Korean Thrillers

by LadyAlston | created - 06 Nov 2014 | updated - 06 Nov 2014 | Public
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1. Memories of Murder (2003)

Not Rated | 132 min | Action, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director: Joon Ho Bong | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim, Jae-ho Song

Votes: 103,633 | Gross: $0.01M

2. Oldboy (2003)

R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

77 Metascore

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang, Dae-han Ji

Votes: 465,049 | Gross: $0.71M

3. A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Not Rated | 120 min | Action, Drama

Things go wrong for a high ranking mobster when he doesn't proceed by his boss's orders.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Byung-Hun Lee, Min-a Shin, Yeong-cheol Kim, Jung-min Hwang

Votes: 32,203

4. Joint Security Area (2000)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-Hun Lee, Kang-ho Song, Tae-woo Kim

Votes: 23,742

5. Spider Forest (2004)

R | 112 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A recently widowed TV producer is drawn to an isolated cabin in a mysterious woods.

Director: Il-gon Song | Stars: Woo-seong Kam, Jung Suh, Kyung-hun Kang, Hyun-Sung Jang

Votes: 1,973

6. Antarctic Journal (2005)

Not Rated | 115 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Strange things begin happening to an expedition deep in the Antarctic.

Director: Pil-sung Yim | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ji-tae Yu, Kyeong-ik Kim, Hee-soon Park

Votes: 1,653

7. The Man from Nowhere (2010)

R | 119 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.

Director: Jeong-beom Lee | Stars: Won Bin, Sae-ron Kim, Tae-hoon Kim, Hee-won Kim

Votes: 55,973 | Gross: $0.01M

8. The Chaser (2008)

Not Rated | 125 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

64 Metascore

A disgraced ex-policeman who runs a small ring of prostitutes finds himself in a race against time when one of his women goes missing.

Director: Hong-jin Na | Stars: Yoon-seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo, Yoo-Jeong Kim

Votes: 50,389

9. A Dirty Carnival (2006)

Not Rated | 141 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A small time thug collecting debts for the local triad is torn between his criminal aspirations and his devotion to family.

Director: Ha Yoo | Stars: In-sung Jo, Ho-jin Chun, Min Namkoong, Bo-young Lee

Votes: 7,196

10. Mother (2009)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder.

Director: Joon Ho Bong | Stars: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Goo Jin, Je-mun Yun

Votes: 38,382 | Gross: $0.55M

11. I Saw the Devil (2010)

Not Rated | 142 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

67 Metascore

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim | Stars: Byung-Hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Joon-Hyuk Lee, Kap-su Kim

Votes: 95,464 | Gross: $0.13M

12. Shiri (1999)

R | 125 min | Action, Thriller

50 Metascore

South Korean agents Ryu and Lee are tracking a female assassin from North Korea who has mysteriously disappeared. With new killings and the theft of a deadly bomb, time is running out to catch her.

Director: Je-kyu Kang | Stars: Suk-kyu Han, Min-sik Choi, Yunjin Kim, Kang-ho Song

Votes: 7,579 | Gross: $0.10M

13. Lady Vengeance (2005)

R | 115 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

75 Metascore

After being wrongfully imprisoned for thirteen years and having her child taken away from her, a woman seeks revenge through increasingly brutal means.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim, Yea-young Kwon

Votes: 65,179 | Gross: $0.21M

14. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

R | 129 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

56 Metascore

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae, Ji-Eun Lim

Votes: 56,651 | Gross: $0.05M

15. Tell Me Something (1999)

R | 118 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

61 Metascore

In Seoul, parts not matching of severed copses of three men are found in cars and bags left in public spaces. Detective Cho, who is under investigation of the Internal Affairs, is assigned ... See full summary »

Director: Yun-hyeon Jang | Stars: Suk-kyu Han, Eun-ha Shim, Hang-Seon Jang, Jung-ah Yum

Votes: 2,798

16. The Yellow Sea (2010)

R | 136 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

The attempt to carry out a hit on a professor goes terribly awry, triggering a series of violent events which force a taxi driver to run for his life.

