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Hell Arrives at Your Door in Netflix’s Hellbound

Shin-rok Kim as Park Jeong-ja in 'Hellbound.'
Shin-rok Kim as Park Jeong-ja in ‘Hellbound.’ Netflix

An avenging angel’s face announcing your death is the last thing you want, especially on your birthday. That’s exactly what happens to Park Jeong-ja (played by Shin-rok Kim), however, when a shadowy, disembodied face appears out of nowhere, declaring her dead in five days. 

This is just the beginning for the condemned in the new horror series, Hellbound, streaming soon on Netflix. If the action and tension expressed in the 90-second clip, narrated by a cold, vengeful cult leader, the show is sure to astound and terrify.

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After ‘death angels’ pronounce sentences, we see their monstrous brethren rise up from the Earth to finish the deed. The preview provides a look at several of the massive, netherworldly beings with glowing, yellow eyes. The heavenly hosts look like ‘roided up Ents, or Thanos-shaped trees as opposed to harp-streaming haloed beings of light. These nasties first kidnap — via fist, sword, or whatever is handy — and then finish off the condemned in brutal burnings. 

In support of the judgment, “The New Truth” appears upon the scene, white-masked and queuing up behind a charismatic leader, is the angel-faced Bae Jeong-Jinsu (Yoo Ah-In). The baby-faced Jung’s megalomaniacal diatribe rises throughout the clip until he hits the high note.

“It’s the fear … that will … set people free from sin.”

A few characters aren’t into rising new religious dictators, however. Hellbound will also follow their struggle to stand up for the people doomed to be sacrificed in the center of Seoul as well as find out what might really be behind Oz’s otherworldly curtain.

Lawyer Min Hye-jin leads the scrappy rebels who rise up against Chairman Jung, claiming the demonstrations in the middle of Seoul to simply be supernatural occurrences. How that helps things, who knows. Hye-jin, though, is also able to align the few who fight for the hellbound and, hopefully, return the world to humans.

As the clip ends, we get our first view of Chairman Jung as he reverts to the ultra-controlled religious leader, intense psychopathy lurking behind a too-controlled face.

“I’d like to welcome you all … to the new world.”

His last smirk reveals a wolf in sheep’s clothing who wants to consume all of Korea … for a start.

What’s behind the beings and why they are all but supporting “The New Truth’s” rise remains a mystery. If these harbingers aren’t heavenly, what are they? Who is deciding who should die, and why? What secret connection does the cult have to these creatures? If Min Hyejin wins the case, wouldn’t the attacks continue anyway?

Hellbound director Yeon Sang-ho is known for walloping with emotion, from his animated 2011 film The King of Pigs to 2016’s live-action zombie epic Train to Busan. Hellbound looks to follow in these mighty footsteps. The series’ first episode even became the first Korean drama to earn a slot at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival.

Hellbound will stream into living rooms beginning Friday, Nov. 19 on Netflix. Until then, judge not lest ye be judged. Check out the trailer below.

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Matthew Denis
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Matt Denis is an on-the-go remote multimedia reporter, exploring arts, culture, and the existential in the Pacific Northwest…
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