Like London buses, you wait for one overnight global phenomenon and two come along at once. Just as the dust has barely settled on everyone’s obsession with Squid Game, a new South Korean hit show has taken over Netflix.
According to figures produced by FlixPatrol analytics, Hellbound took over as the world’s most watched Netflix series on November 20th. It topped the ratings in over 80 countries within a mere 24 hours of its debut on the streaming platform.
Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, Hellbound is based on the director’s own webtoon of the same name. The pilot episode premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, becoming the first Korean drama to make it to the festival.
And it sounds just as intense but in a different way as Squid Game. The fantasy horror is set in an alternative version of earth, where supernatural demons appear out of nowhere to choose victims to send to hell.
Wide chaos and public hysteria naturally ensue. It sounds like quite the distressing watch and no one is doing intense drama like the South Koreans right now, are they?
The reviews for the series have been very positive so far. “The wrath monster trio might be absurd, but the madness within Hellbound is extremely believable,” wrote RogerEbert.com.
In a four-star review, The Age said “the narrative steadily evolves into a compelling mix of police procedural, violent horror and shrewd commentary around ideas of human flaws, mortality, sin, justice and the influence of media.”
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The Telegraph, meanwhile, had some interesting comparisons for the series: “Hellbound unspools like a mix of Clive Barker, The Da Vinci Code and the iconic Japanese horror, Ring.”
The first season of Hellbound has only six episodes but, just like Squid Game, we should probably expect a season two given its huge viewing popularity.
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