Strangers From Hell Season 1 is a Psychological thriller Korean drama which is immersive enough to make you feel everything the characters in the show are experiencing. It has drama, emotional disconnect from society, failure and the need for acceptance. The show was released on August 31, 2019 and is available on Netflix. It has ten episodes and the runtime of each episode does not exceed an hour.
The show is a dark one but doesn’t contain regular jump scares which is expected from most psychological thrillers. It creates an environment where you can dissociate from your own reality and enter into the show’s background. The show will leave you twisted and wanting for more. But beware of the premise, it isn’t as simple as it looks.
It is the story of Yoon Jong-Woo, an aspiring 20-year-old crime writer who is trying to find a place to stay in the city of Seoul. He doesn’t have much cash and ends up living in a small dormitory named Eden Studio which has some creepy set of people already residing there which does develop into certain uncomfortable situations.
Cast and Characters
- Im Si-wan as Yoon Jong-woo, a writer who comes from the countryside and moves in room 303 at Eden Dormitory after landing a new job at a new company his older friend created. He takes Eden Dormitory for a cheap price, only to find out that the dormitory isn’t just an ordinary dormitory.
- Lee Dong-wook as Seo Moon-jo, a dentist who works near Eden Dormitory and lives in room 304. He comes across as a friendly and compassionate dentist; however, things are not what they seem.
Plot of Strangers From Hell Season 1
Jong-Woo is a typical struggling guy who is trying to make it big in this city. He has big dreams and wants to achieve them. He does not come from a rich household and hasn’t had a father figure in his life to guide him and help him through his teenage years.
He has a sick brother and a single mother who rely on him which does display the kind of pressure he is constantly under because of his unfortunate situation. On the top of it, he has to live in this dormitory because of the low cost in spite of finding it a little spooky in the first instance. He doesn’t have many options.
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He has a senior who had offered him a job but he constantly puts him down in order to get past his own insecurities and boost his fragile male ego. The man keeps berating Jong-Woo. He also has a girlfriend who is also not emotionally supportive and remains distant.
She has her own set of problems at her own job and never seems to care or take Jong-Woo’s problems seriously. This leaves him feeling alone in a strange city with no one to talk to. The place where he now resides has some weird and creepy neighbors that do not make him feel safe at all.
All of this loneliness brings Jong-Woo in a dark state mentally which gives birth to a more evil side of his, which is the antagonist of the show named Moon-Jo. It is the side of Jong-Woo that he has suppressed for years in order to be a good person and do everything by the book.
But the people around him are not good to him and he keeps feeling more and more dejected every day. Moon-Jo was suppressed since he beat up his superior in the past. As the show progresses, Moon-Jo completely releases the beast that resides in Jong-Woo making him violent.
This version of his soon becomes his reality thus portraying the psychological impairment. The show becomes more about how it is not worth being good to people and instead one must be selfish and take what they want instead of following the rules created by the society.
Review of the Show
This show is a stark reminder of how a person’s psychological well-being can fall apart if he is not surrounded by the right people and hence, this perpetuates the need for a stable and loving environment that supports the person even if they are going through a difficult time. The show has creepy shots with brilliant cinematography that will shake you to the core.
Along with the horror element, it also has an emotional thought provoking message which sets it apart from other shows that try to depict mental disorders. The show keeps one confused because the narrator, Jong-Woo, is himself unreliable and blurs the line between reality and what’s happening in his head.
The show depicts how it is important to choose people in your life wisely and be careful while constantly getting berated in a personal and emotional capacity.
It depicts the state of an imperfect civilization that is becoming more and more discouraging with every passing minute. It covers genres of loneliness and compassion, touching upon mental health issues while keeping the audience gripped all through the ten episodes because of a sense of thrilling suspense. This show does have it all.
Strangers From Hell Season 1 is a full package which has everything a person can ask for and all of this chaos has been tied up effortlessly without making it complicated. The narration is supposed to be confusing but as and when it unravels, it reveals a dark theme that makes it rewarding for the people watching the show.
The entire premise keeps building up to something more than itself and makes it a brilliant story with amazing writing. With the increasing popularity of K-dramas, it sure helps and makes the genre more appealing. If you haven’t already started watching Korean shows, then this story is a good start.