On this Halloween day, the editors of the TV/Cine section have decided to return to dramas and films with the theme of the supernatural and Korean mythology.
Do you want to spend your Halloween evening at home in front of your screen and don’t know which Korean drama or film to choose for the occasion? The owls are here to the rescue. They have concocted a list of dramas and films where the supernatural, folklore and Korean mythology are the main themes. And there’s something for everyone ! Good viewing !
The supernatural and Korean mythology at the heart of Korean dramas and films
Condensed folklore with Mystic Pop-Up Bar
Mystic Pop-Up Bar tells the story of a woman condemned to solve the problems of humans after having antagonized the spirit world. With this very episodic scenario (each episode has its own problem to solve) the drama has the advantage of being able to touch on many aspects of Korean mythology and folklore. For example, we find the notion of the sacred tree (or 당산나무) throughout the drama, a highly symbolic place in Korean folklore since it represents both the mystical guardian of a village, but also the tree-altar. thanks to which Dangun, legendary founder of Korea, would have appeared.
The drama also tackles the subject of past lives and reincarnation, beliefs inherent in Buddhism which was a state religion for a long time before the Joseon era (1392). Finally, if you have always wondered what these famous “conception dreams” could be (a woman or someone close to her had a dream announcing her upcoming pregnancy), Mystic Pop-Up Bar offers you a caustic revisit of this myth. The drama is an open door to many myths and folklores to discover.
Spirits and shamanism in The Wailing
If you are looking for a thriller panting who has fun with you at the gates of the supernatural, The Wailing is made for you. First a thriller atmosphere with its small village lost in the mountains, the film also offers you a representation of minds and superstitions to lose your mind. Good spirit ? Bad spirit ? Simple discrimination of foreigners in the village? It’s up to you to decide. And to ward off bad luck, when nothing else works, nothing better than to call on the shaman to purify your home and your village. Discover certain beliefs and practices thousands of years old in this film where you will have to be very attentive if you do not want to sink, too.
Epic journey after death with the diptych ofAlong With the Gods
In Along With The Gods The Two Worlds, Kim Ja Hong, played by Cha Tae Hyun, is a generous and hardworking firefighter. He discovers with amazement after yet another mission that he died while he once again saved lives. Three angels of death await him to lead him through seven judgments he must pass through to rest in peace. At first glance, Kim Ja Hong is a paragon of virtue, that is, an exemplary human who should pass judgments with flying colors. But nothing will happen as planned and the firefighter’s companions will try to thwart the shadows and the intrigues that gather around him. Join Ha Jung Woo, Ju Ji Hoon and Kim Hyang Gi in this fantastic film that delves into the depths of the human soul, written and directed by Kim Yong Hwa (Ashfall 2021, Escape From Mogadishu)
The second film is a direct sequel to the first but focuses more on the characters of the Three Angels of Death who seek to reincarnate. Where will their quest take them? Are they ready to face the truth that awaits them at the end of the road? Along with the Gods The Last 49 Days adopts a more melancholic tone and a more historical atmosphere while continuing to introduce the viewer to the Korean vision of what happens after death.
Macabre encounter with a tortuous spirit in The Guest (2018)
The Guest This is by far the best horror drama I’ve seen. The tension is palpable from the first to the last episode, the cursed spirit is never far away, it does not let us go. Produced by the OCN chain, The Guest takes us to meet a young boy endowed with supernatural powers who ends up being possessed by a very powerful demon who answers to the name of “Son”. This demon can control other minds and manipulate human beings as it pleases. Humans thus possessed sink into a madness, often murderous.
Reunited as adults, Kim Jae Wook—wonderful as a Catholic exorcist priest—Kim Dong Wook and Jung Eun Chae join forces to hunt down and fight the malevolent spirit in hopes of getting rid of it. for ever. Shamanism, exorcism and murder are on the program of this impeccably produced horror drama! Have a strong heart, because it is difficult to come out unscathed!
A life haunted by ghosts in Master’s Sun (2013)
In this classic of the genre, the Hong sisters, famous romantic comedy screenwriters, flirt with horror in a unique take on opposites. Joo Joong Won (So Ji Sub) is a CEO who only cares about money. Tae Gong Sil (Kang Hyo Jin) is a sensitive assistant who suffers from insomnia due to her ability to see ghosts. The latter, having been unable to find rest beyond the grave and seeing themselves obliged to have recourse to Gong Sil to achieve their ends, make the daily life of the young woman unbearable.
She discovers that by touching Jung Won her vision of ghosts disappears. Tae Gong Sil will therefore have only one goal: to stay with the CEO to try to regain a normal life. The drama is then a compendium of stories of gwisin (ghost or spirits that come from the deceased in Korea). These are souls from bodies that wander between two universes, because often something is missing before they pass into the beyond.
Mythology and folklore around Goblin: the Lonely and Great God (2016)
Goblins, or Dokkaebi in Korean, are one of the most common creatures in traditional folklore. Rather seen as pranksters and susceptible little elves in the West, it is difficult to compare them to the Korean vision.
Here, the story of this hit drama revolves around a protective goblin, a former war general who needs a human to end his immortality. He then meets a young girl, the goblin’s bride, who must remove the sword that was used to kill him 900 years earlier.
A cohabitation is established between the two heroes and another mythical character: the Reaper. His job is to be the messenger from the afterlife and he is on Earth to collect the souls who have just left this world. Slightly revisited, this romance, cradled by a most bewitching OST, will not fail to transport us to different myths and folklores of Korean culture.
Did you like this article? We invite you to read the article in the Travel Guide section on cult horror drama filming locations.