10 Best Korean Movies on Prime Video: Korean movies have had such a huge resurgence ever since Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite took the world by storm that each and every streaming service is bidding its way to attain the best of the South Korean market for themselves. This carefully curated list of the best Korean movies available on Prime Video ranges from gripping thrillers to heartwarming drams and showcases the diverse nature of the storytelling that has set Korean filmmakers apart from everyone else.  So, whether you’re a seasoned fan of Korean cinema or a newcomer eager to explore what streaming platforms have to offer, this selection promises to offer an immersive experience that transcends cultural boundaries.

1. The Handmaiden (2016)

Korean movies Prime Video - The Handmaiden

Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden is based on Sarah Waters’ novel ‘Fingersmith’ and takes place during the Japanese occupation in 1930s Korea. The film follows the complex and deceptive plot involving a young pickpocket named Sook-hee, who is hired by a charming conman named Count Fujiwara to serve as a handmaiden to a wealthy Japanese heiress named Lady Hideko. However, once hidden motives gradually unfold, the film turns into a twisted psychological drama that explores the themes of betrayal and desire. 

Full of Park Chan-Wook’s sleek visual grammar that pays incredible attention to detail as well as creating characters whose motives are always elusive, The Handmaiden is one of the most important Korean movies you might wanna check out if you are subscribed to Prime Video. 

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

2. A Taxi Driver (2017)

Korean Movies Prime Video - A Taxi Driver

Based on a true story that unfolds against the backdrop of the Gwangju Uprising in May 1980 – a pro-democracy movement in South Korea, A Taxi Driver is about a man who unwittingly becomes a witness to a brutal suppression of the uprising. 

Kim Man-seob (played by International sensation Song Kang-ho) is a widowed taxi driver who is struggling to make ends meet. He takes up a job of driving a German journalist from Seoul to Gwangju. The two of them become witnesses of the violent opposition from the military regime and the residence of ordinary people who stand for their beliefs. Blending drama, suspense and historical commentary seamlessly, A Taxi Driver becomes one of the most interesting Korean movies that you need to check out on Prime Video. 

3. Burning (2018)

Korean movies Prime Video - Burning

One of the best Korean movies to watch on Prime Video has to be Lee Chang-dong’s masterful 2018 drama Burning. Based on Haruki Murakami’s short story ‘Barn Burning,’ the dark psychological mystery deals with complex issues of class struggle, alienation, and the nature of truth. 

With a standout performance from the entire cast, Burning follows Lee Jong-su (You Ah-in) – an aspiring writer who gets entangled in an unsettling love triangle. When he encounters Shin Have-mi (Jeon Jong-seo) – a free-spirited woman from his past, his quiet life takes a drastic turn, and he also meets Ben (Steven Yeun), a wealthy man. The film explores the socio-economic disparities in South Korea. The moody and atmospheric drama will haunt you with its breathtaking and ambitious visuals and an ending that you will keep repeating in your head – over and over again. 

4. I Saw the Devil (2010)

Korean Movie Prime Video - I Saw the Devil

I Saw the Devil begins as a typical revenge thriller. Kim Soon-hyun (Lee Byung-hun) – a secret agent seeking vengeance for the brutal murder of his fiancée at the hands of a serial killer named Jang Kyung-chul (Choi Min-sik), tries to track him down. However, with time, the journey that he embarks on becomes relentless and disturbing because he wishes to inflict an equal amount of pain on the killer that he has induced on him. 

It’s a strange and macabre film that questions our own moral compass. It blurs the line between good and evil and puts out idea of justice and morality up for a toss. As far as Korean movies on Prime Video are concerned, the graphic content in I Saw the Devil might not be for everyone. But the tension that Kim Jee-woon builds up is palpable, and the performances by both the leads create a very real threat and compel us to consider the stakes it has. 

5. The Wailing (2016)

If there’s a Korean movie that knows how to blend multiple genres seamlessly, it has to be Na Hong-jin’s The Wailing. Following Jong-goo (Kwan Do-won), a bumbling officer who gets embroiled in the investigation of a series of mysterious and gruesome deaths that occur in a small rural village after the arrival of a stranger, the film blends the bizarre with the supernatural. Paranoia spreads through the community as the body count rises, and the officer must confront malevolent forces. 

