photo credit by OCN

K-Drama Review: Strangers From Hell

For this week’s K-Drama Review, we’re going dark with the series ‘Strangers From Hell’. A different title that’s being used is also ‘Hell Is Other People’. 

This 2019 OCN drama was one hell of a ride. (I’m sorry about that pun, I’ll stop now…)

‘Strangers From Hell’ only has ten episodes but it uses those to the max. The drama was originally a Naver Webtoon created by Kim Yong-ki.

A young man in his twenties, Yoon Jong-woo moves to Seoul after landing an internship at the company that one of his college friends is CEO of. He really wants to become a crime writer and is struggling financially. That’s why he decides to rent a room in Eden Studios, a dingy looking place. 

From the start Yoon Jong-woo is creeped out by the other residents, but desperation leads him to stay. The other people staying in Eden Studios are a handsy landlady, a sex offender with an ankle monitor and a tendency to watch porn with the door open, twins with one of them having a mental illness, a dentist, an ex-con and a guy wearing long-sleeved shirts despite the heatwave. 

It’s not exactly the ideal environment to be living in. 

Things start to go haywire after one of the residents goes missing and the others seem to know little of personal boundaries and how to behave like a normal person. A fair warning, there’s a lot of murder happening so don’t get attached to anyone. 

The Acting

First of all, I want to give them all of the awards. For real, kudos to everyone who was on this. From Jong-woo’s co-workers to Park Jong-Hwan who played both roles as the twin brothers. 

Jong-woo is portrayed by Im Si-wan who you might know from ‘Misaeng’. He did an excellent job! There were moments where you could see he wanted to hurt someone and for a brief moment in his mind he did. The rage, just simmering under his skin, steadily growing throughout the episodes was brilliant to watch. 

Lee Dong-wook played the dentist and my god, what a revelation. His role in ‘Strangers From Hell’ gave me major CREEP vibes. It was amazing! Something to trigger your memory, he was in Goblin. 

There’s another shout-out, for the role of the handsy landlady. That role was portrayed by Lee Jung-Eun who also played in Parasite and as everyone probably knows, they won big during the Oscars. She did an excellent job. It was great to see the wolf hiding in sheep’s clothing. 

I had a really good time watching the K-drama ‘Strangers From Hell’. I don’t know what that says about me as a person, but it was fun! Though I’m never going to be able to look at charm bracelets the same way. 

Also the OST is super, super cool! I found this playlist on Spotify with all the tracks. Think of The Rose, YOARI, The Vane, Isaac Hong and more.

A little personal warning, if you don’t like watching horror, I don’t think this will be the drama for you. Also if you’re already afraid of going to the dentist, maybe skip this one as well. 

Here’s the trailer:

If you enjoyed this drama you might like ‘The Lies Within‘.

Ilse Van Den Heede
A writer with a slight coffee addiction and a tendency to find K-Indie gems in the YouTube rabbit hole.