Kingdom is a new Netflix zombie series from South Korea. It’s one of the most beautiful and brutal zombie productions that mixes horror, thriller, and fantasy with a period piece. Watch season 1 on Netflix now!

Kingdom is a Netflix series made in South Korea, and since we love Korean horror productions, this is our kind of show. The basic premise is that this is the story of a zombie apocalypse. Or rather, people trying to stop a zombie outbreak from becoming an apocalypse.

The 6 episodes of Kingdom is actually a period piece which lends a very different feeling to the overall story. In a really good way. For one, fighting zombies is different since both weapons and communication was on another level.

Of course, those of us who watch The Walking Dead know how efficient a samurai sword is against zombies!

Season 1 of Kingdom can easily be binge-watched in a weekend and it is well worth your time. So just surrender to this glorious take on a zombie apocalypse in ancient Korea.

Watch Kingdom if you liked Train to Busan

The fact that Kingdom takes place many centuries ago, makes this Netflix series very different from the famous Korean zombie movie Train to Busan. Though the zombies do actually move in a somewhat similar way. Something I really loved!

Recommended: Read our review of the brilliant Korean zombie movie Train to Busan here >

However, the zombies in Kingdom are very different from what we see in other zombie movies and TV shows. Not in their overall look or how they act. But in other ways, they’re reminiscent of vampires.

For one, they seem to go into hibernation during the daytime and only “wake up” once the sun sets. That’s classic vampire behavior. They also tend to go for the neck to bite, but this may just be because it’s easy to access due to the lack of clothing. 

Kingdom Review – Netflix series

Wait for the zombies

Even though this is a zombie show, the zombies don’t really make an appearance until the very end of episode 1. During episode 2 we get a bit more information and see more of them. However, the two first episodes really do spend a lot of time just setting the stage.

There are quite a lot of characters and a lot of background information, we need to get into first. It’s not too bad, but it does require its viewers to pay attention. This is typical of Korean storytelling.

Very few movies from South Korea have a runtime under two hours due to this. Character portrayals are important and so is showing things rather than simply stating them with a few lines of dialogue. In Kingdom, this also means we get to see the most gorgeous shots of both Korean nature, culture, and architecture.

Also read: Must-see South Korean Horror Movies and Thrillers! 

Since you can easily binge-watch a show on Netflix, this really is the perfect platform for Kingdom. It does take time to get into, but it is worth it in the end. The slow-burn is rewarded with lots of brutal events later on.

The beginning of K-drama

Kingdom is the first Korean series to be streamed on Netflix and seems to just be the beginning of K-drama on Netflix. A series titled Love Alarm has also been confirmed. This happened before the news of Kingdom came, but they’re starting with this zombie drama.

For people who don’t watch Korean productions, Kingdom has Doona Bae in one of the leading roles. She had key roles in both The Wachowskis’ movie Cloud Atlas and their Netflix series Sense8

And if you have watched some of the biggest hit movies from South Korea, then you also know her from The Host and The Tunnel.

From Korean movies, you may also recognize Ju Ji-hoon who plays the Crown Prince. And I have to mention Kim Sang-ho, who (at times) is almost like a comedic sidekick to the Crown Prince. For example, he has the glorious line “What about the beef pancakes?” which comes at a very indelicate time!

Oh, and I should also mention that, of course, you can watch Kingdom dubbed in English on Netflix. But please, do yourself a favor and watch it in the original language. I know it requires more concentration, but it does leave you with a much better experience.

Korean zombie series Kingdom is on Netflix now!

The director of Kingdom is Kim Seong-hun. Previously, Kim Seong-hun wrote and directed the Korean survival movie The Tunnel, which is also a recommended watch.

The script was written by Kim Eun-hee and is based on “Kingdom of the Gods”. Kim Eun-hee has already worked on several productions before and won several awards for writing the Korean television series Signal

If you liked Train to Busan and you’ll give the story a chance, then you should enjoy this. Also, it visually reminded me of Park Chan-wook’s breathtaking movie The Handmaiden. Not at this level, but getting there.

Park Chan-wook also made the vampire movie Thirst and the original Oldboy, so he’s definitely no stranger to the horror genre in Korean filmmaking. In fact, he’s pretty much the master of it!

Season 2 of Kingdom is on the way

Yes, there will be a season 2 of Kingdom, so you might as well get on board now. In fact, season 2 is reportedly beginning production in February 2019 according to Variety. And the plan is to renew the series annually.

For now, you can watch the 6 episodes in Season 1 of the Korean zombie series Kingdom on Netflix now.

Season 1 of Kingdom is out on Netflix worldwide from January 25, 2019.

Details

Director: Kim Seong-hun
Writer: Kim Eun-hee
Cast: Ju Ji-hoon, Bae Doona, Ryu Seung-ryong

Plot

While strange rumors about their ill king grip a kingdom, the crown prince becomes their only hope against a mysterious plague overtaking the land.

Karina

Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard

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

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Review Date
Reviewed Item
Kingdom – Season 1 [Netflix]
Rating
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