Hello everyone and welcome back to another “Top Korean Movies by Genre” post! Today’s content will be on the Best Korean Disaster Movies.
Also Available in Video Format:
The Korean movie industry has seen various disaster films the past years, with various genres mixed within the broader field of disaster movies. Some films have a more prominent focus on action, whereas others lean more towards comedy, and some even have elements of virus breakouts, like with zombies. It’d be an understatement to say that there are numerous great disaster films out of Korea. Therefore, it’d be impossible to go through all of them in a single post. Thus, in today’s post, I’ve compiled a list of 15 of my personal favorite disaster films.
But before getting into the list, I’d like to remind you that this list is ranked based on my personal recommendations. This means that the movies will be totally biased towards my opinions. Okay then, that being said, let’s get right into today’s list on 15 Best Korean Disaster Movies!
Starting off the list, the #15 film is the 2016-released movie, <Pandora>.
<Pandora> was directed by Park Jung Woo, who also directed <Deranged>, and starred Kim Nam Gil, Kim Joo Hyun, Jung Jin Young, Kim Young Ae, Moon Jung Hee, and Kim Dae Myung. The film revolves around an explosion of a nuclear power plant caused by an earthquake that leads to a disaster, which no one other than its workers can stop from spreading further.
Next, the #14 film is a relatively recent movie that was released in 2020, <#Alive>.
<#Alive> was directed by Jo Il Hyung, and this was his feature film debut. The movie starred Yoo Ah In and Park Shin Hye, and the film is about the rapid spread of an unknown infection that has left an entire city in ungovernable chaos, and a survivor remaining alive in isolation.
The #13 movie goes to the 2013-released movie, <The Flu>.
Directed by Kim Sung Soo, who also directed <City Of The Rising Sun>, <Beat>, and <Asura: The City of Madness>, this disaster film rose in popularity again last year as the pandemic started in real life. Starring Jang Hyuk, Soo Ae, and Park Min Ha, <The Flu> is about chaos that ensues when a lethal, airborne virus infects the population of a South Korean city less than 20 kilometers from Seoul.
Moving along, the #12 movie is another relatively recent film, releasing last year: <Peninsula>.
<Peninsula> was directed by Yeon Sang Ho, and is the follow-up to the global masterpiece, <Train to Busan>. Starring the likes of Kang Dong Won, Lee Jung Hyun, Lee Re, Kwon Hae Hyo, Kim Min Jae, and Koo Hyo Hwan, <Peninsula> takes place 4 years after <Train to Busan>, when the zombie virus has spread all throughout the Korean Peninsula.
How to Watch K-Movies & K-Dramas on Netflix from Outside of Korea
Before progressing further into the list, please note that the selection of movies and dramas may vary depending on the location you are in. However, if you’d like to access more Korean content, you can do so by using a VPN service and accessing the Korean Netflix server. And I’ve got a VPN service that I highly recommend!
A VPN is a tool for protecting your privacy and securing your Internet connection, and it not only protects you from possible risks, but allows you to bypass geo-restrictions! Put simply, you can be from Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, the US, India, or anywhere else in the world, and access the Korean Netflix! I highly recommend using ExpressVPN, one of the most recommended and trusted VPN services out there, and once you sign up for and install Express VPN, it’s as easy as choosing the country you want to access, and connecting!
If you would also like to access a wider range of Korean content, be sure to sign up for ExpressVPN using my link, expressvpn.com/eontalk, and get 49% off an annual plan, PLUS 3 extra months for free! Better yet, if you sign up and don’t like the service, there’s a 30 day money back guarantee, meaning you can cancel anytime within the first 30 days!
The #11 movie goes to the 2016 film, <Tunnel>.
This movie was directed by Kim Sung Hoon, who directed <A Hard Day>, and starred the actors Ha Jung Woo, Bae Doo Na, and Oh Dal Soo. The movie was especially notable as it revolves around a disaster that can happen to anyone on the road. The film is about a man that’s on his way home, and when he drives through a poorly constructed tunnel, the tunnel collapses, leaving him trapped inside.
Okay, now getting into the Top 10, the #10 film is the 2019-released movie, <Ashfall>.
Co-directed by Lee Hae Jun and Kim Byung Seo, <Ashfall> had one of the biggest lineups, starring the likes of Lee Byung Hun, Ha Jung Woo, Don Lee aka Ma Dong Seok, Jun Hye Jin, and Bae Suzy. The Korean title of this movie is “Mt. Baekdu,” which is an actual mountain on the Korean Peninsula, and because of this, gave a very realistic element to the film. The movie is about that very mountain, which is also a volcano, and its sudden eruption that causes chaos in Korea.
Next, the #9 film is a movie that was released back in 2012, <The Tower>.
<The Tower> was another great disaster film, and this makes sense, as the film was directed by Kim Ji Hoon, who’s got other disaster movies under his filmography. Starring Seol Kyung Ku, Son Ye Jin, and Kim Sang Kyung, the movie takes place at a Christmas Eve party at a luxury residential building, and a horrific turn of events takes place when a fire breaks out.
And the #8 movie goes to a relatively older film, <Haeundae> aka <Tidal Wave>.