Director: Hong-jin Na | Stars: Jung-woo Ha, Yoon-seok Kim, Sung-ha Jo, Seok-jeong Hwang

Votes: 16,490

17. Black House (2007)

PG-13 | 104 min | Horror, Thriller

Jun-oh, an insurance claims agent, faces off with a client who he suspects of committing murders with the intention of collecting insurance premiums.

Director: Terra Shin | Stars: Su-han Choi, Jung-min Hwang, In-gi Jeong, Shin-il Kang

Votes: 924

18. The Housemaid (2010)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Thriller

68 Metascore

A man's affair with his family's housemaid leads to dark consequences.

Director: Sang-soo Im | Stars: Do-yeon Jeon, Jung-jae Lee, Yuh Jung Youn, Woo Seo

Votes: 8,375 | Gross: $0.15M

19. H (2002)

R | 106 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A serial killer named Shin-Hyun gives himself up to police. He confesses to committing a series of particularly horrifying murders of exclusively female victims. He is imprisoned, awaiting ... See full summary »

Director: Jong-Hyuk Lee | Stars: Jung-ah Yum, Jin-hee Ji, Ji-ru Sung, Seung-woo Cho

Votes: 1,661

20. Voice of a Murderer (2007)

Not Rated | 122 min | Drama, Thriller

One day, the only son of famous news anchor HAN Kyung-bae, disappears without a trace. Soon, the kidnapper calls the mother demanding a $100,000 ransom. The police assign a veteran ... See full summary »

Director: Jin-pyo Park | Stars: Kyung-gu Sol, Nam-ju Kim, Dong-won Gang, Yeong-cheol Kim

Votes: 1,529

21. Princess Aurora (2005)

106 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A woman gets killed in a department store. No one imagines this could lead to serial murders, but two days after the first murder, another homicide occurs. A woman is suffocated to death ... See full summary »

Director: Eun-jin Pang | Stars: Junghwa Uhm, Seong-kun Mun, Oh-jung Kwon, Jong-won Choi

Votes: 1,050

22. Seven Days (2007)

Not Rated | 125 min | Crime, Thriller

A successful lawyer who, in order to save her daughter, is pressured into defending the innocence of a man slated to receive the death penalty.

Director: Shin-yeon Won | Stars: Yunjin Kim, Mi-suk Kim, Hee-soon Park, Moo-Seong Choi

Votes: 1,436

23. Diary of June (2005)

105 min | Crime, Thriller

On their chase of a serial killer two cops find a diary in which all committed murders and many more to come are predicted.

Director: Kyung-Soo Im | Stars: Ki-beom Jang, Ji-min Kim, Kkobbi Kim, Yunjin Kim

Votes: 621

24. No Mercy (2010)

Not Rated | 125 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

Despite of being nearly proven the murderer, a serial killer threatens to kill the daughter of a forensic pathologist if he doesn't get him bailed out.

Director: Hyeong-Joon Kim | Stars: Kyung-gu Sol, Seung-bum Ryoo, Hye-jin Han, Ji-ru Sung

Votes: 5,030

25. 4th Period Mystery (2009)

86 min | Action, Crime, Drama

High school guys must find the killer of their classmate before the next class start, in 40 minutes.

Director: Sang-yong Lee | Stars: Chi-yong Ahn, In-sook Choi, Jae-sang Han, Soo-hyang Im

Votes: 317

a.k.a. Detectives in 40 Minutes

26. Wide Awake (2007)

113 min | Drama, Thriller

Due to inadequate use of anesthetics, a young boy experiences "intra-operative awareness" during his own heart surgery, hearing every sound and movement of the procedure. The little boy is ... See full summary »

Director: Kyu-maan Lee | Stars: Myung-Min Kim, Joon-Sang Yoo, Tae-woo Kim, Yu-seok Jeong

Votes: 326

27. The Unjust (2010)

Not Rated | 119 min | Action, Crime, Drama

When the most probable serial killer suspect dies and the case looks like it's reached a dead end, police brass decide to create a killer - and anyone will do.

