15 South Korean Thrillers Available On Netflix That Are A Must Watch


Netflix offers an array of K-dramas and Korean movies to binge-watch. Everything from drama, romance, mystery, and even suspenseful thrillers. K-drama thrillers and movies come in a variety of genres from the supernatural to even ruthless crime. People have been hooked on South Korean culture and the phenomenon of K-dramas and movies is no different.

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While shows like Itaewon Class and Crash Landing on You have become dramas with a touch of romance that has fans enthralled, there so much more to explore. These thrillers have a way of making any viewer feel the chills or anxious to get the next episode or film started. Before you know it, you’ve binge-watched an entire season in a matter of days. Even if one show or movie is done, there’s plenty more to get through to satisfy that itch for a thriller.

Updated on April 8th, 2021 by Gabriela Silva: South Korean television shows and movies have risen the ranks for being some of the best of the best when it comes to must-watch content. The Oscar-winning movie, Parasite pushed Korean thriller movies further up the ladder. Netflix has allowed fans from around the world to binge-watch South Korean thrillers and it hasn’t stopped adding more to its repertoire of content. It’s time to make a list of Korean thrillers series, crime dramas, and more for an endless Friday movie/tv night. 

15 The Lies Within (2019)

In 2020, Netflix debuted a South Korean thriller K-drama titled, The Lies Within. The show has a lot of storyline to digest and that’s part of what makes it worth watching. A once enthusiastic detective wants to shift over to a simple life. But before Jo Tae-Sik (Lee Min-Ki) can do so, he takes on another case.

The death of a lawmaker has Tae-Sik suspecting the cases isn’t as clear-cut as everyone assumes. On the other end is the lawmaker’s daughter whose husband is missing. Kim Seo-Hui (Lee Yoo-Young) becomes a lawmaker to help uncover her father’s death and save her husband.

14 The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion (2018)

Ja-Yoon looking at herself in the mirror in The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion

The Netflix mystery action movie interweaves thrill and a few unforeseen abilities. The movie starts with the explosion of a secret laboratory that leads everyone to suspects the tenants have died. The owners are unaware that a little girl who was a test subject escaped and gets adopted by a loving family.

Years later, the girl suffers from severe migraines and needs money to help her family. She enters a singing contest where she makes a microphone levitate. This alerts the people who kept her captive years prior. Fans won’t anticipate the movie’s end twist that will have fans itching for a sequel.

13 The Call (2020)

Young-Sook talking on cordless phone in The Call

Most people don’t expect to answer a phone call from a recipient living in the past. The movie, The Call debuted on Netflix in 2020 and tagged as a psychological thriller. The movie switches between two different characters in 2019 and 1999.

Kim Seo-Yeon (Park Shin-Hye) travels back home to visit her sick mother and loses her cellphone along the way. At home, she answers a call from the cordless phone. It’s a woman named Oh Young-Sook (Jeon Jong-Seo) who’s being abused by her adoptive mother. But things get complicated as they try to change each other’s fates that turn into dire and dangerous consequences.

12 Hell Is Other People (2019)

Jong-Woo with building tenants behind him in Hell is Other People

Hell is Other People is also known as Strangers from Hell. The 2019 K-drama is based on a popular webtoon of the same name. Within the series 10 episodes, audiences will feel chills as a young man fears his new tenants and their extracurricular activities.

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Yoon Jong Woo (Im Si-Wan) moves into a less than desirable tenant complex after getting a new job. From the first day, Jong Woo is wary of the sketchy and bizarre tenants. Growing increasingly paranoid, Jong Woo starts to uncover the bloody and heinous truth of the building’s residents.

11 Sweet Home (2020)

Eun-Hyuk with his hand on Hyun-Soo's shoulder in Sweet Home

If looking for an apocalyptic horror/thriller that has some unique monsters and storyline, then Netflix’s Sweet Home is a must-watch. The K-drama starts as the tenants of the building find themselves unable to leave. Outside, humans have turned into grotesque monsters that need protein to survive.

Its title character is Cha Hyun-So (Song Kang), a suicidal teen who’s new to the building. Unlike the others, he shows all signs of turning into a monster but doesn’t. He has their abilities but retains his human form. Fans will see his gut-wrenching battle to keep his sanity as he helps the building tenants survive.

10 Tunnel (2017)

Titled as a crime-thriller, Tunnel is a bizarre story of getting transported to the future. A dedicated detective is tasked with a serial homicide case. While chasing a possible suspect through a tunnel, he finds himself not where he’s supposed to be.

The detective is transported 30 years into the future. The murderer from his time was never caught and returns to his old tactic of murder. The detective meets a new partner and with the help of a criminal psychologist, they plan to catch the killer. The show was even inspired by a real-life serial killer in the late 80s and 90s.

9  The Chase (2017)

Yun‑shik Baek and Sung Dong‑il in The Chase

When a serial murder escapes prosecution, it destroys a detective how was working the case. Thirty years after the heinous crimes, the same Modi Operandi occurs in a new neighborhood. This time, the detective is now retired but that won’t stop him from finally catching the killer.

