A list of 13 South Korean revenge movies.
We Know That No One Does Revenge Movies Quite Like South Korea. Hope You Enjoy The List
1: HWAYAI A MONSTER BOY
Like most South Korean revenge movies, this is fast, vicious, and brutal. The acting is great, with a memorable performance from the lead character, a talented young actor who could also break your face.
Also, it is refreshing and a little different to see that our man out for vengeance is a sixteen-year-old boy.
Make no mistake though, he is a killing machine and has been learning how to fight and kill since he was a child.
I found out about this film after watching the great S.Korean comedy Castaway On The Moon. I was so impressed by the lead’s performance I went on to IMDb to see his other movies and found this revenge film.
Bedevilled is very much a revenge movie, although we don’t get to see any revenge until the final acts of the film.
The film is slow-burning and does not have all the action or fighting that we are used to in South Korean revenge films.
The slow-burning plot is necessary – we get to know her character and feel lots of sympathy for her. We also learn to hate her abusers, and this brilliant and unsettling build-up sets the tone of the film.
We watch a woman get tortured and abused in a small village for years. One day she is pushed to the edge and decides to take revenge on the villagers who have abused her….with a giant sickle!
4: I SAW THE DEVIL
One of the fasted and most brutal revenge movies that I have ever seen. This film just doesn’t let up, it is just hardcore from beginning to end. When the story gets going, and it does so quite early on. Things move so fast and relentless that you’ll find yourself gagging for air.
The acting is top-notch with both main characters playing brilliantly off each other. Choi Min-Sik takes on another dark role and gives us a great on-screen serial killer. The man can do no wrong in my eyes. I would watch just about anything that Choi Min-Sik features in.
Soo is a South Korean revenge movie that requires some dissection and maybe multiple viewings.When I finished the film for the first time, I was left underwhelmed. It was still in my head the next day, so I decided that it was time for another watch.
With the second viewing, it all started to come together and make sense. This a slow-burning character-driven revenge movie, a must-see for fans of the genre.
All I ask is for you to make up your mind about the film. If you read the reviews, you’ll find that a lot of people think that Soo is a rip-off. That sort of stuff pisses me off. Why does everyone feel the need to compare it to the likes of Oldboy or A Bittersweet Life?.
The only things that Soo has in common with those films are that they are both from South Korea and they both are about revenge.
6: THE MAN FROM NOWHERE
Another classic South Korean revenge movie that I am sure you’ve all seen. This film was just like a South Korean version of Leon The Professional.
Featuring some amazing choreographed fight scenes and a very talented ass-kicking bone-breaking cast.
7: COIN LOCKER GIRL
A film I have followed closely for months. Although the description below does not sound like a South Korean revenge movie, I can assure you that it is.
The girl who is brought up by the crime boss goes rogue, and the only way out of the life of crime is to go after the head of the family, the one who trained her.
The film has played at various festivals throughout the world, and I haven’t yet read a single bad review. I also like that our main hero in the movie is female. I am looking forward to seeing some excellent fight choreography, along with dark, brutal vengeance
8: OLD BOY
One of the biggest films in South Korean history and one of the all-time greatest South Korean revenge movies from visionary director Park Chan-Wook
Oldboy told the story of a man imprisoned for 15 years without reason. He spends his time locked away training and planning revenge on the person who is responsible for locking him up. When he is released, he has five days to find the man responsible – and to find out who imprisoned him.
9: SYMPATHY FOR MYR VENGEANCE
Part of the famous Vengeance trilogy from Park Chan-Wook. This great trilogy set the standard high in S.Korean cinema and made director Chan-Wook one of the most famous directors to ever come out of S.Korea.
12: SYMPATHY FOR LADY VENGEANCE
Still an excellent film, but it’s my least favourite from the Vengeance Trilogy. I haven’t watched the movie in years, so I think it might be time for a revisit.
11: THE DEAL
Another one that I have followed for months. The Deal broke a box-office record when released for being one of the highest-grossing S.Korean movies to hit the cinemas.
“Revenge”, and “serial killers” are my two favourite words when it comes to South Korean cinema. They just do it so well.
I have been looking forward to seeing Monster for over a year now. I finally had the chance to watch it when I found it on Netflix.
The film is not without its issues, but overall I thought it was a great South Korean revenge movie.
Be warned there is a lot of crying in the film- it was almost unbearable. I nearly turned off the movie so that I could rest my head from the wailing sounds of that actress.
The revenge doesn’t take place until the final acts of the film. Our two main characters have both lost loved ones at the hands of a serial killer.
They spend most of their time running from the killer until they have no choice but to take a stand and fight. This final act of revenge is why Monster makes my South Korean Revenge article. It also stars the young kid from Netflix original OKJA
13: THE FIVE
Been looking forward to this film for a long time. I have read mixed reviews, but I won’t let that bother me. I always love a good serial-killer movie and no one does it better than South Korea if you ask me.
Great concept, The Five is about a group of ordinary people who are all in need of an organ transplant. A dying woman offers her organs in exchange for an act of revenge on a serial killer who murdered her husband and daughter.
Words by Gary Gamble
Founder/Owner/BigCheese @ Moviehooker