HELLBOUND on Netflix is a new series from South Korea (org. title Jiok). This is a real genre-hybrid by the writer-director of Train to Busan and it’s based on his own webtoon. The first five minutes give you a taste of just how brutal it can be. Read our full Hellbound season 1 review here!
HELLBOUND is a new Netflix series from South Korea (org. title Jiok). While I am not a huge fan of the CGI “Hell monsters” that brutally kill people to drag their souls to Hell, I respect that it’s based on a webtoon. Essentially, they are based on that particular creative origin, which it obviously needs to stay true to. Also, the webtoon was created by the Train to Busan filmmaker!
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Our review of the Korean zombie mega-hit Train to Busan by the writer-director of Hellbound >
However much I might not find the monsters themselves scary, I do find their actions very terrifying. This Netflix series is not for the weak of heart. They’ve labeled it a “gory thriller”, which doesn’t exactly seem right to me, but it isn’t wrong either. Also, it’s +18 which should tell you a lot about the level of violence.
Continue reading our Hellbound season 1 review below. The season has six episodes and you can watch them all on Netflix now.
Yoo Ah-in plays a powerful religious leader
As the religious leader (or cult leader, if you will), we see Yoo Ah-in who is amazing at giving these dead stares that should make your skin crawl. Fortunately, we’ve also seen Yoo Ah-in as the charming zombie survivor in #Alive. Also, he was truly breathtaking in the 2018 movie Burning which co-starred Steven Yeun of Okja, Mayhem, and The Walking Dead.
SEE YOO AH-IN AS A VERY DIFFERENT CHARACTER
Check out our review of #Alive – a zombie movie you can also find on Netflix >
Obviously, people don’t believe that monsters are coming to drag people to Hell. Especially not when these stories are combined with the fact that they are supposedly warned by an angel a few days earlier. The angel tells them exactly when they will die, but not where or why.
Well, the “where” obviously becomes wherever the person is at the time given. That’s where the monsters will show up.
And since more and more of these “demonstrations of God’s power” are recorded and shown online, the conspiracy theories and religious impact are huge. Why “God” is always proven to exist by way of the Devil is something you might want to consider while watching Hellbound.
Also, the many “armchair investigators” and “Vloggers” featured here are all-too-realistic for what is happening in the world these years. To me, that’s even scarier than the monsters.
Is Hellbound a horror series?
Even though Netflix is calling this a “gory thriller”, Hellbound could most definitely be called a horror series as well. The fact that it’s based on a webtoon and revolves around people being beaten to death by monsters, who drag their souls to Hell also sounds very much like a horror plot.
If in doubt, let me put it this way; Watch the first five minutes of episode 1 of Hellbound and decide for yourself if this Netflix series looks like a thriller. Better yet, watch this with someone who cannot stomach horror and see if they can handle it! And if you like it, then I can reveal that episode 3 opens with a similarly brutal scene.
Actually, it’s even darker for reasons I won’t get into here. That would be too much of a spoiler for anyone not familiar with the plot.
Admittedly, this is definitely a real genre-hybrid. But when it gets dark and brutal, it’s in very extreme ways. So far, humans tend to be scarier than the actual monsters from Hell. The actual monsters (that always arrive in a trio) look like the strange lovechild of the Hulk and Venom. Essentially a skinless Hulk with gray and black muscles.
Watch season 1 of Hellbound on Netflix now!
As already mentioned, Hellbound is based on a webtoon by Yeon Sang-ho, who also directed and co-wrote Train to Busan. And the sequel Peninsula which wasn’t quite as strong. Unfortunately. Check out our review of Peninsula here, if you’re curious about our take on it >
With this Netflix series, Yeon Sang-ho is back to a very character-and monster-based story. Of course, not all monsters are of the supernatural variety. Just like zombies are never the only (or worst) monsters in zombie stories.
Season 1 has just six episodes (each around one hour long) and it’s very binge-worthy. Especially since the episodes end on cliffhangers. Also, if you don’t binge-watch it, then it’s a good thing that every new episode begins with a minute or two from the previous episode. Often shown from a different angle though, so do not skip it.
Hellbound season 1 is out on Netflix from November 19, 2021.
Will there be a Hellbound Season 2?
The Hellbound season 1 ending certainly indicates that there will be a Hellbound season 2! We’re still waiting for a green light from Netflix though.
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Writer: Choi Kyu-seok
Stars: Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Jeong-min, Won Jin-a, Yang Ik-june
A story about otherworldly beings who appear out of nowhere to issue a decree and condemn individuals to hell. These supernatural events cause great mayhem and enable the religious group The New Truth to grow in influence. A few people, however, become suspicious about its activities and begin investigating its involvement in mysterious events.
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