A SHOP FOR KILLERS on Hulu and Disney+ is a mystery-thriller series from South Korea (org. title: Sarinjaui Syopingmol). The story deals with the dark web and assassins, so it gets quite violent. Read our A Shop for Killers Season 1 review here!

A SHOP FOR KILLERS is a new Disney+ production (also on Hulu in the US) about the underworld in South Korea (org. title: Sarinjaui Syopingmol). It’s a mystery-thriller series with eight episodes in season 1.

The story is all about the niece (not nephew, as many plots state) of a killer. She had no idea what his line of business was, but she quickly discovered this after his passing. Mostly due to everyone wanting to kill her now!

Continue reading our A Shop for Killers Season 1 review below. Find it on Disney+ and Hulu from January 17, 2024.

Classic South Korean storytelling

The story of A Shop for Killers is set in modern-day South Korea. We meet the college student Jeong Ji-an in the opening scene, where she’s diving for cover in her childhood home. A highly skilled assassin is trying to kill her.

And that’s where the story begins before we see Ji-an think back to the valuable lessons of her uncle. She will need to remember everything he taught her if she’s to survive.

Her uncle has passed away very suddenly from what has been labeled as a suicide. One where he slit his own throat, which seems very strange to Ji-an.

To survive, she needs to uncover her uncle’s very secret and well-hidden job, which she thought was a simple “shopping mall” of a kind. However, it turns out it’s on the dark web. Also, his customers were the very assassins trying to kill her now.

A Shop For Killers – Review | Hulu/Disney+ Mystery-Thriller Series

A violent and wild opening

When A Shop for Killers begins, it’s in the middle of an assassination attempt on our lead character. Of course, we don’t know that she’s the lead character yet, but we’re about to find out.

And yes, before I go any further, episode 1 can be a bit confusing as there are many time jumps back and forth. Some are easy to follow (usually because the lead character has a different age or look) while others are more tricky.

It’s not impossible to keep track, but it does require a lot from us viewers at a point in time when we’re still trying to figure out what’s going on.

You may recognize a few of the actors if you’ve watched other South Korean movies and series. Lee Dong-wook, who plays the dark web shop owner Jeong Jin-man, was in Strangers from Hell. And Kim Hye-jun, who plays his niece Jeong Ji-an, was in Connect.

Both are South Korean series, you should check out if you like the darker and more sinister stories. Also, both are more horror-driven than A Shop for Killers, which tends to be more of an action-thriller with a mystery.

Strangers from Hell is on Netflix while Connect is on Hulu.

Watch A Shop for Killers on Disney+ and Hulu

The writers of A Shop For Killers are Ji Ho-jin and Lee Kwon, with the latter also directing episodes of the series with Noh Gyu-yeob. Writer and director of this series, Lee Kwon, previously made the horror movie Door Look (2018).

The episodes tend to be around one hour long in runtime, which is typical for South Korean productions. They are rarely short. Also typical of Korean storytelling is that it’s very character-driven.

A Shop for Killers (org. title: Sarinjaui Syopingmol) arrives on Disney+ internationally, and on Hulu and Hulu on Disney+ in the United States. The series debuts with its two first episodes which set the stage for the series nicely.

Season 1 of A Shop for Killers will have its finale (episode 8) out on March 4, 2024.

A Shop for Killers premieres on Disney+ and Hulu on January 17, 2024.

Details

Directors: Lee Kwon, Noh Gyu-yeob
Writers: Ji Ho-jin, Lee Kwon
Stars: Lee Dongwook, Kim Hyejun, Seo Hyunwoo, Jo Hansun, Park Jibin, Geum Hannah

Plot

Jian’s only guardian is her uncle. After his sudden death, she learns of a suspicious shopping mall that he left behind. Who was her uncle, and what kind of shopping mall did he run? Before Jian can even fathom what is going on, she is attacked by unidentified people who are after her uncle’s supplies. Now that she is alone, will Jian survive against them?

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard