27 Best Korean Psychological Thrillers on Netflix

South Korean movies are really great, and you might already know that from watching famous ones like Parasite and Squid Game. If you’ve already seen the best Korean dramas and movies, and you’re catching up on what came out in 2023, that’s awesome. But don’t forget about Korean thriller movies – they’re amazing too!

There’s a wide variety, from spy stories to supernatural mysteries and sci-fi, kind of like the cool and mind-bending stuff in Black Mirror. The good news is, you can watch the best Korean thrillers on Netflix right now. You don’t have to search too hard because Netflix has a lot of them, from classics like Oldboy to newer ones like #Alive. Consider this your official invitation to start enjoying the top Korean thriller movies available. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did!

1. The Reservoir Game (2017)

The Reservoir Game is a gripping documentary that unfolds like a thrilling movie. Released in 2017, the film follows an investigative reporter on a mission to uncover the slush fund of former South Korean president Lee Myung-bak.

As he delves deeper into the world of political intrigue, corruption, and secret finances, the documentary provides a riveting exploration of the challenges faced by those seeking to expose the truth at the highest levels of power.

2. The Drug King (2018)

In this crime drama, The Drug King (2018) takes viewers back to the 1970s in Busan, South Korea. The movie stars Song Kang-ho, known for his role in Parasite, as Lee Hwang-soon, a real-life drug smuggler who rises to power during a turbulent era.

As Lee builds his drug empire, the film offers a compelling portrayal of his ascent to wealth and the challenges he faces. The story unfolds against the backdrop of a dynamic and evolving criminal landscape, making The Drug King a captivating exploration of crime, power, and the pursuit of the American Dream in a Korean context.

3. Time to Hunt (2020)

Time to Hunt (2020) propels audiences into a dystopian world where a group of friends, including Choi Woo-shik of Parasite fame, successfully executes an ambitious heist. However, their triumph quickly turns into a relentless pursuit as a mysterious assassin, portrayed by Park Hae-soo, relentlessly chases them.

This action-packed thriller explores themes of survival, friendship, and the consequences of daring to defy the oppressive forces in a bleak and unforgiving future. With a blend of suspenseful storytelling and intense action sequences, Time to Hunt keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, delivering a thrilling cinematic experience that goes beyond the conventional heist narrative.

4. Unlocked (2022)

Unlocked (2022) is a suspenseful thriller that takes viewers on a relentless journey when a woman’s life is upended after a dangerous man gains possession of her lost cell phone. Using the device to track her every move, the film explores themes of paranoia, danger, and the quest for survival.

As the protagonist navigates a world turned hostile, the tension builds, offering audiences a gripping and unpredictable narrative.

5. Kingdom: Ashin of the North (2021)

Kingdom: Ashin of the North (2021) serves as a special movie-length episode in the popular Korean drama series Kingdom. Functioning as a prequel, the story delves into the character of Ashin, a former spy for the Joseon kingdom, introduced in the series’ second season.

Set against a backdrop of political intrigue and supernatural elements, this historical fantasy explores the origins of the zombie outbreak depicted in Kingdom, adding depth and context to the acclaimed series.

6. The 8th Night (2021)

In this supernatural mystery thriller, The 8th Night (2021) follows a young monk on a quest to prevent the resurrection of an evil spirit that has been imprisoned for 2,500 years. The stakes are high as failure would mean the spirit’s return to torment and possess humanity.

With a blend of mysticism and suspense, the film takes viewers on a captivating journey into the battle between good and evil, weaving together ancient folklore and modern storytelling. As the young monk faces formidable challenges, The 8th Night offers a unique cinematic experience that transcends traditional horror tropes, creating a thought-provoking narrative with elements of both horror and fantasy.

7. Lucid Dream (2017)

Lucid Dream (2017) immerses viewers in a captivating sci-fi thriller that follows a young investigative journalist and single father. Faced with the abduction of his son, the protagonist embarks on an unconventional quest to track down the missing child through lucid dreams.

As the boundaries between reality and dreams blur, the film explores the psychological toll of a father’s unwavering determination to reunite with his loved one, delivering a unique and thought-provoking narrative.

