3 Best Movies to Watch by Yoo Yeon-seok

Staff & contributors

, 2003

From Korean director Park Chan-wook, who also brought you the far quieter The Handmaiden, comes a movie that is positively terrifying. Its premise alone is enough for any sentient human being to shudder. On his daughter's birthday, the good-for-nothing Oh Dae-su (played by Choic Min-sik) gets drunk and is arrested by the police. A friend eventually bails him out and, while he is making a phone call, Oh Dae-su disappears. Not knowing why, he is held in the same room for 15 years for no apparent reason. Until, one day, he is released. That's all that can be revealed about this winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 2004 without giving away too much. All we can add here is the way we recommend Oldboy to people admitting to not having seen it yet: “Watch Oldboy. You're welcome. We're sorry.” A crazy, twisted film that goes to extremes. A cult classic and a statement.

Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Actor: Byeong-ok Kim, Choi Min-sik, Dae-han Ji, Dae-yeon Lee, Han Jae-duk, Hye-jeong Kang, Ji Dae-han, Ji-tae Yu, Jin-Seo Yoon, Jin-seo Yun, Kang Hye-jeong, Kang Hye-jung, Kim Byeong-Ok, Kim Byung-ok, Kim Su-hyun, Kwang-rok Oh, Lee Dae-yeon, Lee Seung-shin, Lee Young-hee, Min-sik Choi, Oh Dal-su, Oh Gwang-rok, Oh Kwang-rok, Oh Tae-kyung, Park Jae-Woong, Park Myung-shin, Seo Myeong-Seok, Seung-Shin Lee, Syd Lim, Yoo Il-han, Yoo Ji-tae, Yoo Yeon-seok, Yoon Jin-seo, Yoon Jin-yul

Director: Chan-wook Park, Park Chan-wook

Rating: R

When we love a person, most of us are convinced that we love them for their personality, and if we truly love them, love would remain even if their beauty fades away. The Beauty Inside, a Korean remake of the 2012 American interactive Internet series, challenges this notion. As Woo-jin’s body changes regularly, he’s unable to live a normal life because of a lack of a consistent appearance, a lack of a visual reference point that allows him to be recognized by the people he loves. While more can be explored with the premise's metaphysical elements, and Woo-jin’s characterization is mostly a neutral, blank canvas, The Beauty Inside is still a sweet, feel-good romance that makes the impossible feel wonderfully possible.

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Actor: Bae Hyun-kyung, Bae Sung-woo, Choi Yong-min, Chun Woo-hee, Do Ji-han, Go A-sung, Go Gyu-pil, Gong Min-jeung, Ha Si-yeon, Ham Tae-in, Han Hyo-joo, Jang Eui-soo, Jo Dal-hwan, Jung Young-ki, Juri Ueno, Kim Dae-myung, Kim Hee-won, Kim Joo-hyuk, Kim Min-jae, Kim Sang-ho, Kim See-eun, Ko Dong-hyoung, Lee Beom-soo, Lee Bom, Lee Dong-hwi, Lee Dong-wook, Lee Hyun-woo, Lee Jae-joon, Lee Ji-min, Lee Ji-won, Lee Jin-wook, Lee Kyung-young, Lee Mi-do, Moon Sook, Ok Joo-ri, Park Keun-rok, Park Seo-jun, Park Shin-hye, Seo Kang-joon, Shin Dong-mi, Son Seong-chan, Yeom Ji-young, Yoo Yeon-seok, Yoon Hwan

Director: Baik