4 Best Movies to Watch From Climax Studios

Staff & contributors

Stoic, unflinching, and almost near silent, Ballerina takes a fitting approach to enact its protagonist’s revenge. Within its lean 90 minute runtime, ex-bodyguard Ok-ju single-mindedly searches for answers, through following the lead from her friend’s suicide note. The film shares nothing personal, no doubts, worries, or fears from Ok-ju – except for her affection for best friend Min-hee. Instead of capitalizing on Ok-ju’s tears, or on the violence inflicted on Min-hee, writer-director Lee Chung-hyun relies on action, on stunning cinematography, and on Jeon Jong-seo’s performance to create a spectacle that doesn’t hold back from the gruesomeness, but somehow still incredibly restrained. Jeon Jong-seo delivers Ok-ju’s bloody revenge, a fitting retribution to all perpetrators of sexual violence.

Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime, Thriller

Actor: Jang Yoon-ju, Joo Hyun, Jun Jong-seo, Kim Ji-hun, Kim Moo-yul, Kim Yeong-ok, Kim Young-ok, Kwak Jae-min, Lee Jae-joon, Park Hyeong-su, Park Hyoung-soo, Park Yu-rim, Shin Se-hwi

Director: Lee Chung-hyun

Rating: R

There are some connections that transcend definition, becoming more important and fundamental to one’s life than that of a romantic relationship. Not many people are lucky to have experienced it, but nevertheless it’s true. Soulmate is the Korean adaptation of the 2016 Chinese directorial debut, and while it’s faithful to the source material, there’s a focus to this rendition that elevates the film, with a greater emphasis on the titular soulmates rather than the boy that tore them apart. Because of this, Soulmate is much more emotionally devastating, neatly shifting some character revelations in order to grant the weight each moment deserves.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Byeon Woo-seok, Heo Ji-na, Hyun Bong-sik, Jang Hye-jin, Jeon So-nee, Kang Mal-geum, Kim Da-mi, Lee Suk-hyeong, Nam Yoon-su, Oh Min-ae, Park Choong-seon, Park Seong-yeon

Director: Min Yong-keun

Rating: NR

After the critical and commercial success of Concrete Utopia, it makes sense for Lotte Entertainment to turn it into a franchise. Badland Hunters is a more action-focused spinoff, with that dystopian world looking like a wild, wild Seoul and Ma Dong-seok as its lone ranger. Compared to its predecessor, the commentary is scant, the plot is thin, and the only thing that connects it is the apartment. But even with the B-movie mad scientist plot, long-time stunt coordinator Heo Myung-haeng makes his directorial debut wildly entertaining, with solid action that doesn’t depend too much on CGI. Human reptiles aside, Badland Hunters is just so fun to watch.

Genre: Action, Drama, Science Fiction

Actor: Ahn Ji-hye, Ahn Seong-bong, Hong Yi-joo, Jang Young-nam, Jeong Gi-seop, Jung Young-ju, Kim Young-sun, Lee Han-joo, Lee Hee-jun, Lee Jun-young, Ma Dong-seok, Park Hyo-joon, Park Ji-hoon, Roh Jeong-eui, Seong Byeong-suk

Director: Heo Myeong-haeng

Rating: R