8. Oldboy (2003)

Considered a modern classic, Oldboy (2003), directed by Park Chan-wook, is a gripping and uniquely violent tale of revenge. The story revolves around Oh Dae-Su, a man who is released after being inexplicably held captive for 15 years.

Driven by a desire for revenge, Oh Dae-Su embarks on a quest to uncover the truth behind his imprisonment, leading to shocking revelations and intense confrontations. The film’s masterful storytelling, coupled with its visceral action sequences, has solidified Oldboy‘s status as a landmark in Korean cinema.

9. Steel Rain (2018)

Steel Rain (2018) takes audiences on a thrilling journey through the political and military landscapes of the Korean Peninsula. In this action-packed thriller, a North Korean special forces agent decides to defect to the south, escorting an injured leader during a coup to prevent a nuclear war.

The film explores themes of loyalty, diplomacy, and the personal sacrifices made in the pursuit of peace. With its tense narrative and geopolitical intrigue, Steel Rain provides a gripping cinematic experience that transcends traditional action genres.

10. Night in Paradise (2021)

Night in Paradise (2021) unfolds as a compelling K-drama that takes viewers into the world of a mobster seeking refuge on Jeju Island after a personal tragedy. As he inadvertently forms a connection with a woman battling her own demons, the film explores the complexities of relationships amidst a backdrop of violence and redemption.

With its atmospheric storytelling and nuanced characters, Night in Paradise delves into the human condition in the face of adversity.

11. Space Sweepers (2021)

Set in the year 2092, Space Sweepers (2021) marks the first-ever Korean space blockbuster. The sci-fi drama revolves around a group of misfits attempting to trade a seemingly innocent humanoid, only to discover that she may hold the key to a potentially catastrophic secret.

Filled with breathtaking visuals and a mix of humor and action, the film explores themes of identity, humanity, and the consequences of corporate greed in a futuristic space setting.

12. Forgotten (2017)

Forgotten (2017) presents a psychological thriller that delves into the unsettling aftermath of an abduction. When a young man witnesses his older brother’s mysterious return after a 19-day disappearance, he begins to suspect that something darker has transpired.

The film unfolds as a tense exploration of memory, identity, and the psychological toll of traumatic experiences. With its twists and turns, Forgotten keeps audiences on the edge of their seats, questioning reality and uncovering hidden secrets.

13. The Fortress (2017)

The Fortress (2017) is a historical drama set in the 17th century during the Qing invasion of Joseon. The film follows the real-life story of King Injo and his retainers as they grapple with the decision to either fight against the invading forces or pursue peace with the Qing dynasty.

Against the backdrop of the Namhansanseong fortress, the characters face the challenges of leadership and loyalty in the face of an impending invasion. The Fortress weaves a poignant tale of sacrifice and strategic decisions during a tumultuous period in Korean history.

14. High Society (2018)

High Society (2018) presents a thrilling drama that explores the ethical dilemmas faced by a married couple— a professor and an art curator— as they navigate the complexities of personal ethics while the husband runs for the National Assembly.

The film delves into the power struggles, moral compromises, and personal sacrifices made in the pursuit of political success. High Society offers a gripping narrative that goes beyond the surface of political drama, unraveling the intricate dynamics of relationships and societal expectations.

15. Veteran (2015)

Veteran (2015) is a dynamic action flick that revolves around a no-nonsense detective embroiled in a high-profile case. The plot takes a twist as the detective confronts an arrogant young millionaire who, besides being a suspect, is also the heir to a powerful conglomerate.

The film explores the clash between the established order and the influence wielded by the elite. With intense action sequences and a sharp social commentary, Veteran captivates audiences with its thrilling storyline and thought-provoking themes.

16. Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019)

Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019) is an occult thriller featuring Lee Jung-jae from Squid Game. The narrative unfolds as a Buddhist monk investigates a cult group known as Deer Mount.

Simultaneously, a police captain delves into a murder case suspected to be linked to a member of the same cult. As the two storylines converge, the film explores themes of faith, deception, and the supernatural, offering a gripping and mysterious cinematic experience.

17. The Battleship Island (2017)

The Battleship Island (2017) is a thrilling historical drama set during Imperial Japan’s occupation of Korea in World War II. The story centers around a forced labor camp on Hashima Island and follows the daring escape attempt by a group of prisoners.

