Yeon Sang-Ho’s movies and TV shows ranked from best to worst

Yeon Sang-Ho has made a name for himself after directing several animated and live-action movies & TV shows.

Most of his titles are dark, filled with scenes of violence or zombies, but he has amassed a huge fan base worldwide.

If you are new to Yeon Sang-Ho’s work, there are over a dozen Korean films and TV shows that you can enjoy. Below, we rank the top titles from the best to the worst.

1. Parasyte: The Grey (2024)

The Grey is Yeon Sang-Ho's latest work.
The Grey is Yeon Sang-Ho’s latest work. Image: X/EXOCALVAN1
  • Our rating: 8.0/10
  • Stars: Jeon So-nee, Koo Kyo-hwan, Lee Jung-hyun, Kwon Hae-hyo and Kim In-kwon
  • Director: Yeon Sang-ho
  • Writer: Hitoshi Iwaaki
  • What we like: amazing chemistry with the main character, great storytelling, and an amazing climax.
  • What we don’t like: undeveloped side characters, too many visual effects, and body horror.

Parasyte: The Grey is Yeon Sang-Ho’s latest work. The Korean drama premiered on Netflix on April 5, 2024. It is a live-action adaptation of Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Japanese manga Parasyte.

Parasyte: The Grey follows Jeong Su-in, who is caught up in a world invaded by body-snatching and mind-controlling alien parasites.

However, Su-in’s parasite doesn’t take over her mind; instead, it forms a symbiotic relationship with her, helping save her life and in her fight against other parasites.

Parasyte: The Grey is an excellent film for horror lovers, with several chilling scenes. The drama also does an amazing job of portraying Su-in’s struggle to coexist with her parasite and the conflict between her and the anti-parasite task force, The Grey. It also features a cast full of talented actors and actresses.

2. Train to Busan (2016)

  • Our rating: 7.8/10
  • Stars: Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, and Kim Su-an
  • Director: Yeong Sang-Ho
  • Writer: Joo-Suk Park, Yeon Sang-Ho
  • What we like: well-developed characters, good script, impressive action sequences, and deeply moving scenes.
  • What we don’t like: intense scenes of zombie horror and extreme violence, too much tension in some scenes.
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Train to Busan is a 2016 film about a single father-daughter duo’s fight for survival after a zombie outbreak occurs while they are on a train journey to Busan. Trapped on a speeding train, they must fight against all odds to stay alive.

Train to Busan is an amazing film with well-developed characters, an impressive script, and well-executed action scenes. It also has several moving scenes that create an emotional resonance that will keep you glued to the screen the entire time.

3. Hellbound (2021)

Hellbound is a dark fantasy religious drama released by Netflix in 2021.
Hellbound is a dark fantasy religious drama released by Netflix in 2021. Image: X/iconickdramas
  • Our rating: 7.3/10
  • Stars: Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Jeong-min, Lee Re, Kim Shin-rok, and Kim Sung-Cheol.
  • Director: Yeon Sang-Ho
  • Writer: Kyu-Seik Choi, Yeon Sang-Ho
  • What we like: high-octane scenes, well-developed characters, and compelling thematic exploration.
  • What we don’t like: the over-the-top horror scene, some plot lines that were too dramatic and cliché, and the show’s failure to provide enough explanations about the origin of the supernatural creatures.

Hellbound is a dark fantasy religious drama released by Netflix in 2021.

It takes place in a world where “angels of death” have emerged, telling people when they will die, with these prophecies followed by the appearance of monsters who torture and execute the doomed individuals before sending them to hell.  

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Hellbound is a thrilling horror TV show that will keep you on edge with suspense, tension, and chilling terror scenes. The series also explores some important themes, such as humanity’s hypocrisy and the effects of fear-mongering religious cults.

