For some reason, South Korea does zombie movies and shows extremely well. Train to Busan is the best example of this, as the zombies are deadly, fast, vicious, and an actual menace compared to some Western equivalents. If you’re looking for good zombie movies, you might want to give South Korean zombie movies and shows a try, and there’s no better place than Netflix to do so. Here are the best South Korean zombie movies or series you can stream on Netflix.
Released during the height of the pandemic, #Alive was the perfect film considering the main characters were also stuck within the confines of their apartment. Albeit the situations were wildly different, and people could still head out to the grocery store for food and supplies, but still, you couldn’t help but empathize with Oh Joon-wo (Yoo Ah-in) locked in his Seoul apartment.
Oh Joon-wo goes through a rollercoaster ride of hell, from accidentally letting in his bitten neighbor to losing all his food supplies and contemplating suicide. Luckily, a neighbor across the yard is alive, and the two begin to hold out against the zombie apocalypse together. #Alive is one of the more recent South Korean zombie movies to come out and is a must-watch if you’re looking for the best South Korean zombie movies on Netflix.
Almost every zombie movie or series is set in the modern day, so it’s refreshing to find one set during the Joseon Dynasty in 16th-century Korea. The show is set three years after the very real and famous Imjin War. During the war, 500 Korean soldiers managed to defeat an entire army of 30,000 Japanese invaders through the use of a medicinal herb known as the “resurrection plant” (you can see where this is going).
The plant turns the soldiers into bloodthirsty zombies, who are then executed and buried in secrecy to keep everything a secret. Years later, the King dies of smallpox but is resurrected using the same herb and kept alive by being fed servants. This is done so the Queen can produce a son with a more legitimate claim to the throne than the current prince, Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon). Chang finds himself undertaking a mission to figure out what truly happened to his father and soon discovers the dark powers keeping him alive.
All of Us Are Dead
Zombies, teenagers, and a high school—what could go wrong? If you’re not into South Korean-style coming-of-age dramas, this one might not be for you, but until you give it a chance, you can’t say that for sure. The zombies are your typical rabid, bloody, aggressive undead, which might be enough to draw you in. The series was renewed for a second season, so you can expect more episodes soon.
The series follows a group of students who become trapped in their school after a virus from their science lab begins spreading like wildfire. The main cast is mainly comprised of students, with a few teachers and one of the character’s father, a paramedic, desperately trying to reach them.
Zombieverse is a brand new reality TV show that pits unwitting contests against a zombie-infested Seoul. These ten contestants thought they had signed up for a reality dating show, but it’s quickly apparent that they’ve bit off more than they can chew. They’ll have to complete quests to get supplies and make it to the end, but along the way, they’ll face numerous obstacles—from both the outside and within.
The trailer showcases quite a few dilemmas prevalent in every zombie apocalypse scenario. Who should be in charge? Do we even need someone in charge? Should we risk our lives to save someone if we don’t need to? What’s the best course of action for getting out alive? All of these questions and more will have to be quickly answered if the group wants to make it out alive together.
Train to Busan
This one has tentative availability on Netflix, but if you ever see it in your feed, you better watch it. Train to Busan is a hallmark film when it comes to South Korean zombie movies and is arguably one of the best. The zombies are aggressive, they’re bloody, and they can run like hell.
The gist is that Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) is a workaholic, neglectful father who decides to take his daughter to her mother in Busan, as that’s where she wants to spend her birthday. After boarding a train from Seoul to Busan, a sick woman boards the train unexpectedly, and havoc begins to break out at the station just as the train departs. Soon, the infection begins spreading on the train, and Seok-Woo and the other passengers find themselves fighting for their lives, trapped aboard a high-speed train.
A standalone sequel to Train to Busan, Peninsula is also tentatively available on Netflix and is a must-watch if it pops up in your recommended. You don’t need to watch Train to Busan to understand Peninsula, as they’re essentially two separate storylines set within the same universe.
Peninsula is set four years after the initial outbreak. The rest of the world has quarantined the entirety of the Korean Peninsula in an effort to stop the infection from destroying the world. The film stars Gang Dong-won as Jung-seok, a former South Korean Marine Corps Captain tasked with retrieving twenty million dollars from a truck inside the peninsula. Jung-seok and his team will soon find out that there are still survivors within the Peninsula among the hordes—and not all of them are friendly.