Featuring the themes of fear, superstition, and the breakdown of societal bonds in the face of an inexplicable and terrifying threat, The Wailing builds a terrifying atmosphere that haunts you long after the final reveal. The ambiguity is carefully balanced with dark humor, making the audience engage with the challenging aspects of the film. 

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

6. Train to Busan (2016)

Korean movies Prime Video - Train to Busan

If you are looking for one of the most exciting Korean movies to stream on Prime Video, look no further than Train to Busan. Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, the zombie apocalypse thriller takes place almost entirely on a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan. The story revolves round Seok-woo, a workaholic fund manager, and his young daughter, Su-an, who board the said train in order to visit Su-an’s mother. Unbeknownst to them, a mysterious virus outbreak turns people into bloodthirsty zombies. The train becomes a microcosm of society, showcasing the struggle for survival and the inherent human instincts that emerge in the face of a deadly threat.

What sets Train to Busan apart is its dynamic pacing, emotional depth, and social commentary. The film skillfully combines heart-pounding action sequences with moments of genuine human connection, exploring themes of sacrifice, selflessness, and the consequences of societal indifference.

7. The Man from Nowhere (2010)

Korean Movies Prime Video - The Man from Nowhere

The Man from Nowhere follows the life of Cha Tae-si, a mysterious and reclusive pawnshop owner with a troubled past. His only connection to the outside world is a young girl named So-mi, who lives in the same apartment building. So-mi’s mother, a person with a substance abuse problem, gets involved with a dangerous drug trafficking ring, leading to a series of events that force Cha Tae-sik to confront his dark and violent history.

Featuring grim and expertly choreographed action scenes, showcasing Won Bin’s martial arts skills, the tension and suspense director Lee Jeong-beom is able to build creates an emotionally involving film that also keeps the viewer at the edge of their seat. 

8. The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019)

Directed by Lee Won-tae, The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil revolves around the unlikely alliance between a hardened gangster and a determined police detective who join forces to catch a vicious serial killer. Revolving around the three characters that the film’s apt title signifies, each of them represents a different facet of society. Jang Dong-soo, the gangster, embodies the underworld, while Kim Moo-jin, the cop, represents law and order. The elusive serial killer adds an element of chaos and danger to the mix. The dynamic between these characters forms the core of the film, creating a tension-filled atmosphere. Among the Korean movies that you will find on Prime Video, this is one of the many that uses its dark humor to punctuate its bigger and bolder themes expertly. 

9. The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion (2018)

Korean Movies Prime Video - The Witch Part 1

The Witch: Part 1 – The Subversion is another genre mashup that clearly works in its favor. The narrative revolves around a young girl named Ja-Yoon. She escapes from a mysterious government facility where she is subjected to experiments that give her superhuman abilities. Director Park Hoon-Jung moves the story into its action phase after Ja-yoon’s powers resurface. This triggers a series of events that unravel the truth about her origins.

The main conflict in the film comes as Ja-yoon discovers her extraordinary abilities and becomes the focal point of a shadowy organization that seeks to control and weaponize individuals with similar powers. Exploring themes of identity, morality, and the consequences of unchecked power, the movie dives Into the moral complexity that Ja-yoon faces when she has to make choices that affect others. 

10. A Distant Place (2020)

In the tranquil landscapes of Hwacheon, Jin-woo, a shepherd tending to his flock, finds solace in the simplicity of his life alongside his daughter. Their serene existence takes an unexpected turn when Jin-woo’s city-dwelling lover pays them a visit. The arrival of this urban influence stirs the calm of their rustic haven. However, the real upheaval occurs with the sudden reappearance of Jin-woo’s long-lost younger brother. 

Directed by Kun-Young Park, A Distant Place utilizes the filmmaker’s remarkable talent as a cinematographer to capture the beauty of its isolated natural setting, making it a film worth checking out. 

High On Films in collaboration with Avanté

Read More: 15 Best Korean Movies on Netflix

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