Korean Zombie series and movies that you must watch in 2023

Right from ‘Train to Busan’ to ‘All of Us are Dead’, keep scrolling for the ultimate list of the best Korean zombie series and movies that you cannot afford to miss out on.

Updated on Mar 14, 2023  |  03:25 PM IST |  8.3M
Train to Busan; Picture Courtesy: Asianwiki
Train to Busan

Korean zombie series and movies have been popular for quite some time now. Since zombie thrillers are one of the most famous cult film subgenres, it is only natural for them to have a massive viewership. Their popularity can be attributed to a variety of different factors. For starters, a lot of Korean zombie web series are thrilling rather than petrifying. These series beautifully depict a desperate urge to fight back and survive.

Korean zombie series and movies have successfully made a name amongst global audiences. Train to Busan, a massive hit itself, was just a trailer to what South Korea is capable of when it comes to creating a zombie apocalypse universe. Below is a list of 13 Korean zombie web series and movies that you must watch this year.

The best of Korean zombie series and movies 

 

1 | Train to Busan


  • Directed by: Yeon Sang Ho
  • Cast: Gong Yoo as Seok Woo, Ma Dong Seok as Sang Hwa, Kim Soo Ahn as Soo An, Choi Woo Shik as Min Yong Guk
  • Rating: 7.6/10 (IMDb)
  • Movie description: Released in 2016, Train to Busan follows a group of passengers who struggle to survive a zombie apocalypse on their journey from Seoul to Busan. The movie was a huge commercial success and to date is considered one of the best Korean zombie movies. This smash hit was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride between highs and lows of terror, thrill, suspense, and some acutely distressing violence. Within a short span of 118 minutes, the movie is able to present you with a strong storyline, brilliant acting, and spectacular character development. This lightning-fast thriller begins and ends in the blink of an eye. Once you start watching the movie, there is no going back. 
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2 | Happiness


  • Directed by: Ahn Gil Ho
  • Cast: Han Hyo Joo as Yoon Sae Bom, Park Hyung Sik as Jung Yi Hyun
  • Rating: 7.9/10 (IMDb)
  • Seasons: 1; 12 episodes
  • Series Description: Released in late 2021, 'Happiness' is a South Korean zombie web series. The story revolves around an unidentified virus that forces residents of a building to isolate themselves from the rest of the city. In trying to win over the virus, the residents are supposed to overcome distress and distrust. Desperate attempts to survive the virus position them against their very own neighbors. One thing that truly sets the show apart is its non-reliance on gruesome violence to stimulate fear and tension. Instead, the show focuses on its characters, and what they have to offer in a time of acute crisis. The ending of each episode will leave you curious and in anticipation of the next episode. While the show received a fair share of positive reviews for its overall plot, its conclusion was met with mixed reviews. 
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3 | All of Us are Dead


  • Directed by: Lee Jae Kyu, Kim Nam Soo 
  • Cast: Park Solomon as Lee Su Hyeok, Yoon Chan Young as Lee Cheong San, Park Ji Hoo as Nam on Jo
  • Rating: 7.5/10 (IMDb)
  • Seasons: 1; 12 episodes
  • Series Description: This 2022 zombie apocalypse horror fiction follows a bunch of school students who are trapped in their school amidst a zombie virus outbreak. The show is based on a webtoon which is also titled ‘All of Us are Dead’. Eerily disturbing and disturbingly violent, this zombie thriller surpasses even the finest of zombie apocalypse-themed movies and series. Throughout the show, there isn’t even a single dull moment. The show is fast-paced and contemplative. You need to watch, process and repeat as you go through the 12 lightning-fast episodes of ‘All of Us are Dead’. The show is a product of great direction, spectacular action sequences, and brilliant cinematography.