4. Seoul Station (2016)

Seoul Station is an animated film
Seoul Station is an animated film. Image: X/kafkaesque0824
  • Our rating: 6.8/10
  • Stars: Ryu Seung-Ryon, Shim Eun-Kyung, Lee Jon, Jang Hyuk-Jin, and Song Ha-Rim
  • Director: Yeon Sang-Ho
  • Writer: Yeon Sang-Ho
  • What we like: excellent societal portrayal, plenty of tension and zombie horror, and it avoids many zombie movie stereotypes.
  • What we don’t like: fewer and less compelling action scenes (compared to Train to Busan), and the film does not explain the zombies’ origin.

Seoul Station follows Suk-gyu, a father desperately searching for his runaway daughter during a zombie outbreak. It is a prequel to Train to Busan and explores how the zombie apocalypse began.

Seoul Station is an animated film (unlike the live-action Train to Busan) and, therefore, a bit downbeat. However, it still has the same (if not more) horror, blood, and gore, which is accompanied by a good dose of social realism.

5. The Fake (2013)

The Fake is a 2013 film about financial exploitation by religious organizations.
The Fake is a 2013 film about financial exploitation by religious organizations. Image: YouTube/Legendary TV
  • Our rating: 6.2/10
  • Stars: Yang Ik-joon, Kwon Hae-hyo, Park Hee-bon, and Kim Jae-rok
  • Director: Yeon Sang-Ho
  • Writer: Yeon Sang-ho
  • What we like: the multidimensional main character, perfect portrayal of fake religion, and a powerful message.
  • What we don’t like: the movie is cynical & bleak, annoying characters.

The Fake is a 2013 film about financial exploitation by religious organizations. It follows Kim Min-Chul (played by Yang Ik-Joon), a village outcast with a checkered past, as he attempts to expose a con artist masquerading as a religious leader.

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The Fake is a thrilling film that explores the themes of religion (and fake religion) and the darkness of human nature. It is thoughtful, entertaining, and educational.

6. Peninsula (2020)

Peninsula is a 2020 action-horror film
Peninsula is a 2020 action-horror film. Image: YouTube/Legendary TV
  • Our rating: 6.0
  • Stars: Ko Kyo-hwan, Ma Dong-seok, Gang Dong-won, Lee Re, Le Jung-hyun
  • Director: Yeon Sang-Ho
  • Writer: Yeon Sang-Ho, Ryu Yong-jae
  • What we like: Fast-paced action scenes, great acting, deeply emotional scenes, and impressive visuals.
  • What we don’t like: Overdone action scenes and a different tone from the original Train to Busan drama.

Peninsula is a 2020 action-horror film, touted as a stand-alone sequel to the Korean drama Train to Busan. It follows a former soldier and his team sent to the Korean peninsula to retrieve a truck of money, pitting them against a horde of zombies and rogue militias.

Peninsula is an exciting film with several action-packed scenes and a highly skilled combatant main character. The film also explores the themes of family, greed, and desperation.

However, the film is quite removed from the world of Train to Busan and has nothing in common with the original drama other than the director.

7. The King of Pigs (2022)

King of Pigs is an animated psychological thriller film released in 2011
King of Pigs is an animated psychological thriller film released in 2011. Image: X/luvrbrew
  • Our rating: 5.7/10
  • Stars: Yang Ik-joon, Hye-na Kim, Oh Jung-se
  • Director: Yeon Sang-Ho
  • Writer: Yeon Sang-Ho
  • What we like: Impressive and realistic social critique, a thought-inspiring message.
  • What we don’t like: Extreme gore and violence, gender-based violence, animal cruelty.

King of Pigs is an animated psychological thriller film released in 2011. It follows two friends who meet up after several years apart and start revisiting their high school experiences, which left them scarred.

King of Pigs is a great film that explores the damaging effects of societal hierarchies and bullying, especially in schools.

However, despite the educational message, the movie is very intense, with several scenes of gore, violence, abuse, animal abuse, and sexual harassment.   

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