I can't be the only one who is majorly disappointed by 80% of the Korean dramas that came out this year. Is 2019 worse than 2018? Yes, I believe so. Even the dramas from OCN, which is my favourite channel, couldn't catch my full attention and ended up being a disappointment.
Thank god, the new OCN drama - Strangers from Hell (also known as Hell is Other People) is here to save the day... and probably the whole year!
WARNING: The article might contain spoilers from episode 1 and 4!
Yoon Jong Woo is a young guy in his 20s, who moved from the countryside to Seoul after his college friend, Jae Ho, offered him a job. While looking for a place to live, he stumbles upon Eden Gosiwon, a cheap apartment which shares its kitchen and bathroom with other residents. He is not thrilled about the quality of the place or the other abnormal residents, among them his next-door neighbor Seo Moon Jo, a charismatic dentist. Nevertheless, Jong Woo decides to put up with it for 6 months until he saves enough money to move out. However, mysterious events start occurring in the apartment, causing Jong Woo to start fearing the apartment's residents.
The drama is adapted from a webtoon of the same title by Kim Yong Ki.
IT KEEPS YOU ON THE EDGE OF YOUR SEAT
Each episode of Strangers from Hell is filled with suspense, horror, it makes you shiver, and it's quite creepy. But this is what makes a psychological thriller really good. When it comes to this genre, I believe OCN is the best and Strangers from Hell has the potential to become my favourite thriller drama. It's very unpredictable, and you can't guess what will happen next since all characters are freaks and you don't know what idea will cross their minds. The episodes end with a cliffhanger, and it makes you want to watch more. Waiting a week for a new episode is torture, but I still believe watching it while it's airing is the best decision. It's quite a heavy drama, and some scenes are not easy to digest so binge-watching it can affect you in a bad way.
I don't really recommend this show to people who easily get scared. It's bloody and vicious. It also includes animal abuse so beware if you decide to start watching it. I personally can't stand animal abuse, and even though I'm really enjoying the drama, I'm still kind of uncomfortable whenever they mention the poor cats. I think Strangers from Hell is scarier than OCN's previous dramas and the people in the studio hotel are even more creepy than everyone's favourite Park Il Do from The Guest.
TWISTED CHARACTERS THAT CREEP YOU OUT + BRILLIANT ACTING
I'm not a big fan of the horror genre, and I don't get scared easily. But the characters here scare the hell out of me, they are very sly, and you can never guess what's on their minds. The whole atmosphere around them is very creepy. We have a landlady who likes to offer her tenants rotten eggs and also likes cooking human meat?, one pervert psycho, twins who are total freaks (sometimes quite funny haha) and a big boss who seems to be the most dangerous out of them. I guess he made them go insane and now he is playing a bizarre game. Or maybe they were already insane, and he's just using them? At the end of the second episode, it was revealed that the big boss is actually Lee Dong Wook's character Seo Moon Jo, who works as a dentist. I am very excited to see him playing the bad guy.
Personally, I am more scared of the landlady. She looks like a friendly neighbour ahjumma who will cook for you a tasty dish. But inside, she is pure evil. And she is ready to kill.
But our poor main lead, he has no luck at all. I haven't seen such an unlucky soul. He is a kind-hearted man, but very naive and sometimes quite dumb. He doesn't know about what's going on in the hotel even though so many strange things are happening around him. He feels that something is off though, I hope he will find out soon. Oh, and his co-workers are the worst. He is under pressure, even at work.
Im Shi Wan as Yoon Jong Woo
Lee Dong Wook as Seo Moon Jo
Lee Jung Eun as Eom Bok Soon
Park Jong Hwan as Byun Deuk Jong | Byun Deuk Soo
Lee Joong Ok as Hong Nam Bok
The acting in Strangers from Hell is another level! All the actors are doing a superb job at portraying their characters. They are doing it so naturally and realistically, and that makes the drama even more chilling. Lee Dong Wook's acting will surprise you though; I've never seen him in such a role. He is playing a psychopath brilliantly, and he gives me the chills. His appearance is very dark, cold, creepy and... lowkey sexy lol. Anyways, he is excellent here.
MY THEORIES SO FAR: [ don't read if you haven't watched episode 4 ]
I think Jong Woo is slowly going insane. You know the scene in the bathroom when he said he wants to kill his co-worker with the glasses. And the scene where he imagined killing his CEO.
There's something about his dreams, though. OCN dramas always have massive plot twists, so I'm wondering what will be the plot twists here. What if this is all his imagination? I hope it won't turn out like this because everything is so detailed to be just imagination or a dream. But I think they gave a hint when Jung Woo was talking to Moon Jo about his book. He explained how the main character kills, and his methods were similar to Moon Joo's. Coincidence? I don't think so. There's something off here, and I don't think the drama is simply about murderers living in a hotel. There has to be something behind all of this. This is OCN. There's no way we won't see a very shocking plot twist.
Okay, I will end this short article here. I just wanted to recommend this superb drama to all of you since I'm really enjoying it and I want it to be appreciated by more viewers.
(Im Shi Wan looks like a baby next to Lee Dong Wook, doesn't he? :D)
If you are watching Strangers from Hell: What are your thoughts so far? Do you like it or not? And which character scare you the most? Do you have any theories so far?
If you are not watching Strangers from Hell: Do you plan to? And did this article help you decide?
Thank you for reading!