I decided to slowly go back into movie/series reviews, since there are quite a few very good series on Netflix that I have been watching in the last year (it all began with Kingdom). This time I am going to talk about Hellbound, another Korean miniseries I watched on Netflix. Hellbound is a series based on a webtoon by Yeon Sang-ho (he also directed the series). Hellbound is different to most Korean series on Netflix since it was actually a Netflix release, not much a license purchase. For this reason, it’s also shorter (it’s 6 episodes long, while other Korean series are usually 16 episodes long).
One thing I need to mention is, Hellbound is brutal and also bloody. If you can’t really watch violent content, stay away from this. There aren’t many deaths in the series, but the few ones you see are pretty brutal. Now that I got that out of the way, let’s continue.
The premise is simple, but also full of mystery. It starts when 3 huge black monsters (they look like the “Abomination” creature from The Incredible Hulk, but as if they were made of tar, and surrounded by black smoke) show up to kill a guy. It turns out the guy had been “sentenced” to hell by a big white-yellowish disembodied face, and he was given the exact time of his death. The sentence: the monsters show up, beat the guy and then burn him, leaving only the charred bones.
This opens the path to a more complicated plot, with different organizations (including religious organizations made up around the “monsters cult”) using this situation for their own interests. And this is the main “storyline” of the series, so to speak. While the monsters are the supernatural element, the real “meat” of the series comes from the interactions of characters, and also organizations fighting for power. While this may sound generic to some, these plots are created in such a way that makes it very interesting and keep you stuck to the seat, specially thanks to how the paranormal element is brought into the mix.
The series also has quite a few interesting twists and “what happened here?” moments, where characters that you thought were one thing turn out to be something different, and those who you thought were good end up being bad (or vice versa). Even the way people are “sentenced” is presented in one way, just to pull the rug from under your feet and present a completely different idea.
As for the visuals and overall quality of the show, I have to say it’s top notch. All the effects are very high quality, the creature design is also very good and all the overall production quality is also very good, which is something I’ve come to expect from Korean shows.
One thing I have to say is don’t come into this expecting to get all the answers. Some movies or TV shows have the tendency of explain everything, up to the last detail, but this series focuses on explaining the things that can be explained while also keeping you wondering about the other, stranger parts of the show.
Unfortunately, there is not much I can say without getting into spoilers. However, I can say that, if you are into paranormal series that combine drama and all sorts of confabulations, this is the series for you. Even at only 6 episodes, the series is very dense and has a lot to offer so you won’t be disappointed.