Hellbound (TV series)

Hellbound TV series.jpg
Promotional poster
Created byNetflix
Based onHellbound
by Yeon Sang-ho
Written byChoi Kyu-sok
Directed byYeon Sang-ho
Music byScore:
Kim Dong-wook
Country of originSouth Korea
Original languageKorean
No. of episodes6
Executive producerByun Seung-min
ProducerKim Yeon-ho
CinematographyByun Bong-sun
Camera setupSingle camera
Running time42–60 minutes
Production companyClimax Studio[1]
Original networkNetflix
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio formatDolby Digital
Original releaseNovember 19, 2021 (2021-11-19)
External links

Hellbound (Korean지옥; Hanja地獄; RRJiok) is a South Korean dark fantasy streaming television series directed by Yeon Sang-ho, based on his own webtoon of the same name. An original Netflix release about supernatural beings appearing out of nowhere to condemn people to Hell, the series stars Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Jeong-min, Won Jin-ah and Yang Ik-june.[2][3][4][5]

The pilot episode for Hellbound premiered at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival in the "Primetime program of TV series" on September 9, 2021, and became the first Korean drama to make it to the festival.[6][7] It was released on Netflix on November 19, 2021, and became the world's most watched Netflix series the next day,[8] surpassing Squid Game,[9] released two months prior.


Hellbound occurs in 2022–27 in South Korea. An otherworldly face called an angel suddenly starts to materialize to deliver prophesies called decrees that condemn certain individuals to Hell at a specific future time, either seconds or years away. Three hulking supernatural monsters appear at almost the exact time to maul and incinerate the person's body in a sort of spectacular show of force called a demonstration. Two organizations in cahoots, the cult-like New Truth Society and the gang-like Arrowhead group, gain power by playing on people's fears.

Of the six episodes of the series, episodes 1–3 focus on a detective investigating the supernatural phenomena, the chairman of the New Truth religious order, and a principled female attorney. Except for the attorney, the core characters change in episodes 4–6, which take place 5 years later and focus on a television producer and his wife who have to struggle with the fact that their newborn baby is bound for Hell.




  • Kim Do-yoon as Lee Dong-wook, a live streamer and member of Arrowhead, a gang of violent youths
  • Kim Shin-rok as Park Jeong-ja, a single mother subject to the first public demonstration
  • Lee Re as Jin Hee-jeong, the daughter of Jin Kyeong-hoon
  • Ryu Kyung-soo as Yoo Ji, a priest of the New Truth cult
  • Kim Mi-soo as Deacon Young-in of the New Truth
  • Im Hyeong-guk as Gong Hyeong-joon, a sociology professor and leader in the Sodo counter-organization[15]


In April 2020, Netflix approved production of an original series based upon an 11 minute long webtoon Hellbound, written and drawn by Yeon Sang-ho in 2002.[16] Yeon signed on to direct the series.[17]

In late July, Yoo Ah-in, Park Jeong-min, Kim Hyun-joo, Won Jin-ah, Yang Ik-jun, Kim Shin-rok, Ryu Kyung-soo and Lee Re were confirmed to play various roles in the series.[12][18][19]

The series was filmed at Cube Indoor Studio from August 2020 to January 2021. The old Chungnam Provincial Government Buildings in Sunhwa-dong, Jung-gu and the Hannam University Missionary Village in Daedeok-gu were outdoor locations for filming.[20] On February 25, 2021, the director and the cast of the Hellbound introduced the TV series in Netflix content roadshow.[21]


The series had its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, when the first three episodes were screened in 'Primetime' section on September 9, 2021 and became the first Korean drama to make it to the festival.[6][22] The first three episodes were also screened at the 26th Busan International Film Festival in newly created 'On Screen' section on October 7, 2021[23] and at the 65th BFI London Film Festival in 'Thrill' section on October 15, 2021.[24][25] It was released for streaming on Netflix on November 19, 2021.[26]


The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 96% approval rating, based on 28 reviews with an average rating of 7.80/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Summoned by the devilish imagination of writer-director Yeon Sang-ho, Hellbound leverages its terrifying concept to thoughtfully explore human fallibility."[27]

Audience response

As of week ending at November 28, Hellbound with 67.52 million viewing hours is at 2nd place in Global Top 10 weekly list of the most-watched TV shows (Non-English).[28]

On release it recorded 43.48 million viewing hours in three days of release and rose to top spot in the 'Netflix global TOP 10 TV (non-English) category' as per Netflix TOP 10 website. It ranked first in the 'TOP 10' in 12 countries, whereas it was listed in the 'TOP 10' list in 59 countries worldwide.[29] This is the fastest rate for a Korean series on Netflix.[8]

It surpassed another Netflix-produced Korean drama, Squid Game, as the most popular show on Netflix on its initial release.[9]