Through intense action sequences and a backdrop of war, the film sheds light on the harsh realities faced by the prisoners and their struggle for freedom in the face of adversity.

18. The Call (2020)

The Call (2020) is a psychological thriller that unfolds a mysterious connection across two different time periods. The plot follows a young woman who, upon returning to her childhood home, discovers a mysterious phone that allows her to communicate with a person living in the same house 20 years earlier—a person who happens to be a serial killer.

As the two timelines intertwine, the film explores themes of fate, consequences, and the intricate web of cause and effect in a suspenseful and mind-bending narrative.

19. The Unjust (2010)

The Unjust (2010) is an action crime flick that places a police captain in an impossible situation. Tasked with solving a high-profile serial murder case, the lead suspect is killed, leaving the captain to set up a fall guy to take the blame.

The film navigates through the complexities of the criminal justice system, corruption, and moral ambiguity, delivering a suspenseful narrative that questions the concepts of justice and morality.

20. Revenger (2018)

Revenger (2018) is set in the near future and follows a man seeking revenge for the murder of his family. To achieve this, he intentionally gets himself imprisoned on a dangerous island housing criminals.

The film combines elements of action and survival, portraying the protagonist’s relentless quest for justice in a visually stunning and intense setting. With martial arts sequences and a gripping storyline, Revenger offers a thrilling cinematic experience.

21. Jo Pil-ho: The Dawning Rage (2018)

Starring Lee Sun-kyun from Parasite, Jo Pil-ho: The Dawning Rage (2018) is an action thriller that unfolds as a corrupt cop recruits a teenager to uncover a major conspiracy. When the cop becomes a suspect in a police warehouse explosion, the duo embarks on a dangerous mission to expose the truth.

The film explores themes of corruption, redemption, and the pursuit of justice against a backdrop of crime and conspiracy, delivering a high-octane narrative with gripping performances.

22. Yaksha: Ruthless Operations (2022)

Yaksha: Ruthless Operations (2022) is a spy thriller starring Park Hae-soo from Squid Game. The story unfolds in Shenyang, China, where an espionage agency’s Black Ops team faces scrutiny from a former prosecutor tasked with inspecting their activities.

As the plot delves into espionage, mystery, and political intrigue, the film offers a tense and action-packed narrative that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

23. Ballerina (2023)

Ballerina (2023) is an action movie that centers around Jang Ok-ju, played by Jeon Jong-seo, who seeks revenge for the exploitation and loss of her best friend, a ballerina.

Driven by her friend’s dying wish, Ok-ju embarks on a mission to bring justice to the s*x trafficker responsible. Fusing elements of action and drama, the film explores themes of vengeance, resilience, and the pursuit of retribution in the face of adversity.

24. The Chase (2017)

The Chase (2017) is a crime thriller that unfolds when a grumpy landlord reluctantly teams up with a detective to revive a 30-year-old cold case. As mysterious deaths plague their town, the duo races against time to uncover the truth.

The film combines elements of suspense and mystery, offering audiences a thrilling experience as the characters delve into the dark secrets hidden within their community.

25. The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (2022)

The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (2022) is a sequel to the 2014 film The Pirates. Set during the Joseon dynasty, the movie follows a crew of pirates on a quest to hunt down a collection of royal treasures that have mysteriously disappeared.

Filled with action, adventure, and historical intrigue, the film combines humor and spectacle, providing an entertaining exploration of treasure hunting on the high seas.

26. Pandora (2016)

Pandora (2016) is a disaster film that unfolds when a small town housing a run-down nuclear power plant is struck by an earthquake. The plot revolves around a young man who leaps into action to mitigate the impact of the disaster.

As the story unfolds, Pandora delves into themes of survival, sacrifice, and the consequences of technological disasters, offering a tense and emotionally charged narrative.

27. The Berlin File (2013)

The Berlin File (2013) is an action thriller set in Berlin, revolving around a North Korean “ghost” agent. Accidentally exposing a weapons deal, the agent becomes entangled in a dangerous web involving both South Korean intelligence and his own government.

With espionage, political intrigue, and intense action sequences, the film explores the complexities of international espionage and the personal toll it takes on those involved. The Berlin File delivers a gripping and suspenseful narrative set against the backdrop of a divided city.

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