Part of MKC's Revenge Week (July 8-14, 2013).
Korean cinema may not only be a purveyor of revenge fare but there's no denying the country's particular flair for churning out gripping vengeance-fuelled narratives. However, unlike gangster fare or romcoms, revenge films are a little harder to identify, especially when it comes to making a list like this. Outside of a few obvious contenders, it took a lot of ground work and research before even writing a word, as, again and again, I had to keep asking myself "does this count as a revenge film"?
With that in mind, these are my ten favorite Korean revenge films, followed by another ten very worthy contenders. Many films with revenge elements that I felt were not significant enough were not included (for example Memories of Murder). I've included a few classic films but I haven't as many as I would like to so the following is largely weighted towards modern offerings. And of course, it's quite possible that my hazy memory has led to my glossing over some prime contenders. To make this just a little easier, I haven't included any gangster films (you can find a top 10 of those here) or horror films. Examples from both almost all feature revenge elements, but I'm sure many will be covered elsewhere during 'Revenge Week'!
Just scroll through the links below and be warned that some spoilers lie ahead.
Now that I've shared mine, what are YOUR favorite Korean revenge films?
Reviews and features on Korean film appear regularly on Modern Korean Cinema. For film news, external reviews, and box office analysis, take a look at the Korean Box Office Update, Korean Cinema News and the Weekly Korean Reviews, which appear weekly on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings (Korean Standard Time).