7 thrilling Korean serial killer movies: Memories of Murder, Midnight and more

Delve into the eerie world of Korean psychological thrillers about serial killers with our curated list of seven scary thrillers that will keep you hooked. From the gripping intensity of Memories of Murder to the psychological twists in Confession of Murder, each film explores the depths of criminal psychology and the dark complexities of human nature.

These films, including Howling, Paradise Murdered and Manhole, showcase South Korean cinema's mastery of creating suspenseful stories with unexpected twists. Prepare for a thrilling journey into the minds of murderers and the detectives who pursue them in these gripping films.

The 7 best South Korean psycho killer films for a scary experience

1. Memories of a murder

  • Cast: Kim Sang Kyung, Song Kang Ho
  • Director: Bong Joon Ho
  • Running time: 131 minutes
  • Genre: Neo-Noir, Crime, Thriller
  • Date of publication: May 2, 2003

Memories of Murder tells the haunting story of two detectives, Park Doo Man and Seo Tae Yoon, as they navigate a brutal series of unsolved murders in 1980s South Korea. Their clash of different investigative styles leads to a tumultuous pursuit of a cunning serial killer that tests their limits and morals. As the years pass, unresolved guilt and the terrifying legacy of the crimes linger, haunting both the community and those sworn to protect them.

2. Howling

  • Cast: Song Kang Ho, Lee Na Young
  • Director: Yoo Ha
  • Running time: 114 minutes
  • Genre: Action Thriller
  • Date of publication: February 9, 2012

In Howling, Detective Jo Sang Gil and newcomer Cha Eun Young pursue a chilling case involving a series of deaths linked to a deadly wolfhound. As they unravel the mystery, they are confronted with corruption, betrayal, and a dangerous web of deceit that leads them into a high-stakes confrontation with a powerful minister. Amid the chaos, their resolve and teamwork are tested, leading to a gripping climax that has a lasting impact on their careers and personal lives.

3. Confession of murder

  • Cast: Jung Jae Young, Park Si Hoo
  • Director: Jung Byung Gil
  • Running time: 119 minutes
  • Genre: Action Thriller
  • Date of publication: November 8, 2012

In Confession of Murder, Detective Choi Hyeong Goo embarks on a relentless hunt for a serial killer responsible for a string of murders. Fifteen years later, with the statute of limitations about to expire, things take a shocking turn when a man claims to be the murderer. As Detective Choi navigates deception, vengeance, and personal demons, the truth is revealed in a gripping story of justice and redemption.

4. Manhole

  • Cast: Jung Kyung Ho, Jung Yu Mi, Kim Sae Ron
  • Director: Shin Jae Young
  • Running time: 100 minutes
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Date of publication: October 8, 2014

In Manhole, the chilling story unfolds as serial killer Soo Chul traps victims in a neighborhood using a manhole cover. After ten victims go missing in just six months, the community is gripped by fear. Meanwhile, Yeon Seo races against time to save her kidnapped sister Soo Jung while navigating the dark labyrinth of mystery and suspense in a desperate fight for survival and justice.

5. Midnight

  • Cast: Jin Ki Joo, Wi Ha Joon, Kim Hye Yoon, Park Hoon, Gil Hae Yeon
  • Director: Kwon Oh Seung
  • Running time: 103
  • Genre: Psychological thriller
  • Release date: June 30, 2021

In Midnight, the tension escalates when Kyeong Mi, a deaf sign language consultant, becomes the hunted prey of serial killer Do Sik after a brutal murder. Together with Jong Tak, who is determined to protect his sister and Kyeong Mi, they embark on a dangerous mission. Amidst the escalating danger, Kyeong Mi's deaf mother joins the pair, revealing a gripping story of courage, resilience and the relentless pursuit of justice in the shadows of night.

6. The Murdered Paradise

  • Cast: Park Hae Il, Park Sol Mi, Sung Ji Ru, Lee Dae Yeon, Park Won Sang, Choi Joo Bong
  • Director: Kim Han Min
  • Running time: 112 minutes
  • Genre: Thriller, Mystery
  • Date of publication: April 12, 2007

In Paradise Murdered, the serene tranquility of Paradise Island is shattered when all 17 residents mysteriously disappear, leaving behind a grisly crime scene. With no way to escape the remote island, suspicions simmer as secrets come to light. A once idyllic haven becomes a chilling labyrinth of deceit and betrayal, where everyone is a potential suspect.

7. I miss you

  • Cast: Shim Eun Kyung, Yoon Je Moon, Kim Sung Oh
  • Director: Mo Hong Jin
  • Running time: 108 minutes
  • Genre: revenge thriller
  • Date of publication: March 10, 2016

In Missing You, Hee Joo, haunted by the unsolved murder of her father, awaits the release of Ki Bum, the convicted murderer. Determined detective Dae Young, driven by loyalty to his deceased partner, seeks justice for the unsolved case. When Ki Bum returns to a changed world, the past resurfaces, unravelling a web of secrets and retribution amid lingering grief and unsolved mysteries.

In conclusion, these seven scary Korean serial killer movies are a must-watch for any thriller fan. Each film delves deep into the darker facets of human nature and weaves intricate storylines that keep viewers hooked.

From the haunting Memories of Murder to the relentless pursuit of Confession of Murderer, these films showcase South Korean cinema's strength in storytelling and suspense. Be captivated by the psychological twists, intense characters, and gripping narratives that characterize these exceptional films in the Korean serial killer film genre.

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