South Korea does it again! The worldwide phenomenon Squid Game was a fantastic Sci-Fi thriller with phenomenal work from many in South Korea. The acting, writing, and production are all magnificently done. Another high-quality piece of work is on Netflix from the same country and I'm enthralled by it. Hellbound is a Sci-Fi thriller, but it's also a religious magnum opus that creates true fear. Say a prayer, repent, and pursue righteousness as we dive into the creative and dark work that is: Hellbound!
*Mild Spoilers Ahead*
I first saw Hellbound on Netflix a couple of weeks ago and it instantly piqued my interest. Well, all it took was one little holiday weekend (that's not even over), and I already binged the whole series. This show is six episodes long and has a very dark tone. I won't spoil too much of the plot, but I hope to solve the question you're undoubtedly asking yourself: Is Hellbound worth my time?
Hellbound is a story about an angel-like being that appears to individuals and predicts their exact time and death. When the time comes, three beings sent from 'Hell' appear to punish and banish the individual for the sins. The beings then vanish after absolutely wreaking havoc. Oh, I forgot to mention, the show opens with this act happening in broad daylight with tons of witnesses filming it. This sends many people into a panic as the punishment is stunningly brutal.
There is also a religious group called 'The New Truth' whose leader warns the public about sinning. He declares that any sinners will be punished by God and His berserkers. This group is just trying to educate the public and reduce sin. However, when things become unpredictable, the cult becomes so much more than a religious and educational conglomerate.
Similar to Squid Game, viewers have the choice of language and subtitles. I watched the first two episodes with the English audio and felt like it lacked something emotional. Just like Squid Game, the essence of the talented South Korean actors is removed when listening to the English overdubs. This show needs to be viewed with English subtitles so you can truly feel the emotion poured into this piece like a heavy dose of leftovers the day after Thanksgiving.
I truly enjoyed the performances in this series. They all felt real and very emotional. But I was captivated by the tone this show has and couldn't stop myself from getting emotionally invested. Obviously, that's a sign of a good show, but it really felt different. It's like becoming a parent and then watching a scene involving kids and being scared for them because of your parental instincts.
Hellbound is 100 percent worth your time, if you're a fan of Sci-Fi thrillers with a gripping story, that is. Director Sang-ho Yeon creates a fantastic and chilling environment. His previous work 'Train to Busan' and its successor 'Peninsula' provide a nice overview of how his creative mind works. If you're a fan of his zombie films then you will absolutely love his take on religious damnation and divine retribution.
The religious aspects of the show bring a familiar yet fresh view of how humanity really can be its own enemy. The creatures from Hell might look like the ones causing all the chaos, but in reality, our fate is in our own hands. Check out Hellbound on Netflix and let us know what you think!