Special Halloween Feature: Ten Spine-Chilling K-drama Moments

Friday, October 31, 2014


Happy Halloween!

So as I was in the spirit of the All Hallows' Eve, I thought it would be fun to make a small list of the creepiest K-drama moments. 

We all know that most K-dramas are all about the cute fluff but, looking back, I can actually recall quite a few scenes from different dramas that sent real chills down my spine. 

These moments that I gathered together aren't the typical jumpscare scenes from horror dramas involving ghosts and other paranormal phenomena, in fact, I intentionally tried to avoid including horror dramas in this list. Instead, I looked for scenes from different dramas of different genres, focusing more on things like the atmosphere, the acting and the emotional impact of the scene, which perhaps are the key aspects of a truly spine-chilling K-drama moment.

Some of the moments in this list were legitimately scary, while others just caught me really off-guard. The rest? Well, those were just plain creepy.

[SPOILER ALERT! (Some spoilers for It's Okay, It's Love, White Christmas and The King 2 Hearts. No ending spoilers, just spoilers for a few important plot points.)]



1. When Hye Sung realizes that she might not be alone in her apartment. 
(I Hear Your Voice, ep 3) 

THE SCENE: Throughout the episode, Hye Sung has been receiving mysterious text messages that say "I'll be there" from a number she doesn't know, but she dismisses them as spam. Later that night when she's alone at home, Hye Sung decides to call the number and find out once and for all who's been sending those odd messages to her. She dials the number but, to her horror, she hears the ringtone playing...INSIDE HER OWN APARTMENT.

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: Other than the fact that it's absolutely terrifying to find out that a serial killer might be in your apartment when you're alone at night, I love how well this entire scene is executed. 
While the viewer can probably guess right away that those text messages are not at all harmless spam, the slow build up to this scene, with Hye Sung receiving those texts throughout the episode and dismissing them in a careless manner, is effectively making the culmination even more unsettling. 
But most of all, this moment makes the list for taking the uplifting song "I'll Be There" from the Jackson 5 and making it the creepiest song ever.   


2. When Kang Woo turns out to be Jae Yeol's delusion.
(It's Okay, It's Love, ep 4) 

THE SCENE: Jae Yeol has a close bond with his dongsaeng Kang Woo whom he mentors. Although Jae Yeol spends a lot of time with him, none of his friends have never met Kang Woo face to face. 
This does not appear suspicious until Jae Yeol wants to help Kang Woo out with his crush. At Kang Woo's crush's house, Jae Yeol throws pebbles at her window and when a girl in school uniform opens the window, Jae Yeol explains to her that his friend really likes her. 
But when the boys take off, a strange moment occurs as in the next scene the girl appears to be older and very confused, no longer wearing a school uniform. Jae Yeol and Kang Woo run away laughing, but when the camera pans out, there's nobody beside Jae Yeol - it's just him, running and laughing alone.

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: This moment is spine-chilling not only because of the huge twist in the story, but also because how the drama builds up to it, slowly yet consistently introducing us to Jae Yeol's relationship with Kang Woo. 
While their friendship might seem rather unusual from the get-go, because of the lighthearted tone of their interactions, we don't think much of it. There are little hints here and there that there is something off with Kang Woo, but that's just it - our suspicious fall on Kang Woo and not on Jae Yeol, who always appears to be very reasonable and rational and...well, sane. 
But as it turns out, appearing sane is different from actually being sane.


3. When a hand reaches out from underneath Jin Yi's bed. 
(Let's Eat, ep 14)

THE SCENE: There's a killer on the loose who only targets women. Jin Yi is in her apartment, preparing gifts for Soo Kyung and Dae Young. As she leaves the apartment to deliver her surprise gifts, someone's hand reaches from underneath the bed. 

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: This scene doesn't need any explaining I assume, but let me just say this: You know how they have this unwritten rule in horror movies that you should never-ever check under the bed. Well, this scene explains why that's a thing. If you look under the bed, there's someone there. If you don't, maybe it will crawl out while you're away and leave. In any case, you're better off just not knowing that what was there in the first place.


4. When the telephone ominously rings. 
(Answer Me 1997, ep 5)

THE SCENE: Shi Won comes home to a dark and empty house, thinking nothing strange of it. Suddenly the phone starts ringing in the living-room and when she goes to answer it, she gets a weird feeling and stops for a moment, sensing something nasty and cold about that ringing sound. She answers the phone and it's mom who asks her if she has money to take a cab. Dad has cancer and she needs to come to the hospital.