4 | Sweet Home


  • Directed by: Lee Eung Bok 
  • Cast: Song Kang as Cha Hyun Soo, Lee Do Hyun as Lee Eun Hyukgo Min Si as Lee Eun yoo
  • Rating: 7.3/10 (IMDb)
  • Seasons: 1; 10 episodes
  • Series Description: Cha Hyun Soo is a high school student who likes to be by himself. After losing his entire family in a tragic accident, he decides to start afresh. His new life however is interrupted by humans-turned-monsters who are trying to wreak havoc. Packed with tension, chaos, and terror, ‘Sweet Home’ is a show that will give you a chance to sit back and contemplate. The show follows an almost unpredictable trajectory that was and is to date met with mixed reviews. ‘Sweet Home’ has a quirky charm that makes it inexplicably addictive for a large number of people.
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5 | Peninsula


  • Directed by: Yeon Sang Ho
  • Cast: Gang Dong Won as Jeong Seok, Lee Re as Jooni, Koo Kyo Hwan as Captain Seo
  • Rating: 5.5 (IMDb)
  • Series Description: A sequel to ‘Train to Busan’, ‘Peninsula’ was picked for a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The latter however had to be canceled on account of pandemic-related restrictions. The movie follows a group of four Koreans from Hong Kong as they travel to a post-zombie-apocalyptic South Korea. Their aim is to extract leftover money from a land that is now inhabited by zombies. Instead of bandwagoning over an already loved international hit, the movie ‘Peninsula’ progresses towards a completely different narrative. The movie received mixed reviews for its being ‘irrelevant to its prequel Train to Busan’. As a standalone zombie drama, the movie received its share of positive reviews. 

6 | Alive


  • Directed by: Il Cho
  • Cast: Yoo Ah In as Oh Joon Woo, Park Shin Hye as Kim Yoo Bin, Lee Hyun Wook as Lee Sang Chul
  • Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDb)
  • Series Description: When a city is overpowered by a zombie virus outbreak, Oh Joon Woo desperately fights back to survive. When Joon Woo finds himself alone, helpless, and scared in his family’s apartment, he drafts a post for social media asking for help and uploads it with the hashtag ‘#stayalive’ that later changes to ‘#alive’. Released in the distressful times of the pandemic with an incredibly relatable storyline, Alive hit home like no other movie. One such scene in the movie shows where Joon Woo sneaks a peek at the chaotic city and then shifts his glance to the amount of food he is left with. The latter-mentioned scene was one of the many scenes in the movie where people were able to relive how tension and uncertainty overpowered them when a crisis hit home. The movie received great appreciation for not beating around the bush too much and diving head-first into some petrifying action. 
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7 | The Wailing


  • Directed by: Na Hong Jin
  • Cast: Chun Woo Hee as Moo Myung, Hwang Jung Min as Il Gwang, Kwak Do Won as Jong Goo, Kim Hwan Hee as Hyo Jin, Jo Han Chul as Detective
  • Rating: 7.4/10 (IMDb)
  • Series Description: The Wailing is the story of a policeman surrounded by murder, horror, and an unidentified disease that is infecting people around him. He has barely grasped the situation when he finds his own daughter Hyo Jin infected by the infamous ailment. ‘The Wailing’ is a movie whose beauty lies in its exquisite intricacies. Its mind-boggling trajectory will either leave you perplexed or impressed, there’s simply no in-between here. ‘The Wailing’ is able to do justice to its unusually long run time with its brilliant writing. The film leaves its viewers in almost a trance where they are unable to stop the plot from unfolding in their heads long after the credits have rolled. The movie was met with a bunch of mixed reviews for putting together a myriad of subthemes. The latter also became an object of appreciation for many who thought that the story flows effortlessly and gracefully blends all its themes together.

8 | Seoul Station


  • Directed by: Yeon Sang Ho
  • Cast: Ryu Seung Ryong as Suk Gyu, Lee Joon as Ki Woong, Shin Eun Kyung as Runaway girl
  • Rating: 6.1/10 (IMDb)
  • Series Description: Seoul Station is an adult-animated South Korean movie. It was introduced to the world as an animated prequel to ‘Train to Busan’. A father-daughter union is suddenly interrupted by a zombie virus outbreak in Seoul. Hye Sun has run away from a brothel and decided to start afresh with her boyfriend Ki Woong. Ki Woong is trying to pimp her out again to cater to their financial problems when the pair get into an ugly argument. Before they know it, they are interrupted by and entrapped in a zombie virus outbreak. The story henceforth unfolds in the most unpredictable ways and leaves the audience inexplicably perplexed. An extremely complex plot gradually unveils itself alongside the spooky ambiance that haunts the city of Seoul. This animated film stands apart from other animated productions for it attempts to address some serious societal issues in the most creative ways.  
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9 | The Neighbour Zombie

