and as a result his (albeit weird) films still feel real and incredibly immersive. Hellboy is no exception, full of dark fairy tale themes that have earned the director rave reviews for The shape of water. Hellboy is a perfect cleanser for the palate after Hellthe scary finale. Its seamless use of practical effects is also a welcome change for any fans disappointed with the less-than-perfect CGI monsters in the series.
Mother! Raise the heat on allegorical horror
For anyone looking for an even more disturbing foray into religious themes, there is always mother!, the polarizing psychological horror directed by Black Swanis Darren Aronofsky. The film is an allegory for a number of concepts, including creation, global warming, women’s empowerment, religious fanaticism, and the respective messiah and martyr complexes. He shoots absolutely nothing and takes a lot of risks to get his point across.
Some argue that mother! was the movie that nearly ruined Jennifer Lawrence’s career, despite having one of her most impeccable performances. She plays there the young wife of a poet twice as old (Javier Bardem). As she begins to settle into their new home, her husband begins to receive visitors: first a longtime fan (Ed Harris) and his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer), then their two conflicting sons. After that, the floodgates have burst and “Mother’s” house is invaded, putting her sanity at risk.
Time to Hunt envisions a very different dystopia in Seoul
Hell can be defined at the end of the days, but it mainly serves as a platform for interpersonal issues to take center stage. South Korean dramas are known to prioritize the characters and their relationships as much as the story. In fact, that’s what helped Squid game resonate with so many people. This strength is also found in Time to hunt, a dystopian hit that takes the same care with its own characters.
The film follows a group of friends who struggle to survive after a financial disaster brings down the Korean won. In this version of Seoul, only US dollars carry weight. The gang, desperate to escape the city, decide to rob a local gambling network for the funds they need. Although their heist goes off without a hitch, it attracts the attention of a visionary hitman.
Time to hunt is a twisted cat and mouse game set against the crumbling neon backdrop of Seoul. His focus on flawed and naive young criminals is akin to the humanity shown in Hellsinners, and the sympathetic prospect helps drive the thriller home. It also stars Park Hae-soo of Squid game celebrity, as well as Park Jeong-min, who plays journalist Bae Young-Jae in Hellthe last three episodes.
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