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Critic analyses: Why 'Hellbound' is South Korea's latest hit Netflix series Updated: 2021-12-02 07:51:34 KST

It has been just two months since the Squid Game craze began, but now another South Korean drama has been topping the Netflix charts.
Dark fantasy thriller "Hellbound" was released on November 19th and within just a few days, became the most-streamed TV show on Netflix.
Wednesday was the show's ninth day at number one.

"CNN says it's the next Squid Game and The Guardian says it's much more than that. Though people's tastes might vary, it’s undeniable that Hellbound is captivating global viewers. Let's find out why it is getting such attention."

Of course "Hellbound" may have benefited from the success of "Squid Game", which helped direct more attention toward Korean content.
However, critics say "Hellbound" depicts today's post-modernistic society, and warns how dangerous a demagogy would be.

"We are living in a pandemic era and with a devastating climate crisis soon approaching. The drama warns how aggressive society can be if we do not see disasters for what they are. Strong warnings against unreasonable instigations are shown metaphorically and the drama depicts the hell society would go through if it becomes post-modernistic."

Critics also praised the use of supernatural creatures as a premise that sparks a reshape of society, along with the director's choice of using the Internet as a tool to spread conspiracy theories.

"I love how the arrowhead movement feels very contemporary, almost satirical in. It seems like it's a mirror of sort of Q Anon. And the sort of the internet's a proclivity for sorts of conspiracy theories, and how quickly people will attach themselves to just crazy ideas, so long as they're told charismatically in a way that confirms their fears."

The ending throws up brilliant theological metaphor too.
The baby gets the demon's attention yet survives thanks to human sacrifice, which hints how the baby Jesus brought an end to the Old Testament.
Yet, critics agree "Hellbound" would be difficult to generate the kind of craze that "Squid Game" did, as the elements of the drama aren't easy to copy.
Though it is not as simple as South Korea's previous hit series, the beauty of "Hellbound" is in its complexity, so why don't you give it a shot.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang news.
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