PARASYTE: THE GREY on Netflix is a new sci-fi horror series from South Korea. It’s based on a Japanese Manga, but some changes have been made. Season 1 has just six episodes. Read our Parasyte: The Grey series review here!

PARASYTE: THE GREY is a new Netflix series from South Korea (original title Gisaengsu: Deo Geurei).  While this is a South Korean production – which shows in all the right ways – it is actually based on a Japanese manga.

Fans of genre director Yeon Sang-ho, who gave us Train to Busan, Hellbound, and Jung_E will be happy as he is behind this. Season 1 has just six hour-long episodes and we watched them all for this review. Fans of the manga will see a familiar character in the final scene of the season.

Continue reading our Parasyte: The Grey season 1 review below. Find it on Netflix from April 5, 2024.

A different kind of alien invasion

When the series opens, it’s immediately clear that Parasyte: The Grey is very much a sci-fi horror story. We watch as a spore falls from the sky, bouncing gently and looking like a squishy toy before a tentacle sprouts out.

The emerging creature slithers toward the nearest person and jumps into their brain through their ear!

Where did the weird spore blob come from? Who knows?! It certainly is not of this world. What we do come to know quickly is that the human infected by the slithering alien turns into a tentacled creature that endangers everyone in sight.

Let’s just say that it gets brutal and deadly from that point on.

If you’ve watched the Hulu movie No One Will Save You (2023), you may recognize the way human beings continue to exist while no longer being human. Instead, they are now controlled by the parasite in their brain.

Well, except for our lead character, who ends up in a strange symbiotic relationship with her parasite.

A bit like in Venom except the parasite in Parasyte: The Grey wants only to protect its host. It does nothing to endanger her. Quite the opposite. It can even control its obviously natural hunger for human flesh. Oh yes, we have become food to the aliens in this series.

Parasyte: The Grey – Review | Netflix Sci-fi Horror Series

Alien-human hybrid on the run

As already mentioned, this new South Korean Netflix series is based on a Japanese manga. The bite-sized plot description is to say that we follow a mutant alien-human hybrid on the run. Who is she on the run from? Well, just about everyone before the end of season 1.

Jeon So-nee (Our Blooming Youth) stars as Jeong Su-in. A young woman who has had a brutal childhood and is saved by the parasite infesting her brain. The parasite part of her means she enters into a sort of Jekyll and Hyde character.

Ultimately, another character works with her and he sees them both and refers to the parasite version of her as Hyde. His name is Seol Kang-woo and he’s a bit of a criminal type, but with his heart in the right place. Most of the time. Seol Kang-woo is portrayed by Koo Kyo-hwan of Peninsula and Kill Bok-soon.

From Hyde to Heidi

Deciding that Hyde sounds too sinister, he changes the nickname of the alien parasite to Heidi. In essence, Jeon So-nee plays both Jeong Su-in and Heidi, who have very different personalities. She’s wonderfully cast in the lead role.

While all the parasites (as in humans infected by aliens) want to eat all the human flesh they can, there’s a line of defense called “Team Grey”. They are working to eradicate the alien threat by any means necessary. Choi Jun-kyung (Lee Jung-hyun) is the leader of the Team Grey task force.


Be sure to check out the brilliant Hellbound which has a second season coming >

I want to highlight that several episodes begin with brief flashbacks that help us understand the characters in their current situation. If someone seems too dark, too good, or just too evil, we usually get an idea of how they came to be this way via the brief flashbacks at the beginning of an episode.

A brilliant way to ensure the character-driven storyline has the intended impact.

As is usually (or always) the case with South Korean stories, nobody is entirely good or bad. Everyone is capable of doing a good thing or a terrible thing, regardless of how we have seen them act otherwise. I love this about the South Korean take on storytelling.

Other key characters include Kim Chul-min, a police detective and old friend of Jeon So-nee, portrayed by Kwon Hae-hyo (The Vanished). Kang Won-seock (Kim In-kwon) as Chul-min’s colleague, and Kwan Hyuk-ju (Lee Hyun-kyun) as a pastor a the center of the alien conspiracy.

Watch Parasyte: The Grey Season 1 on Netflix!

Parasyte: The Grey is based on the manga “Parasyte” by Japanese author Hitoshi Iwaaki. However, this Netflix adaption does feature an original story simply set in the same universe. Many of the details from the manga are still in this story. Just in slightly different ways.

As this is a South Korean production directed by Yeon Sang-ho (Train to Busan, Hellbound, Jung_E) it also takes place in South Korea. Specifically, the location has changed from Fukuyama in Hiroshima, Japan in the manga to being set in a South Korean city called Namil in the series.

Still, as much as the story of the series is original, it is clearly set in the same universe as the manga. Also, the final scene of season 1 introduces a character that is obvious to build season 2 around. Especially as this character is the very same as the lead character of the original Japanese manga.

A perfect ending scene of season 1 that offers the perfect segway to season 2 (or a Japanese spin-off) while also wrapping up the story of this South Korean series perfectly. And yes, obviously, I want a season 2 of Parasyte: The Grey as we have only just begun to know this world.

Parasyte: The Grey is on Netflix globally from April 5, 2024.


Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Script: Yeon Sang-ho, Ryu Yong-jae, Hitoshi Iwaaki
Cast: Jeon So-nee, Koo Kyo-hwan, Lee Jung-hyun, Kwon Hae-hyo, Kim In-kwon, Lee Hyun-kyun


When unidentified parasites violently take over human hosts and gain power, humanity must rise to combat the growing threat.

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
Latest posts by Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard (see all)