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In a scene of the South Korean Netflix original series Hellbound, three gray monsters are killing a man before delivering him to hell. Photo courtesy of Netflix

Korean horror tops the podium again after Squid Game

It took longer than a week for South Korea’s hit drama Squid Game to hit No. 1 in the global Netflix charts in late September. And it took just a day for Hellbound to top the podium, according to Flixpatrol on Nov. 21.

The six-episode supernatural horror, directed by Yeon Sang-ho, made it to the top place as soon as it was first premiered on Nov. 19, nudging past Squid Game.

It assumed the highest place in such countries as Belgium, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Vietnam.

In the United States, it ranked No. 3.

In the webtoon-based series, smoky monsters deliver bloody condemnations, dragging people to hell and giving rise to a religious group founded on the idea of divine justice.

The drama stars mostly Korean actors and actresses, including Yoo Ah-in, Park Jeong-min, Kim Hyun-joo, and Won Jin-a. Its director Yeon directed the 2016 zombie thriller Train to Busan.

“In Hellbound, supernatural phenomena take place at the center of Seoul. Amid the chaos, many people with different beliefs are conflicting,” Yeon said in a press event before the show’s debut.

“All the characters are like next-door neighbors. While seeing how they are pitted against, I hope we can think about our society and beliefs.”

Squid Game debuted on Sept. 17 to become a global hit _ it was the first South Korean drama that reached the top place in the United States.

The dystopian series, directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, depicts desperate contestants playing six rounds of deadly childhood games. The eventual winner is set to gain $39 million, but losers should risk their lives.

After Squid Game, other South Korean Netflix series are doing well, as demonstrated by My Name, which also made it into the global top 10 rankings after its debut midway through last month.

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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.