Director: Seung-wan Ryoo | Stars: Jung-min Hwang, Seung-bum Ryoo, Hae-jin Yoo, Ho-jin Chun

Votes: 1,640

28. 24 Hours to Die (2008)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Thriller

Chul-min is a simple truck driver whose usual cargo is liquor, vegetables and other necessities. When his daughter is diagnosed with congenital heart disease, he scrambles to borrow money ... See full summary »

Director: Hyeong-jin Kwon | Stars: Hae-jin Yoo, Goo Jin, Yeong Bang, Cheong-ja Choi

Votes: 288

29. Rainbow Eyes (2007)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Officers Kyung-yoon CHO and Eun-joo PARK are on the hunt a killer following duo of ghastly murders. The victims carry a common military past, and the secret of their past must be unraveled to find the killer.

Director: Yun-ho Yang | Stars: Kang-woo Kim, Gyu-ri Kim, Su-kyeong Lee, Duk-moon Choi

Votes: 631

30. Blind (2011)

Not Rated | 111 min | Action, Crime, Drama

Su-a loses her sight and kid brother in a car accident. No more police academy. 3 years later she takes a taxi which hits a woman. Su-a gets out. After reporting it, a cop works with her learning that her 4 other senses "see".

Director: Sang-hoon Ahn | Stars: Ha-neul Kim, Seung-ho Yoo, Hie-bong Jo, Yang Yeong-jo

Votes: 2,223

31. Moss (2010)

Not Rated | 163 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A mysterious person calls a young man and informs him that his estranged father has died in a country village. The curious son travels to the town to discover what happened. From there out ... See full summary »

Director: Woo-Suk Kang | Stars: Jae-yeong Jeong, Hae-il Park, Joon-Sang Yoo, Seon Yu

Votes: 1,954

32. Haunters (2010)

Not Rated | 100 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Cho-In can control other people's minds when they are within his field of sight.Except one man.

Director: Min-suk Kim | Stars: Dong-won Gang, Soo Go, Da-kyeong Yoon, Duk-moon Choi

Votes: 1,410

33. Secret (2009)

105 min | Thriller

Sung-ryeol is a detective in charge of violent crimes. He is an upright man, but is having an affair with his colleague's wife, and it is the reason he loses his own daughter in a car ... See full summary »

Director: Je-gu Yun | Stars: Seung-won Cha, Yun-ah Song, Seung-ryong Ryu, Joon-seo Bang

Votes: 473

34. The World of Silence (2006)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Jung-Ho a famous photographer who has a special ability to read people's minds, has just returned to Korea from abroad. Jung-Ho still can't get rid of traumatic memories of his late ... See full summary »

Director: Ui-seok Jo | Stars: Sang-kyung Kim, Yong-woo Park, Bo-bae Han, Hahm Eun-Jung

Votes: 520

35. Children... (2011)

Not Rated | 132 min | Crime, Thriller

The film is based on a true case from the early 1990s that is known among Koreans as the "disappearance of the frog children." In 1991, five elementary school students told their parents ... See full summary »

Director: Kyu-maan Lee | Stars: Yong-woo Park, Seung-ryong Ryu, Dong-il Sung, Ji-ru Sung

Votes: 1,999

36. Paradise Murdered (2007)

Not Rated | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller

Off the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, an island of 17 inhabitants exists. The so-called Paradise Island holds up to its name with its breath-taking mountains and sea coupled with ... See full summary »

Director: Han-min Kim | Stars: Hae-il Park, Sol-mi Park, Ji-ru Sung, Ju-bong Choi

Votes: 254

37. The Client (2011)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, Thriller

Elite attorney Kang Seong-Hee goes up against a top prosecutor over a case involving a man accused of killing his wife.

Director: Young-Sung Sohn | Stars: Jung-woo Ha, Hee-soon Park, Hyuk Jang, Dong-il Sung

Votes: 1,200

38. Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (2012)

Not Rated | 134 min | Action, Crime, Drama

On the verge of being fired, a corrupt customs official finds a haul of drugs and teams up with a vicious gangster to become the most powerful crime partnership in Busan.

