THE CURSED (2020) on Netflix is a series from South Korea (org. title Bangbeob). Season 1 has 12 one-hour episodes and, in classic Korean style, it’s quite slow-burn. Still, the opening scene and final moments of episode 1 are pure horror. Read our The Cursed season 1 review here!

THE CURSED is a new Netflix series from South Korea (org. title Bangbeob). As with most Korean productions, the story is character-driven and quite slow-burn. This one is perhaps a bit slower due to not being an original Netflix production. That means it really takes its time in building up the world backdrop for this story.

Still, both the opening scene and final moments of episode 1 are pure horror. So, if you just hang in there for the characters being introduced, you will be rewarded. Also, when you realize who wrote this series, you’ll know that it’s worth giving a shot!

Continue reading our The Cursed season 1 review below. You can find all 12 episodes on Netflix now.

A South Korean production

To be clear, The Cursed wasn’t produced by Netflix which is rather obvious. All the South Korean series on Netflix that are not produced by Netflix, have a different feel to them. To be honest, they do have less of an international appeal. That’s just the nature of a production made for one specific audience rather than for wide appeal.

In any case, this new series from South Korea is actually from 2020. So it’s new to Netflix more than being newly produced. The series originally aired in South Korea back in February 2020, and just over two years later, it’s out to an international audience on Netflix.

There is no doubt that the success of South Korean movies (with Parasite winning several Academy Awards) and series (where Squid Game broke all kinds of records) have led to even more South Korean productions being picked up for international release. For your own sake, just be aware that these series made for release on television in their native country, are often even slower in their pace.

Fans of Korean productions will see familiar faces

As always, the production quality is very impressive and the cast is full of familiar faces. Well, if you’ve watched other production from South Korea, of course.

You’ll see Ji-so Jung and Ji-won Uhm in the lead roles. Ji-so Jung was in both Parasite (2019) and the Netflix series Hellbound (2021-), so you should recognize her face. Even if she does have a very different hairstyle now.

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Check out our review of the Netflix series Hellbound which will return with a second season >

Another familiar face from Hellbound (org. title Jiok) is Shin-rock Kim who was also in the series Beyond Evil (org. title Gwimul) which is also on Netflix – but isn’t a Netflix production. You’ll also see Min-Jae Kim who was in the Train to Busan sequel Peninsula (2020).

The Cursed: Season 1 (2020) – Review | Netflix Series

So much with this title

While The Cursed is very much its own story, there are many productions with the same title. So, let’s just get a few things clear. This latest Netflix addition from South Korea is a series with 12 one-hour episodes in its first season. If you look up the title, you will also come across a 2021 South Korean movie with the same title. That movie is part of the same universe but in a stand-alone movie form.

And yes, there is also an original Netflix production called Cursed, but that is an entirely different series. Oh, and of course, there is yet another recently released werewolf-themed movie with the same title. That one wasn’t from South Korea, but it is really worth checking out. You can read our The Cursed werewolf movie review here >

Since The Cursed is all about a CEO being some sort of demon, and a young girl having the ability to curse (and kill) people from a distance, the title is very appropriate. Still, a more telling (and unique) title would probably have been smarter.

Watch season 1 of The Cursed on Netflix now!

The Cursed (org. title Bangbeob) was directed by Yong-wan Kim and written by screenwriter Sang-ho Yeon. While Yong-wan Kim is relatively new to film and television, Sang-ho Yeon is one of the names you’ll come across a lot when watching South Korean genre productions.

Sang-ho Yeon directed and co-wrote the hugely successful 2016 zombie movie Train to Busan. Also, he co-wrote and directed all episodes of the Hellbound Netflix series. In other words, he is a force to be reckoned with and knows how to create amazing supernatural storylines.

Still, to be honest, I think both of the earlier mentioned series (Hellbound and Beyond Evil) are more suited for international audiences. Simply in terms of pacing and overall storytelling. Even though Beyond Evil isn’t actually a Netflix production.

However, I would definitely recommend giving this 2020 The Cursed series a shot as well. It is an intriguing and interesting story. Even if it does seem a bit forced and predictable at times. It still has quite a lot going for it.

The Cursed season 1 is out on Netflix from March 18, 2022.

Details

Creator: Kim Yong-wan
Writer: Yeon Sang-Ho
Stars: Uhm Ji-won, Jung Ji-So, Sung Dong-il, Hong Jeong-ho, Jo Min-soo, Jung Moon-sung, Jung Ziso, Kim In-kwon, Kim Min-jae, Kim Shin-rock, Lee Joong-ock, Nam Yeon-woo, Seo Ji-hoo

Plot

A truth-chasing journalist goes up against the demonic CEO of an IT conglomerate with the help of a teenager with the ability to cast deadly curses.

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