Critical response

Nick Allen of RogerEbert.com gave the series a positive review, praising how the show mixed grounded horror with thoughtful discussions about sin. He wrote: "The wrath monster trio might be absurd, but the madness within Hellbound is extremely believable."[30] Kylie Northover writing for The Age gave 4 stars out of 5 and appreciating the narrative wrote, "...the narrative steadily evolves into a compelling mix of police procedural, violent horror and shrewd commentary around ideas of human flaws, mortality, sin, justice and the influence of media." Referring to The Leftovers, she felt that Hellbound shows sensibilities as "humanity’s search for purpose in the face of the divine, but its exploration of the conflicting ways in which humanity might react to such a mass event feels like something to which we can all, in a small way, relate post-pandemic.[31]

Ed Power of The Telegraph rated the series with 3 stars out of 5 and stated, "Hellbound unspools like a mix of Clive Barker, The Da Vinci Code and the iconic Japanese horror, Ring."[32] Kim Seong-hyeon reviewing for YTN wrote the "performances of the actors that make the hell of reality that the director solidly created in this way more smoothly". Concluding, Kim stated, "Although the somewhat insufficient CG leaves a little disappointment, Hell is a work that leaves a deep impression enough to offset that. There seems to be no doubt that Hell will be the most talked about work this winter."[33] Abhishek Srivastava of The Times of India graded the series with 4 stars out of 5 and appreciated the narrative and performance stating, "It works multiple surprises in its narratives and features excellent performances that accentuate the drama on contrasts amongst its characters". About plot, Srivastava said, "In a neat, riveting plot twist, the show jumps ahead a few years; bringing in a new layer of characters, scenarios and situations,... Concluding his review he said, "Hellbound is not a horror thriller, or a crime drama. [Rather] it combines elements from different genres to create a highly bingeable show where human behaviour comes under scrutiny."[34] Jeffrey Zhang of Strange Harbors graded the series with B+ and stated, "Hellbound finds a tricky moral tightrope underneath its phantasmagoria - a meticulously crafted and surprisingly introspective chiller even when it stumbles in its thematic juggling act".[35]

Squid Game comparison

Stuart Heritage of The Guardian commenting on the comparison of the series with Squid Game wrote, "Hellbound is a truly exceptional drama wrapped in only the lightest of genre thrills. It might currently find itself swept up in Squid Game’s wake, but I guarantee that, of the two, it’s the show that will still be talked about a decade from now."[36][37]