Director: Jong-bin Yoon | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Jung-woo Ha, Jinwoong Cho, Dong-seok Ma

Votes: 4,863

39. White Night (2009)

135 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller

A pawnbroker is found murdered in a remote town. Police suspect that he was murdered by an acquaintance, as even the most experienced investigator on the case could identify no signs of ... See full summary »

Director: Shin-woo Park | Stars: Suk-kyu Han, Ye-jin Son, Soo Go, Cheol-woo Han

Votes: 917

40. Phantom: The Submarine (1999)

110 min | Action, Thriller

Phantom...Korea's first nuclear submarine. Armed with nuclear weapons and a crew with no record of existence, it embarks on a do-or-die mission into the deep waters of the Pacific.

Director: Byung-chun Min | Stars: Min-su Choi, Woo-sung Jung, Kyung-gu Sol, Byeon-chul Min

Votes: 340

41. Blood Rain (2005)

Not Rated | 119 min | Mystery, Thriller

Blood Rain tells the story of a slew of grisly murders plaguing a small, fairly isolated island village. However, it's not just the mounting death toll that's causing residents to worry, ... See full summary »

Director: Dae-seung Kim | Stars: Seung-won Cha, Yong-woo Park, Seong Ji, Se-ah Yun

Votes: 999

42. The Secret Reunion (2010)

Not Rated | 117 min | Action, Drama

A fired South Korean agent and a deserted North Korean spy meet by chance after six years and start a business partnership, each with the intention of stealing information from the other.

Director: Hun Jang | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Dong-won Gang, Yun-seo Choi, Kyeong-min Go

Votes: 3,259

43. The Showdown (2011)

111 min | Action, Drama, History

After a battle between Joseon and Qing forces in Manchuria only three soldiers from Joseon survive. They take refuge in an abandoned inn. Soon it is clear that they have as much to fear from each other as from the Qing forces.

Director: Hoon-jung Park | Stars: Hee-soon Park, Goo Jin, Chang-Seok Ko, Kap-su Kim

Votes: 227

44. Howling (2012)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Thriller

Veteran detective Sang-gil and beat cop Eun-yeong are in charge of a case that seems to involve a simple act of self-immolation. Sang-gil initially thinks that it was an accident, but dog ... See full summary »

Director: Ha Yoo | Stars: Kang-ho Song, Nayoung Lee, Jang In-ho, In-gi Jeong

Votes: 1,628

45. Man of Vendetta (2010)

Not Rated | 113 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

The life of a respected minister and loving family man shatters after his daughter is kidnapped. When she is not returned, he renounces God and becomes a corrupt businessman.

Director: Min-ho Woo | Stars: Myung-Min Kim, So-Hyun Kim, Byung-joon Lee, Joo-mi Park

Votes: 521

46. Handphone (2009)

Not Rated | 137 min | Thriller

Talent manager Seung-min sees Yoon Jin Ah, a rising actress, as his one last hope to turn his life around. Just as Jin-Ah is on the path to stardom, he receives a threat from her former ... See full summary »

Director: Han-min Kim | Stars: Yong-woo Park, Tae-woong Eom, Sol-mi Park, Bo-yeon Hwang

Votes: 435

47. Helpless (2012)

Not Rated | 117 min | Mystery, Thriller

A man searches for his fiancée who vanished without a trace just before their wedding ceremony, only to discover the shocking identity of her.

Director: Young-Joo Byun | Stars: Sun-kyun Lee, Min-hee Kim, Sung-ha Jo, Ha-yoon Song

Votes: 1,561

48. Midnight FM (2010)

Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

Sun-young, a popular radio host, decides to quit her job to take care of her ill-daughter. But, the last day of her job turns nightmarish when a murderer takes her family hostage.

Director: Sang Man Kim | Stars: Soo Ae, Ji-tae Yu, Joon-Ha Lee, Dong-seok Ma

Votes: 2,029