Article: Top Ten Korean Actors Who Have Played Protagonist In Horror Movies

When it comes to the horror movie genre, Asian films have set a high bar putting even American horror to shame. The Korean film industry, in particular, is way ahead of its time. In the last couple of years, South Korea has emerged as the leading force in this genre, playing with dark themes, brutal psychological thrillers, and other tropes. Thus, many South Korean actors have taken part in popular Korean Horror Movies, establishing themselves either as remarkable protagonists or bone-chilling villainous characters. 

Given below is a list of Top 10 Actors who completely stole the show in this genre:

1. Ha Jung-Woo

Ha Jung-woo is best known for playing the role of Sang Woon, a father who leaves no stones unturned to find her missing daughter in the 2020 movie "The Closet." This South Korean horror entails a heartwarming father-daughter relationship amidst the dark presence of a vengeful spirit who traps the little girl into her closet, causing her disappearance.


2. Song Kang-Ho

People all over the globe know Song Kang-ho for his role in "Parasite." However, he has played the protagonist in several Korean thrillers and horror movies like "The Snowpiercer," "Memories of Murder," and "The Taxi Driver." In the Korean horror movie "Thirst," he portrays a selfless Catholic priest who turns into a vampire after contracting a deadly virus and starts thirsting for human blood and flesh.  


3. Son Hyun Joo

Son Hyun Joo is an award-winning veteran actor who is known for his role in several thrillers like "Chronicles of Evil," "The Chaser," "Ordinary Person," etc. As a horror movie protagonist, he shines as Sung-soo, the man involved in a twisted game where his brother is the culprit, in the 2013 movie "Hide and Seek."


4. Lee Byung-Hun

Lee Byung-hun is the face of the Korean horror subgenre of psychological thrillers dealing with revenge. In "I Saw the Devil," he plays Kim Soo Hyun, a NIS agent who sets out to exact revenge on Kyung Chul for the brutal murder of his fianceé.


5. Joo Won

Known for his roles in "Good Doctor," "Sweet Sixteen," "Steal My Heart," "Fatal Intuition," Joo Won is also a part of one of the best Korean horror movies dealing with the concept of 'haunted technology.' In the 2012 film "Don't Click," he plays Joon-hyuk, who, along with Se-hi, saves Jung-mi from falling prey to a hellish nightmare after watching the contents of a 'forbidden video.'


6. Gong Yoo

When it comes to acting, nobody can beat Gong Yoo at versatility. His portrayal of Seok-woo in the 2016 Korean Zombie-apocalypse "Train to Busan" depicts his acting prowess as he brings to life the character of a father who can go to any lengths to keep his daughter safe. 


7. Ryu Seung Ryong

Ryu Seung Ryong's portrayal of Woo Ryong, a flute player in "The Piper '' is nothing short of perfection. He brings the Piper to life while showcasing many emotions, from a loving, happy father to a bloodthirsty revenge-seeking man. 


8. Yoo Ah-In

Yoo Ah-in brings to life the struggles of Oh Joon-woo, a man trapped amidst infected zombies in "#Alive." The movie was released post-pandemic and had an eerily uneasy feeling, reminding viewers of their own experiences in the lockdown. 


9. Kwak Do-Won

Although Kwak Do-won is best known for his roles as a supporting actor in several movies and TV series, his contribution to the 2016 film "The Wailing" changed his career trajectory. As Jong-Goo, a local police officer, he tries to save a village and his daughter from a gruesome satanic plague. His depiction of raw emotions against the face of pure evil is genuinely outstanding. 


10. Park Seo Joon

Apart from playing eccentric characters in Kdramas, Park Seo Joon is also known for his role in "The Divine Fury." Here he plays with conviction Yong-hoo, a successful MMA fighter who doesn't believe in a higher power but soon finds himself embroiled in a war against evil forces.