He seeks the help of another man who owns property in the neighborhood. He’s equivalent to the older woman or man who always has their eyes and ears to what goes on all day, every day. Together they hope to bring the killer to justice.

8 Bad Guys: Vile City (2017)

Park Joong-hoon as Woo Je-mun in Bad Guys: Vile City

Netflix offers the first installment of Bad Guys: Vile City or also known as Bady Guys 2. The show is a spin-off series from the original Bad Guys in 2014.  Both shows follow the same type of storyline. Who better to catch a heinous criminal than criminals themselves?

To take down a ruthless business leader, a prosecutor takes drastic measures. He assembles a team that many are wary of. He gathers men with criminal pasts to help take down a villain who controls the city. The show is dark, gritty, and riddled with crimes that would have anyone on the edge of their seat.

7 26 Years (2012)

Han Hye-jin as Shim Mi-jin in 26 Years

26 Years is a South Korean movie that took after a popular comic series or print cartoon. The story is dark, thrilling, and overall full of twists and turns. It’s based around a group of five seemingly ordinary people. A group including a sports shooter, a gangster, a businessman, the head of a private security firm, and a police officer.

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This group of individuals have one thing in common, they band together to assassinate a man who is responsible for a heinous crime. In 1980 troops were ordered to open fire on civilians and is said to have been ordered by the former president. 26 years later, these individuals were victims of the crime and want revenge.

6 Extracurricular (2020)

Kim Dong-hee as Oh Ji-soo in Extracurricular

Extracurricular is a K-drama that that will have the viewer binge-watching the ten episodes in one go. The story is riveting and dark and is considered a crime drama. There are countless reviews from fans saying it’s a must-watch and to not let ratings fool you.

A model high school student hides a dark secret. The K-drama isn’t a typical high school story. To pay for his college fees, a low-key student gets into a dangerous and illegal business. When another classmate discovers his secret and starts blackmailing him, he has to find a way to stop her.

5 Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019)

Lee Jung‑jae as Pastor Park in Svaha film

Svaha: The Sixth Finger is a story that audiences have to stick with to get to the unsuspected twist ending. Viewers loved the movie’s cinematography, acting, and horror/thriller story based on religion. The movie starts with the unusual birth of two infants. Years later audiences are introduced to a man who works to expose cults and is hired to investigate a mysterious group.

As the investigation goes on, this group is much more than a parlor trick and has ties to a dark history. The movie uses different aspects of religion and poses questions about faith and dedication. The movie has a twist no one saw coming and will have viewers question who is the real evil.

4 Save Me (2017)

Seo Ye-ji as Im Sang-mi in Save Me

When it comes to thriller shows, storylines involving a cult will send chills down any viewer’s spine. That’s the case for the film, Save Me titled a thriller from 2017. It all begins when a new family moves into town and finds themselves welcomed by a church.

After the death of the family’s son, things spiral out of control. The parents get wooed into what the church offers while the daughter has suspicions that something isn’t right. Years pass in a time jump and the daughter wants out and looks to an old classmate and his friends for help in escaping a cult with ill intentions.

3 Burning (2018)

Steven Yeun as Ben in Burning

Imagine the heartache of seeing your female friend return from a trip with a new man? An aspiring writer working as a delivery man runs into a childhood friend who asks if he can take care of her cat while away in Africa. When he goes to pick her up from the airport, he finds that she brought along another man.

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Jong-Su (Yoo Ah-In) doesn’t trust this peculiar man and, when his friend vanishes, he gets worried and starts to suspect the newcomer. The movie might even pique audiences’ interest with one of the main characters being from The Walking Dead, Steven Yeun who played Glenn.

2 Voice (2017)

Lee Ha-na as Kang Kwon-joo in Voice series

The K-drama, Voice became such a hit sensation that it received a second installment and was even rebooted. This show will surely have anyone feeling a tinge of fear while watching. While out with his coworkers, a detective receives a phone call from a crime scene. His wife was brutally murdered.

On the other end, a call center employee with psycho-acoustic skills answered her distress call as well as her father’s who was murdered that same night. Years later, they remeet in the “Golden Time Team” response unit to solve cases. Each case is as twisted and chilling as the next. Together they try to uncover the truth behind a serial killer responsible for their loved ones’ deaths.

1 Time To Hunt (2020)

Choi Woo‑shik, Lee Je‑hoon, Park Hae Soo and Ahn Jae-hong in Time to Hunt

This crime thriller takes place in a dystopian future in South Korea. Fans of the movie praised it for its dynamic characters, thrilling action, and colorful visuals that help bring it all together. The story revolves around a group of young adult men planning a heist.

After the crash of the Korean won, the group of friends plans a heist to get out of their predicament. After completing what they set out to do, they anger the owner of the gambling house, leading him to hire a contract killer to go after the group of friends. The friends must now evade a killer and survive.

NEXT: 10 Best Scenes From K-Dramas That Live Rent Free In Every Fan’s Head


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Updated: April 8, 2021 — 6:55 am

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