The Neighbour Zombie; Picture Courtesy; Asianwiki

  • Directed by: Oh Young Do, Yoon Jung Jang, Young Geun Hong, Hoon Ryu
  • Cast: Eun Jung Ha, Youn Jung Jang, Bae Yong Geun
  • Rating: 4.9/10 
  • Series Description: While cinema surrounding virus outbreaks has become quite popular following the global 2020 pandemic, series surrounding the same had surfaced as far back as a decade ago! 'The Neighbour Zombie' is a 2010 horror comedy jam-packed with action and tension. A virus that has the potential to infect an entire planet has interrupted the tough but peaceful lives of the people of Seoul. In order to get things back to normal, they must fight back and survive however they can. ‘The Neighbour Zombie’ was one of the first zombie thrillers in South Korea. The movie was acknowledged for its excellence at the 2009 Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival.

10 | The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale; Picture Courtesy: Asianwiki

  • Directed by: Lee Min Jae
  • Cast: Lee Soo Kyung as Hae Gul, Jung Ga Ram as Jjong Bi, Shin Jeong Geun as Chief Oh
  • Rating:6.6/10 (IMDb)
  • Series Description: Released in 2019, ‘Zombie on Sale’ is easily one of the finest zombie comedies ever. A hilarious take on the usual zombie apocalypse-themed movies, ‘Zombie on Sale’ is a must-watch. An industrial accident leads to the creation of a zombie. Members of the Park family look at the zombie as a chance to make some quick money. This 2019 release is able to blend three completely different genres together. ‘Zombie on Sale’ is a hauntingly hilarious romance that you won’t find anywhere else. It has a hilariously unrealistic storyline that keeps you hooked in the most unexpected ways. Besides its impeccable moments of comedic relief, the movie also has some great music that effortlessly complements its overall cinematic setting. 

11 | Doomsday Book: A Brave New World

Doomsday Book; Picture Courtesy: Asianwiki

  • Directed by: Yim Pil Sung, Kim Jee Woon
  • Cast: Bong Joon Ho as Joon Ho/Lee, Bae Doona as Min Seo, Hae Il Park as In Myung, Jin Ji Hee as Min Seo
  • Rating: 5.8/10 (IMDb)
  • Series Description: This 2012 release flows in a narrative where on one hand, the human society walks right into its own deterioration and on the other, their heartfelt compassion comes to their and their humanity’s rescue. ‘Doomsday Book’ is a compilation of three different sci-fi stories. ‘A Brave New World’ tells the story of a zombie apocalypse encased in a political satire. When a rotten apple becomes the root cause behind a zombie virus outbreak, an outlandishly hilarious horror drama ensues. The movie was acknowledged for its cinematic brilliance at the 2012 Fantasia Festival. The three parts of ‘Doomsday Book’ were met with contrasting reviews by the audiences but the anthology was lauded for its uniqueness and originality. Directed and written by Yim Pil Sung, ‘A Brave New World’ is one of the finest pieces on this list of Korean zombie web series and movies.
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12 | Rampant

Rampant; Picture Courtest: Asianwiki

  • Directed by: Kim Sung Hoon
  • Cast: Hyun Bin as Lee Chung, Jang Dong Gun as Kim Ja Joon, Kim Eui Sung as King Ijo
  • Rating: 6.3/10 (IMDb)
  • Movie Description: ‘Rampant’ is a 2018 period action zombie thriller. While it has become quite common for production houses to churn out zombie thrillers left and right, South Korea always has unique, never-seen-before ways of storytelling that effortlessly sets them apart from the crowd. Hyun Bin plays the role of Lee Chung, an arrogant heir of the Joseon dynasty. Initially exiled, he returns home to find his homeland flooded with zombies. These zombies have sharp teeth, grey eyes, and an unquenchable thirst for blood. This is a story of an arrogant prince and his efforts to restore peace when a crisis hits home. The movie was produced on a grand scale and its grandeur is reflected in every seemingly trivial facet of the movie. 

