Hellbound may not become a global cult, but it entertains and engages with enough twists and turns to keep you interested.
K-DRAMA IS DYSTOPIAN AND RIVING. QUESTIONS FOR THE HELLBOUND MASTERFULLY HUMAN BELIEF.
Critic’s Rating: 4.0/5
A young priest running a cult known as New Truth recruits members by live-streaming one of these trips to hell. The reasons for the cult and its warped beliefs are questioned by a down-and-out police investigator and a lawyer examining this sect.
Is there a place called hell? If we sin, would ‘angels’ descend and shower down God’s vengeance on us at a predetermined day and time? Is it true that prophecies operate, and if so, how do they affect our sense of self? After the phenomenal worldwide success of Squid Game, director Yean Sang-newest ho’s K-series, Hellbound, has become a catchphrase. This is also available on Netflix. However, it exists, roasts, and thrives in a whole other universe of hells, Hulk-like grey cable-made ‘angels’ from hell, and a convoluted police detective drama.
Prophecies from a smoky grey visage in the sky foretell disaster and death at a certain time and hour, pronouncing hauntingly in echoes that he/she is doomed to hell. Eventually, they are flung, flayed, trashed, and then burned to death by bloodthirsty, Hulk-like beasts. This is God’s justice, and its keeper is a young, secretive, mellow priest who leads the cult New Truth (Yoo Ah-in in a fascinating and calculated performance), and he recruits countless others by live-streaming one such trip to hell. Outside this warped circle of belief, a weathered police investigator (Ik-Joon Yang) and a lawyer researching this cult (Kim Hyun-Joo) are among those who question its motivations. Given the scenario, viewers should be aware that the film contains elaborate acts of violence that may make them uncomfortable.
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As the faithful are seduced by these claimed ‘crimes of God,’ which are increasing in frequency and brutality, street gangs develop to interpret the message for their own benefit, committing a series of violent acts against others for small slights. People are attacked and brutally killed by ‘The Arrowhead,’ a group of masked, hooded, disguised, and face-painted youngsters using bats, sticks, and metal rods.
A zany YouTuber named Dongwook is interpreting The New Truth’s message for them, spouting illogical interpretations of God’s word from a neon-lighted set on a gaudy gaming chair. The director has brought up how street style justice might emerge in real life if one provokes with passion with these accents of heightened color. Surprisingly, the priest (Yoo-Ah-in) doesn’t stray from his game plan for about half of the performance, just repeating religious sentiments about virtue with a deadpan, easy face.
His tone and demeanor pique your interest, leaving you wondering where this broader scheme of things will go.
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Gradually, these violent, brutal, and horrifying voyages to hell tend to permeate people’s mindsets and thinking, instilling distrust, legitimizing street violence, and encouraging vigilante justice. It maintains a mood of dread and pits family and friends against one another. The transition to a dystopian society of hell, immorality, and acceptable acts of violence are unsettling without being overt, set amid the bustling yet tranquil metropolitan setting of Seoul.
Korean dramas have a unique capacity to create widely appealing plots, interior universes, and character setups. The life and experiences of Hellbound’s protagonist, performed impressively by Ik-Joon Yang, provide a window into this grey-shrouded dismal environment where everyone might be questioned for potentially wicked activities.
The story leaps forward a few years, introducing a new layer of individuals, settings, and situations, all of which are firmly locked in this dystopia of going to hell through the mindless brutality of three huge blood-thirsty grey monsters.
Hellbound depicts a world of drab and foggy dread with a touch of grim comedy, using analogies from modern facts and bigger problems of humanity’s agency in producing socio-economic maladies (such as global warming, Covid-19, and economic crises). When the grey smoky face in the sky declares a newborn to be damned, it shatters the entire concept of evils and sin, turning the lens of problematic human belief. Hellbound isn’t a horror film or a crime drama like the director’s massively successful Train to Busan. It blends aspects from other genres to produce a very addictive program that examines human behavior.
Hellbound may not become a worldwide phenomenon like Squid Game, but it entertains and engages with enough twists and turns. It has a number of twists and turns in its plots, as well as superb performances that heighten the drama of the characters’ differences. Fans of streaming should definitely check it out.