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6 Dark and Intense K-Dramas You Should Add to Your Watchlist

In the mood for a thrilling watch?
6 Dark and Intense K-Dramas You Should Add to Your Watchlist
IMAGE D.P./Netflix, Save Me/OCN
In the mood for a thrilling watch?

As much as we love funny, romantic, and healing K-dramas, we find ourselves looking for dark series every now and then. These suspenseful shows are more than a horror fest and feature characters that look and feel real. They also tackle societal issues and events that happened in real life. If you feel uncomfy when there's blood and violence involved, you have to skip this list. But if you're a fan of gripping subject matter, you have come to the right place.

Here are six disturbing and intense K-dramas on Netflix, Viu, and iQIYI:

1. D.P. (2021)

Where you can watch it: Netflix

Netflix's latest offer takes us to the lives of South Korean soldiers. Jung Hae In plays Ahn Jun Ho, an enlistee who did not just witness the brutality inside his camp but was almost a victim, too. When he was offered a stint in the D.P. squad, Jun Ho, along with Han Ho Yeol (Goo Kyo Hwan) started searching for soldiers who have gone AWOL. The main reason why they run away? It's because they're bullied and tortured by other soldiers, and D.P. shows that in the most tragic way.


2. SKY Castle (2018)

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Viu, iQIYI

Unlike other school systems, South Korea's curriculum is competitive and full of pressure. Everyone's goal is to enter any of the three prestigious universities. Of course, nothing's easy when you're aiming for the top schools and you have to exert blood, sweat, and tears. This is well-portrayed in SKY Castle, a satirical drama about elite families who live in a luxurious neighborhood of the same name. The parents came from a wealthy background, and they use their money and power to get their children into Seoul National University.

3. Extracurricular (2020)

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Viu, iQIYI

Jisoo (Kim Dong Hee) is known by everyone as a good student who excels in class. He's unproblematic and has never gotten into trouble, but as cliche as it may soundnobody is really perfect. Jisoo actually hides a deep and dark secret that allows him to earn money to fund his college expenses. After class, he has his own ~extracurricular activity~ and that's being a pimp. As the drama unfolds, Jisoo discovers that someone from his class is also a part of his illegal business, while another wants to join him.

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4. Taxi Driver (2020)

Where you can watch it: Viu

Who do you call when you want to plot revenge? In Taxi Driver, it's the Rainbow Taxi Company, a firm that offers taxi service by day and fulfills vengeance by night. Lee Je Hoon plays the titular role named Kim Do Gi, who is determined to serve justice after his mother was murdered. Do Gi's clients range from bullied students to abused employees, and he plans to make the suspects suffer more than what they did to the victims. Taxi Driver is chock full of heinous crimes and here's something to give you the goosebumps: The scenarios in this drama are based on real-life events.

5. Save Me (2017)

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Viu, iQIYI

You have probably heard somewhere about a religious cult revealed to be something else. Well, one K-drama has that unique storyline and the title is enough to make you feel uneasy. Save Me follows the life of Im Sang Mi (Seo Ye Ji): When her family moved to the outskirts of town, her parents were lured by a religious cult named Goseonwon. Let's just say that transferring to a new place isn't peaceful—and it's probably the worst decision her family has ever made.


6. Strangers From Hell (2019)

Where you can watch it: Netflix, Viu

After he was accepted as an intern in a Seoul-based company, Yoon Jong Woo (Im Siwan) moved to the city and lived in Eden Studio. It's a substandard dormitory that gave him nightmares but since he's not well-off, he has no choice but to settle in this cheap housing. Jong Woo's neighbors are nothing but weird and as he gets to know them more, he realizes that the friendly resident is actually the creepiest of them all (hint: He's a dentist who pulls his patients' molars without anesthesia). If you think it stops there, you have to see the plot twist in the last episode.

* This story originally appeared on Cosmo.phMinor edits have been made by the editors.

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