After watching endless hours of K-dramas or melodramas, it’s time to switch it up. This means it’s time to watch something a bit more eery, serious and spine-chilling. Besides the popular romantic K-dramas, South Korea also creates thriller series that will have you on the edge of your seat. These thriller series have a certain nuance that isn’t seen on American television.
The villains manage to make the room feel chilly and make going to the bathroom in the dark a no-go. There are many thriller series to sink your teeth into, but where to start? Here’s a list of the Best K-drama thrillers that will surely cause intrigue and will have the heart beating with anticipation.
When in need of an eery and dramatic drama that interweaves, murder, corruption, and even the supernatural, look no further than a thriller K-drama. Throughout the years there have been many well-known suspense thrillers to binge and the list only gets bigger and bigger as die-hard fans will spend hours in front of a screen.
15: Sweet Home (2020)
Sweet Home K-drama thriller gained mass popularity on Netflix for its apocalyptic storyline complete with grotesque monsters. Sweet Home is a Netflix must-watch as the tenants of a building find themselves locked in and fearing the outside world.
Overnight, the world descended into chaos with a deadly disease/virus that turns humans into the worst monsters. The building’s tenants must learn how to survive while also keeping watch as anyone can become a monster. In the midst of it all is a distraught male character who has all the abilities of a monster but struggles to keep his humanity.
14: Mouse (2021)
Jung Ba-Reum (Lee Seung-Gi) is a rookie police officer, working at a police substation. He is an honest person and tries to attain justice. He faces a psychopath murderer, who places the entire nation in fear. Jung Ba-Reum’s life is changed afterward.
The mouse is anything but flowers and sunshine as it revolves around a heinous serial killer with ties to one of Korea’s more infamous murderers.
The rise of this new gruesome serial killer has a steadfast cop and police detective on the hunt for a suspect. As they follow the bloody path of the killer, they never expected an even greater evil to be lurking in the shadows. The drama also plays upon the psychological question of whether a killer is born or created.
13: Strangers from Hell (2019)
Yoon Jong-Woo (Im Si-Wan) is a man in his 20’s. He has lived in a small town for all of his life, but he gets a job at a small office in Seoul. Yoon Jong-Woo moves out to Seoul and stays in a cheap apartment that shares its kitchen and bathroom with other residents. He doesn’t like staying at the apartment and he doesn’t like the other residents who seem weird and suspicious.
Still struggling financially, he can only afford accommodations in a skeptical and cheap dormitory called Eden Studio. During his stay, he gets an eery feeling that the tenants who reside there have a dark secret. Spiraling into slight madness, bizarre occurrences take place.
12: Dark Hole (2021)
Lee Hwa-Sun (Kim Ok-Vin) is a detective at the regional investigation unit of the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. She receives a phone call from the person who murdered her husband. Lee Hwa-Sun then travels to Muji City. There, people inhale a mysterious dark smoke and turn into monsters. The residents in Muji City become terrified. Lee Hwa-Sun struggles to save people there and she also chases after her husband’s murderer.
Meanwhile, Yoo Tae-Han (Lee Joon-Hyuk) has lived in Muji City all of his life. He once worked as a detective, but he had to quit because of a case. He now works as a wrecker driver. He still has his strong for justice, while he is also easygoing and a joker. Yoo Tae-Han now faces his city falling into chaos because of the dark smoke that causes people to turn into monsters. He joins Lee Hwa-Sun to save people in Muji City.
The town’s residents are closed off as many transformed into heinous mutants after breathing in mysterious dark smoke from a sinkhole. With a dire need to catch her husband’s killer, she ventures to Mujishi and joins forces with a former cop-turned-driver.
11: Rugal (2020)
Rugal is a mix between thriller and artificial intelligence. An elite detective’s world crumbles when he comes home to find his wife murdered by a group of men from a criminal organization. The detective got too close to investigating a group called Argos. As a form of retaliation, Argos sends masked men to gouge out his eyes. Ouch!
When Kang Ki-Beom wakes up, he finds himself in the hospital and he is accused of murder. The NIS then approaches Kang Ki-Beom. He is selected to become a member of Rugal, a special team organized by the NIS. Through biotechnology, he gains two artificial eyeballs with a unique ability. Kang Ki-Beom and the Rugal team set out to take down criminal organizations.
10: Extracurricular (2020)
Extracurricular revolve around making the wrong decision that leads to heinous consequences. The show is dark, eery, and worth a watch. While the concept isn’t new, the way the show’s story is structured and how it escalates will catch one’s attention.
Not everyone is who they say they are. A model high school student leads by a good example for his peers. He has good grades, is well-mannered, and is liked by teachers. But in reality, he lives a double life of crime. When a classmate takes an interest in his secret, to end her blackmail he does what he has to even if it’s deadly.
8: Vagabond (2019)
Vagabond does have a bit of a romantic relationship storyline but it’s leveled out with the intense thriller action. This is a story of loss and conspiracy that will have audiences on a chase of corruption and conspiracy. Cha Dal-Geon (Lee Seung-Gi) once dreamed of being a successful actor while taking care of his nephew. His life changes when the plane his nephew was on suddenly crashes.
Riddled with grief, he stumbles upon a passenger who was meant to be on the plane. He soon starts to wonder if the plane was sabotaged. Go Hae-Ri is a NIS agent and is currently working undercover at the Korean embassy in Morocco. She is tasked by the embassy to help the bereaved families from the fatal flight. Cha Dal-Geon turns to Go Hae-Ri for help in finding the man he saw in Morocco who was a passenger on the flight. Soon, Cha Dal-Geon and Go Hae-Ri uncover a far darker and more sinister conspiracy than they expected.
9: Tell Me What You Saw (2020)
Tell Me What You Saw is strictly categorized as a thriller and suspense series. That is exactly what audiences will get from this chilling and dark series. Oh, Hyun-Jae (Jang Hyuk) was once highly regarded as a criminal profiler known for solving uncrackable cold cases. His world is shattered when his fiancée is killed in an explosion set by a serial killer
Unable to deal with the grief, he shuts off from others. One day a new killer emerges with the same MO. While another detective is on the case, he meets Cha Soo-Young (Choi Soo-Young), a detective with a photographic memory. She teams up with Hyun-Jae to seek retribution for his fiancée and stop the killer.
8: Hellbound (2021)
7: Possessed (2019)
also known as Bing-ui