See also


  1. ^ Kim Ji-hye (January 13, 2021). "클라이맥스, 영화계 지각변동 예고…2021년 라인업 들여다보니" [Climax [Studio], a seismic change in the film industry... Looking into the 2021 lineup] (in Korean). SBS Enter News. Retrieved April 16, 2021.
  3. ^ "Fancy Lineup for "Hellbound" With Yoo Ah-in, Park Jung-min, Kim Hyun-joo, Won Jin-ah and Yang Ik-june". YTN. HanCinema. July 29, 2020. Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  4. ^ Corp, ABS-CBN. "Coming Soon: K-Drama 'Hellbound'". Metro.Style.
  5. ^ "Watch Hellbound | Netflix Official Site". www.netflix.com. Retrieved November 3, 2021.
  6. ^ a b "Hellbound". Toronto International Film Festival. August 14, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  7. ^ Park Soo-in (August 14, 2021). "연상호 감독 '지옥' 토론토국제영화제 프라임타임 부문 공식 초청" [Director Yeon Sang-ho's 'Hellbound' officially invited to the Toronto International Film Festival in the Primetime category]. Newsen (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  8. ^ a b Burke, Kelly (November 22, 2021). "South Korean horror Hellbound takes over Squid Game as most popular Netflix series globally". The Guardian. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Netflix's new Korean thriller series 'Hellbound' beats 'Squid Game' in initial release". Mothership (Singapore). November 23, 2021. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  10. ^ Tahir, Alhamzah (July 29, 2020). "#Showbiz: Yoo Ah-hin, Park Jeong-min to star in Netflix's original series 'Hellbound'". New Straits Times. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  11. ^ "Park Sang Hoon". Wayzcompany.
  12. ^ a b "Yoo Ah In, Park Jeong Min, Kim Hyun Joo & Won Jin Ah Top-Bill Netflix New Korean Original Series "Hellbound"". July 29, 2020.
  13. ^ "YOO Ah-in and PARK Jung-min to Headline YEON Sang-ho's HELLBOUND". Korean Film Biz Zone.
  14. ^ "넷플릭스 '지옥' 유아인, 박정민, 김현주, 원진아, 양익준 등 출연 확정" [Netflix 'Hellbound' Yoo Ah-in, Park Jung-min, Kim Hyun-joo, Won Jin-ah, Yang Ik-june, etc.]. Eggtail (in Korean). Naver. July 29, 2020.
  15. ^ "임형국, 연상호 감독 신작 '지옥' 캐스팅 확정..눈부신 활약 예고" [Lim Hyeong-guk and Yeon Sang-ho's new film 'Hell' cast confirmed... Examples of dazzling performances]. Heraldpop (in Korean). September 16, 2020.
  16. ^ "지옥 2002" [The Hell Animation Shrot Film]. cine21 (in Korean).
  17. ^ Eunsung, Kim (April 23, 2020). "연상호 감독, 웹툰 '지옥' 원작으로 넷플릭스 드라마 만든다" [Director Yeon Sang-ho makes a Netflix drama based on the webtoon 'Hellbound']. Kyunghyang Shinmun (in Korean). Retrieved October 27, 2020.
  18. ^ "'Train To Busan' director Yeon Sang-ho set to release a K-drama". Manila Bulletin. August 2, 2020.
  19. ^ "Yoo Ah In, Park Jeong Min, and more confirmed to lead the new Netflix supernatural series "Hellbound"". Annyeong Oppa. July 29, 2020.
  20. ^ Kang Eun-seon (November 25, 2021). "넷플릭스 '오징어 게임'·'지옥' 촬영 장소, 알고 보니 이곳" [Netflix's 'Squid Game' and 'Hell' filming locations, it turns out this is the place]. Segye Ilbo (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved November 25, 2021.
  21. ^ Kim Ye-rang (February 25, 2021). ""넷플릭스 '지옥', 韓 콘텐츠 매력 집대성"" ["Netflix 'Hellbound', culmination of Korean content charm"]. Hankyung (in Korean). Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  22. ^ Kim Jeong-jin (August 14, 2021). "넷플릭스 '지옥', 한국 드라마 최초 토론토국제영화제 초청" [Netflix's 'Hellbound' is the first Korean drama to be invited to the Toronto International Film Festival]. Yonhap News (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  23. ^ Kim Ji-won (August 25, 2021). "부산영화제, OTT 공식 섹션 신설…연상호 '지옥'·김진민 '마이 네임' 상영" [Busan Film Festival, OTT Official Section Newly Established... Screening of Yeon Sang-ho's 'Hellbound' and Kim Jin-min's 'My Name']. Ten Asia (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved August 25, 2021.
  24. ^ Kim Ji-hye (September 9, 2021). "'지옥', 제65회 BFI 런던영화제 LFF 시리즈 스릴 부문 공식 초청" ['Hell' officially invited to the LFF series thrill section at the 65th BFI London Film Festival]. SBS Entertainment (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  25. ^ "Hellbound". British Film Institute. 2021. Retrieved September 9, 2021.
  26. ^ Lee Jong-gil (September 25, 2021). "넷플릭스, 연상호·최규석 '지옥' 11월19일 공개" [Netflix, Yeon Sang-ho and Choi Gyu-seok's 'Hell' to be released on November 19]. Asia Economy (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved September 25, 2021.
  27. ^ "Hellbound: Season 1 (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 11, 2021.
  28. ^ "Global Top 10; Weekly Top 10 lists of the most-watched TV and films". Netflix top 10. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  29. ^ Moon Ji-yeon (November 24, 2021). "[공식] 전세계 달군 '지옥', 넷플릭스 TOP10 리스트 장악" [[Official] Worldwide 'Hell' dominates Netflix's TOP 10 list]. Sports Chosun (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  30. ^ Allen, Nick. "Netflix's Hellbound is a Brutal, Thrilling Series About Belief | TV/Streaming | Roger Ebert". www.rogerebert.com. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  31. ^ Northover, Kylie (November 18, 2021). "Korean supernatural thriller is hell on earth". #Showbiz. The Age. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  32. ^ Power, Ed (November 19, 2021). "Hellbound review: Netflix's South Korean thriller makes Squid Game feel like a triumph of understatement". The Telegraph. Retrieved November 20, 2021.
  33. ^ Kim Seong-hyeon (November 9, 2021). "[Y리뷰] '지옥' 연상호가 쌓고, 유아인이 다듬다… 참신하고 파괴적인 질문" [[Y Review] 'Hell' Yeon Sang-ho builds, Yoo Ah-in refines... novel and destructive questions]. YTN (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved November 9, 2021.
  34. ^ Abhishek Srivastava (November 21, 2021). "Hellbound Season 1 Review : Dystopian and riveting, K-Drama Hellbound questions human belief masterfully". The Times of India. Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  35. ^ Jeffrey Zhang (November 22, 2021). "Hellbound 2021 Fall TV Review Roundup". Strange Harbors. Retrieved November 22, 2021.
  36. ^ Stuart Heritage (November 25, 2021). "Hellbound: the South Korean death-fest that wipes the floor with Squid Game". The Guardian (in Korean). Retrieved November 27, 2021.
  37. ^ Lee Nam-kyung (November 27, 2021). "가디언, '지옥' 극찬 "수십 년 동안 회자될 예외적 드라마"" [The Guardian praises 'Hell' "An exceptional drama that will be talked about for decades"]. MBN Star (in Korean). Naver. Retrieved November 27, 2021.

External links


Article Hellbound (TV series) in English Wikipedia took following places in local popularity ranking:

Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-12-15 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=65690872