Directed by Yoon Je Kyun, who directed another masterpiece, <Ode To My Father>, as well as the upcoming film <Hero>, <Haeundae> is one of three movies on this list that surpassed the 10 million box office number. Starring Seol Kyung Ku, Ha Ji Won, Park Joong Hoon, and Uhm Jung Hwa, the film revolves around a massive tsunami headed for “Haeundae,” a southern beach of South Korea, and the people of the marine city having to escape the disaster.
Moving along, the #7 movie is the most recent film on this list, <Sinkhole>.
<Sinkhole> was directed by Kim Ji Hoon, the director of the #9 film, <The Tower>. The film had an amazing cast of Cha Seung Won, Kim Sung Kyun, Lee Kwang Soo, and Kim Hye Joon, and this was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen that released thus far in 2021. The film revolves around an extremely large sinkhole that engulfs an entire villa building with the people inside it. Stuck deep down the hole, the survivors must find a solution before time runs out to survive.
The #6 movie goes to the 2012 film, <Deranged>.
This movie was directed by Park Jung Woo, who was mentioned earlier for directing <Pandora>, and had Kim Myung Min, Moon Jung Hee, Kim Dong Wan, and Lee Ha Nee as the main leads. The film has a very mysterious and dark tone to it, which is why I enjoyed it so much. <Deranged> revolves around trying to find a cure of a mysterious infection that causes people to drown themselves.
And now, the top 5. Starting off the top 5, the #5 movie is the 2013 film <The Terror, Live>.
<The Terror, Live> was directed by Kim Byung Woo, who also directed <Take Point>, and starred Ha Jung Woo, Lee Kyung Young, and Jeon Hye Jin. This thrilling disaster film is about an anchor that discovers he’s been rigged with a bomb after he has an exclusive interview with a terrorist, who terrorized Seoul by blowing up a bridge on the Han River.
Moving onto the #4 spot, the #4 movie goes to one of the best comedic disaster films, which was released in 2019, <Exit>.
<Exit> was directed by Lee Sang Geun, and this was his first feature film, which makes it that much more impressive. I found myself laughing out loud, as well as on the edge of my seat with this one. This had some of the funniest and thrilling moments, and Jo Jung Seok and Yoona were absolutely incredible in this. <Exit> is about a rock climber that tries to save the day when a mysterious white gas fills up an entire district of Seoul.
Coming in at #3 of my list of best Korean disaster movies is the 2013 film, <Snowpiercer>.
<Snowpiercer> was directed by the one and only, Bong Joon Ho. Directing masterpiece after masterpiece, such as <Memories of Murder>, <Mother>, and <Parasite>, <Snowpiercer> mainly had non-Korean actors, but the two Korean leads were two of the best, Song Kang Ho and Go Ah Sung. The film takes place in the future where a failed climate-change experiment has killed all life except for the lucky few who boarded the “Snowpiercer,” a train that travels around the globe. There, a new class system emerges.
And now, just two movies left. Two of my favorite disaster movies. First, the #2 film was a movie released in 2016, <Train to Busan>.
Directed by the previously mentioned Yeon Sang Ho, <Train to Busan> is one of the most globally acclaimed Korean movies. Recording over 10 million at the domestic box office, <Train to Busan> had an ensemble cast of Gong Yoo, Jung Yoo Mi, Don Lee, Kim Soo Ahn, Kim Eui Sung, Choi Woo Shik, and Ahn So Hee. This is one of the movies that really put Korea on its height of amazing zombie productions, and revolves around a zombie virus that breaks out in South Korea, and passengers on a train bound for Busan having to survive in the train’s enclosed boundaries.
And finally, the #1 Korean disaster movie. The #1 spot goes to the oldest film on this list that’s a classic when it comes to Korean films: <The Host>.
<The Host> was directed by, once again, the legend Bong Joon-Ho, who was mentioned earlier for directing <Snowpiercer>. This is a staple when it comes to not only disaster films, but action, thrill, mystery, SF and so much more, as it has a wide range of genres. The movie starred the amazing actors Song Kang Ho, Byun Hee Bong, Park Hae Il, Bae Doo Na, and Go Ah Sung, and is about a monster that emerges from the Han River, which begins to attack the people of Seoul. As with all the other films mentioned, I won’t say too much about the movie, as I don’t want to spoil anything. Anyways, a must watch if you haven’t seen it, and even if you have, definitely worth the rewatch.
And that’s it for today’s video on Best Korean Disaster Movies. Some films that you believe should have made it on this list may not have been included, but please remember that this list was based on my personal recommendations. Nonetheless, I’d love to hear which movies you believe are deserving of the title “Best Korean Disaster Movies,” as well as movies on this list that you’ve seen and enjoyed, so please leave a comment or join in on discussions on the EonTalk Telegram group to further discuss with me and other Korean film enthusiasts. Finally, your support on Patreon will be very helpful in making more content. Once again, thank you to everyone that read til the end, and I’ll see you guys in the next one!
Check out the Video Version:
Please keep in mind this review is composed of solely my own opinions, and should be taken with a grain of salt. I am in no way a professional writer, nor have I majored or studied journalism. This is for informative entertainment purpose only, representing my personal views. I do not own the images and/or videos used in the review. No copyright infringement intended.