Korean movies

“Hellbound” Netflix Korean Drama Review

The South Korean drama “Hellbound” blew up the Internet and surpassed “The Squid Game” in just one day. Some viewers admire it, others are puzzled. Does the “Hellbound” really deserve the recognition?

Plot Synopsis “Hellbound”

Production: South Korea

Created by: Netflix

6 episodes, 50 minutes

Genre: Drama, Thriller, Fantastic

Original release: 2021

Starring: Yoo Ah In (Chicago Typewriter), Won Jin Ah (She Would Never Know ), Kim Hyun Joo ( Watcher), Park Jeong Min (Time To Hunt)

Director and Screenwriter: Yeon Sang Ho

“Hellbound” / Photo: Marina Shults

“Hellbound” is not the only well-known work by director Yeon Sang Ho. He also worked on the movies “Train to Busan” and “Peninsula.” In the first part of the Busan saga, Yeon Sang Ho was a director, a screenwriter, and an actor.

Young Sang Ho / Photo: Marina Shults

The series reveals the social and moral problems of society. The influence of social media and religions on the opinion and behavior of people, and how it is easy to control people using fear of the unknown. Looting and immoral conduct under the image of good intentions.

Drama plot

The events take place between 2022 and 2027 in South Korea. One day, an otherworldly face named “Angel” appears before the “sinners” and tells them the exact date of their death. According to Angel’s decrees, “monsters” will come for the sinner and take them to Hell. However, this death will not be easy.

We should make a slight digression here. If you are very sensitive to scenes of violence and blood, it is better to refrain from watching. The series does not contain censorship and shows cruel bullying in its purest form. And not only from monsters but also from the people themselves, bringing justice.

But let’s go back to the plot. Three giant monsters come precisely at the appointed time. They beat the sinner up, tear them apart, and eventually burn a living person. Is the victim of God’s justice really a sinner? And is this really the will of God? Unfortunately, viewers will not know the answers to these questions in the first season.

The series consists of 6 episodes. The first three episodes focus on the story of the detective. Kyeong Hoon investigates unexplained supernatural crimes involving New Truth religious sect chairman Jeong Jin Soo and principled attorney Min Hye Jin.

In this segment, the viewer learns why the New Truth was founded, when its influence equaled the influence of the government and the secret of the sect founder.

In episodes 4 – 6, the viewer knows new characters. The exception is the lawyer. Now she does not openly oppose the New Truth but secretly helps to hide the death of the victims of Angel’s decrees. Why? You can ask. Why do they have to hide the death? It is because such people were automatically considered sinners, and their families were marked with the “shame mark.”

The fourth episode shows events five years later, after the death of the founder of the sect. The organization carefully covers the reason for the sudden death of the patron Jeong Jin Soo. Also, instead of a detective line, the viewers see a television producer and his wife, who had just given birth. But an Angel appeared and predicted the baby’s death in three days. But how is that possible? What is the fault of the newborn?

The appearance of an Angel in front of a newborn destroys all the dogmas of the New Truth. As a result, the sect risks losing all its influence. It is what the former lawyer decides to use. Live streaming the execution of a child was her best idea. But will the parents agree to do it? Can they just watch the monsters torment their baby’s body?

The second half of the drama leaves even more questions. And does not give a single answer. Who are these monsters? Why did the “first” sinner return from hell? In my opinion, monsters don’t care who they send to hell and how many people die. The parents sacrificed themselves to save the child. Here we can say that a voluntary sacrifice became a point of return. “God” was waiting for someone to forget about human egoism and give their life for the sake of their close one. However, is it have any sense?

Characters

Jeong Jin Soo is the head and founder of the New Truth religion. He claims that the appearance of the Angel is God’s sign, and the sentenced people are terrible sinners. However, the dogmas of his sect are sheer lies. Jeong Jin Soo believes that chaos will begin if the truth is revealed to people.

Lee Dong Wook is a blogger, passionate fan, and follower of New Truth. But despite his faith, an Angel appeared to him and sentenced him to death. The day of his execution coincided with the day of the execution of the newborn child.

Min Hye Jin is a lawyer who openly opposed New Truth from the very beginning. After the assassination attempt, she began to help people hide receiving the decree secretly.

Jin Kyeong Hoon is the detective in charge of investigating the appearance of the Angel and the monsters. His wife was killed, but the killer was quickly released. He raises his daughter.

Park Jeong Ja is a young mother who received a decree from Angel despite having two young children. Voluntarily agreed to be executed live in exchange for money and the safety of her children. She will return at the end of the sixth episode.

Bae Young Jae is a production director who worked on the movie for New Truth. The Angel sentenced his child to death, but the man is not going to watch how they want to kill his baby for nothing.

Interesting facts about “Hellbound”

Call of Hell is the first Korean drama invited to the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. The series is screened in the “Primetime” section. It is a relatively young section dedicated to series, which is in the middle of movies and TV.

“Hellbound” took 1st place on Netflix on its first day of the premiere, overtaking “The Squid Game.” However, the drama lost its position four weeks later and left Netflix’s Top 10. “The Squid Game,” however, still holds its place.

“Hellbound” is based on the webtoon, created in 2002 by the already well-known director Yeon Sang Ho.

Hellbound webtoon / Photo: Marina Shults

Many fans of the webtoon are not very happy with the adaptation of their favorite story. However, I should note that the screen monsters look nicer than in the webtoon.

Final Words

If you ask me whether I liked the series or not, my answer is no. There are a lot of unclear things and cruelty. The first season is more like a backstory than a complete story. However, this is only my personal opinion. As I said initially, some like “Hellbound” for its disclosure of social and moral problems; others – wonder what it was.

Author: Marina Shults

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