Netflix is looking to continue its hot streak of Korean dramas with Hellbound, a new police procedural horror series from Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho. Hellbound tells a story of surviving under social chaos when a group of supernatural beings appear and condemn people to hell while a new religious group interprets them as the will of the divine. A new trailer has been released ahead of the show’s screening at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, which commences from next week. You can check out the trailer below.
Based on the webtoon Hell, written by Yeon Sang-ho and illustrated by Choi Gyu-seok, Hellbound is a uniquely original series that aims to combine religion and supernatural horror. Also, the series takes an unconventional approach in its storytelling since it happens to be a police procedural drama. The following plot synopsis as featured on the TIFF press release sheds some light on Hellbound’s ambitious story.
“Hellbound, is a series about a nation coping with a new phenomenon of ‘sinners’ literally condemned, and a religious sect on the rise, led by Jung Jin-soo (Yoo Ah-in). Investigating the phenomenon of ‘proclamations’ and ritualistic murders is police detective Jin Kyung-hoon (Yang Ik-june). Examining the mysterious sect are broadcast journalist Bae Young-jae (Park Jung-min) and lawyer of the accused sinners Min Hey-jin (Kim Hyun-joo). Together, these three investigators search for answers in this wildly original commentary on the growing anxieties of a nation.”
Cults, rituals, hell, and demons- Hellbound seems to have it all. Yeon signed on as director in April 2020 after Netflix decided to adapt his webtoon Hell. Yeon wrote the script of Hellbound with his Hell illustrator Choi Gyu-seok. Choi himself is a renowned author whose famous webtoon Awl has been previously adapted into the 2015 television drama, Songgot.
Netflix announced the full cast of Hellbound in July 2022, featuring the likes of well known Korean actors Yoo Ah-in (Burning, #Alive), Park Jung-min (Time to Hunt, Psychokinesis), Kim Hyun-joo (Glass Slippers,), Won Jin-ah (Life) and Yang Ik-june (Breathless).
Yeon Sang-ho rose to fame directing the 2016 action horror film Train to Busan. The film proved to be a massive success at the box office while also being praised for its fresh take on the zombie horror genre. Train to Busan revolved around a batch of survivors trapped on a high-speed train amidst a zombie outbreak in Korea. The film was praised for its well-developed characters, the emotional tone, and never experienced before frights.
A standalone sequel Train to Busan: Peninsula, was released last year amidst a real virus outbreak but failed to live up to expectations. In other news, James Wan and Gary Dauberman are adapting Train to Busan for American audiences, with Indonesian rising star Timo Tjahjanto (The Night Comes for Us) at the helm.
Hellbound will have its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival in the Primetime program of TV series, becoming the first Korean drama to make it to the festival. Hellbound will also be screened at the 26th Busan International Film Festival in October. It remains unknown when the series will stream on Netflix. Though, October has been touted as the likely release month. We will soon have more news on Hellbound. Until then, stay tuned.