13 | Horror Stories

Horror Stories; Picture Courtesy: Asianwiki

  • Directed by: Min Kyu Dong, Ji Yeong Hong, Jung Bum Shik, Dae Wung Lim, Kim Gok, Sun Kim
  • Cast: Kim Ji Won as Ji Won, Jo Han Chul as the army doctor, Bae Soo Bin as Min, and Yoo Yeon Seok as the serial killer.
  • Rating: 5.7/10 (IMDb)
  • Movie Description: ‘Horror Stories’ is a 2012 horror anthology. A serial killer can go to sleep only if he is either told horror stories or is able to taste blood. When he abducts Ji Won, a high school student, he makes her tell him the most terrifying stories she knows. In order to save her from getting killed, Ji Won starts narrating a bunch of scary stories. First is the tale of a pair of siblings that witness numerous spooky activities in their house as they wait for their mother. The latter mentioned story is titled ‘Don’t Answer the Door’. Then comes ‘Endless Flight’ which is the story of a flight attendant and a serial killer trapped on an airplane. Secret Recipe is the third part of this anthology. It tells the story of a rivalry between two sisters who fight each other to marry a rich man. Finally comes the fourth tale titled ‘Ambulance on the Death Zone’. Here, survivors of a zombie virus outbreak are trapped in an ambulance where they fight mistrust and sometimes each other as they navigate their way through a chaotic city.

Korean zombie series are a hauntingly exquisite amalgam of terror, thrill, and gut-wrenching violence. The alternate reality that is offered by zombie apocalypse movies, is something that helps one take their mind off of their own reality. They have this ability to effortlessly stimulate tension and thrill. To be able to do the latter you need an excellent story backed by some brilliant direction. 

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ALSO READ:  27 Best Korean movies of all time ‘Parasite’ to ‘Oldboy’

FAQs

What was the name of the series on Netflix about zombies?
Some of the most popular Korean zombie series include the likes of ‘All of Us are Dead’, ‘Sweet Home’, ‘Happiness’ and more. All three latter-mentioned series can be conveniently streamed on Netflix.

What is the best zombie drama?
While there are a multitude of zombie films out there, some of the finest Korean zombie series include ‘Happiness’, ‘All of Us Are Dead’, and ‘Sweet Home’.

Is Horror Stories an anthology?
‘Horror Stories’ is a 2012 horror anthology. A serial killer can go to sleep only if he is either told horror stories or is able to taste blood. When he abducts Ji Won, a high school student, he makes her tell him the most terrifying stories she knows. In order to save her from getting killed, Ji Won starts narrating a bunch of scary stories. First is the tale of a pair of siblings that witness numerous spooky activities in their house as they wait for their mother. The latter mentioned story is titled ‘Don’t Answer the Door’. Then comes ‘Endless Flight’ which is the story of a flight attendant and a serial killer trapped on an airplane. Secret Recipe is the third part of this anthology. It tells the story of a rivalry between two sisters who fight each other to marry a rich man. Finally comes the fourth tale titled ‘Ambulance on the Death Zone’. Here, survivors of a zombie virus outbreak are trapped in an ambulance where they fight mistrust and sometimes each other as they navigate their way through a chaotic city.

Is there a sequel to Train to Busan?
A sequel to ‘Train to Busan’, ‘Peninsula’ was picked for a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. The latter however had to be canceled on account of pandemic-related restrictions. The movie follows a group of four Koreans from Hong Kong as they travel to a post-zombie-apocalyptic South Korea. Their aim is to extract leftover money from a land that is now inhabited by zombies. Instead of bandwagoning over an already loved international hit, the movie ‘Peninsula’ progresses towards a completely different narrative. The movie received mixed reviews for its being ‘irrelevant to its prequel Train to Busan’. As a standalone zombie drama, the movie received its share of positive reviews. 

How is Seoul Station?
Seoul Station is an adult-animated South Korean movie. It was introduced to the world as an animated prequel to ‘Train to Busan’. A father-daughter union is suddenly interrupted by a zombie virus outbreak in Seoul. Hye Sun has run away from a brothel and decided to start afresh with her boyfriend Ki Woong. Ki Woong is trying to pimp her out again to cater to their financial problems when the pair get into an ugly argument. Before they know it, they are interrupted by and entrapped in a zombie virus outbreak. The story henceforth unfolds in the most unpredictable ways and leaves the audience inexplicably perplexed. An extremely complex plot gradually unveils itself alongside the spooky ambiance that haunts the city of Seoul. This animated film stands apart from other animated productions for it attempts to address some serious societal issues in the most creative ways.  

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About The Author

A 22-year-old writer who recently graduated with a degree in Humanities. She finds great pleasure in leading, reading,

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Credits: youtube.com, Asianwiki
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