1. Oldboy (2003)
It may be more than a decade old, but this one's legendary. This mystery-thriller by director Park Chan Wook was the Grand Prize winner at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It was also nominated for the Palme d'Or. It tells the revenge tale of a man who is kidnapped, imprisoned and tortured for 15 years, with no slightest idea why. Then he's released to figure it all out and find his captor. with no idea who his captor his and why he ended up there. Oldboy was even remade in Hollywood in 2013.
2. Handmaiden (2016)
Park Chan Wook gained international attention again with his most recent film "Handmaiden." It unravels a con man's scheme to defraud the Japanese heiress of her large inheritance. He hires a woman to serve as the heiress's handmaiden, to help persuade her into falling into the con man's trap. But, of course, with any Park Chan Wook film, there is a major twist-- no spoilers! The film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, where its art director snagged an award.
3. The Chaser (2008)
This film was actor Ha Jung Woo's breakthrough and it was also the debut film for director Na Hong Jin. The action-thriller is based on the real-life Korean serial killer Yoo Young Chul. The movie was based on the real-life Korean serial killer Yoo Young Chul. It tells the tale of an ex-detective-turned pimp who tries to track down the man responsible for killing several women who've gone missing.
4. The Wailing (2016)
This horror film directed by director Na Hong Jin was screened at the Cannes Film Festival and also released in the United States. The movie is about a policeman who investigates a series of deaths caused by a mysterious disease outbreak after a Japanese stranger moves into town. The movie is also in talks to be remade by a UK-based movie production company.
5. Snowpiercer (2014)
This film was co-written by a Korean and American, Bong Joon Ho and Kelly Masterson. It also stars top Hallyu and Hollywood actors, including Song Kang Ho and Chris Evans. It tells the survival story of the last remaining humans aboard a massive in the post-apocalyptic Ice Age. The train is sectioned off by social class, with the elite living in the luxurious first set of cars, while the lower class lives in squalid conditions in the tail -- that is until they plan to revolt.The movie received critical acclaim internationally. The film won a number of awards.
6. The Host (2006)
Here's another blockbuster hit by Bong Joon Ho. As in the Snowpiercer, actor Sang Kang Ho and actress Go Ah Sung appear together as a father-daughter duo. The film begins with an American military pathologist instructing his assistant to dump hundreds of bottles of chemicals down the drain. A couple years later, a mysterious, monstrous creature emerges from the waters of the Han River that kills hundreds of civilians and wreaks havoc in the city. Go Ah Sung is among the victims swept away by the monster, and her father desperately fights to get her back. The film was screened at several international film events, including the Cannes. It was also released on a limited basis in the U.S. Famed director Quentin Tarantino has even cited this as one of his top films.
7. Okja (2017)
Bong Joon Ho is certainly a hitmaker! This film, which was also screened at the Cannes Film Festival, tells the story of a young girl, Mija, who lives in the countryside with her grandfather and best friend, a massive pig named Okja. Turns out Okja had actually been part of a powerful company's plan to genetically modify pigs to become super pigs for mass consumption. The company abducts Okja to transport her back to New York City, and Mija goes on a rescue mission to get her friend back. This film was actually a Netflix original!
8. Train to Busan (2016)
This zombie thriller by Yeon Sang Ho received critical acclaim internationally. It was released in the U.S. and also screened at the Cannes Film Festival. A mysterious virus outbreak causes they find a bit of relief after being informed that Busan is the only safe refuge from the virus. But little do they know that an infected passenger is also aboard the plane.
9. The Villainess (2017)
This film by Jung Byung Gil got a standing ovation at the 70th Cannes Film Festival and protagonist Kim Ok Bin received critical acclaim for her role in the action-packed thriller. Kim plays a female assassin who was trained to kill from an early age. She is promised to be freed after serving South Korea's Intelligence Agency for 10 years, but not without a fight. Kim Ok Bin acted out the intense action scenes herself!
10. I Saw the Devil (2010)
You can't leave out a film starring Hallyu actor Lee Byung Hun who has also been making his mark in Hollywood. This film, directed by Kim Jee Woon, also stars "Oldboy" protagonist Choi Min Sik, but this time, he plays a psychopathic serial rapist and murderer who kills the fiance of a former South Korean intelligence agent named Soo Hyun, played by Lee. Soo Hyun tracks down the murderer but instead of turning him into the authorities, he decides to get revenge himself in the most extreme and violent ways.