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: When that phone rings in that empty room, there's a moment where our minds go crazy with worry because just like Shi Won we know something bad is about to happen, but we don't know what. Just those few seconds of tension - the expectation of something bad - that's what makes this moment so spine-chilling and ominous.
And when we finally hear mom's voice in the phone, we almost let out a sigh of relief, glad it's not the ghost girl from The Ring...but the news that comes next is equally terrible, just in a different way. 


5. When Jae Shin jumps off the cliff.
(The King 2 Hearts, ep 7)

THE SCENE: Princess Jae Shin has been captured by a team of assassins and taken to a cliff, where they plan to kill Jae Shin in a staged car accident. As she is ordered to get into the car, Jae Shin looks up defiantly asking if they are okay with he "falling to death instead?". Without waiting for a response, she jumps off the cliff.

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: Above all, this moment is just plain shocking, as we don't exactly know why Jae Shin would willingly jump to her death (she doesn't die BTW), and indeed, the scene is further explained near the end of the series where we find out the complete reasoning behind that leap. 
But also, the mixture of desperation and hopelessness in Jae Shin's eyes as she faces the assassins is quite chilling. Not to mention, how frightening it is to see her run off the edge of the cliff without a moment of hesitation.


6. When Tae Oh dresses up as a clown. 
(Gapdong, ep 4)

THE SCENE: Tae Oh creeps around at the hospital dressed as a clown, staring at Maria when she's not aware of his presence and then handing out balloons to little children. 

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: This one is only about that particular scene as it more about how Lee Joon portrays the character throughout the show. Those sinister smiles and the overall way how he carries himself in that role gives me the hibbie jibbies. Just the mere fact that he's creepy EVEN for a serial killer speaks volumes about the character. 
Of course, when Tae Oh decides that it's fun to wear a freaking clown costume while being his usual creepy self, it's about thousand times more spine-chilling. 


7. When Tae San wakes up in a pool of blood.
(Two Weeks, ep 1)

THE SCENE: Tae San goes to see Mi Sook after he's told she's really sick and needs him to come over. Tae San arrives at the house, finding both the gate and the front door open. As he enters and calls out Mi Sook, someone knocks him out from behind. When Tae San finally awakens, he finds himself lying in a pool of blood. Mi Sook's dead body lies next to him.  

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: Well this scene is pretty much self-explanatory. A man wakes up in a pool of blood and discovers a dead body lying next to him - just the thought of being in his position is spine-chilling as fu ck.


8. When Jae Kyung stares directly into the elevator CCTV.
(Man From Another Star, ep 6)

THE SCENE: Jae Kyung visits Song Yi, pretending to be concerned for her health, while in reality he's trying to keep an eye on her. Worried about Song Yi's well-being, Min Joon teleports into the building and is briefly questioned by the security guards. As he is allowed to finally leave, Min Joon catches a glimpse of the security camera in the elevator, seeing Jae Kyung smirking right into the camera.

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: Just like with Lee Joon in Gapdong, the reason why the scene stands out to me is because of the actor who's playing the character. Indeed, it just takes a simple camera shot of Shin Sung Rok menacingly smiling at the camera and I feel the hibbie jibbies all over my body. 
So while the character of Jae Kyung could have used even more character depth in the drama, I'm sure we can all agree on that Shin Sung Rok was just masterful at being oh-so-creepy in this drama.


9. When Eun Sung discovers the teacher's body buried in the snow.
(White Christmas, ep 3)

THE SCENE: Moo Yul gives Eun Sung a whistle and tells her to use it whenever she feels that she's in danger, promising to come running right away when she needs him. Later that night, the boys hear Eun Sung's whistle from the schoolyard and run towards the sound. They find her standing in front of the school fountain, blowing the whistle and staring at the snow. When Moo Yul asks, she points to one spot in the snow - there's a half-buried human hand sticking out. The wind blows some of the snow away and reveals their teacher's dead body underneath. 

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: There are plenty of dark and eerie moments in this drama and I could make a whole list out of just those if I wanted to. However, I think this particular scene is still one of the most memorable ones. 
What makes it so chilling is the simple fact that the whole gang has been walking past the fountain all day, playing around near that very spot, not realizing that there's a body buried there. The camera even shows that pile of snow at the beginning of the episode, hinting at something to come.
Also, the sound of that panicked whistle in the night is indeed chilling.


10.  When Jung Moon kills his parents. 
(Bad Guys, ep 1)

THE SCENE: Jung Moon has escaped the police and holds his ex-girlfriend Yoo Jin captive in her apartment. Jung Moon insists that he did not commit the murders he went to prison for, and that despite her accusations he never tried to kill her either. But Yoo Jin says that she's seen the expression on his face when he has killed and accuses him of also murdering his parents. He denies, but in the following flashback, the camera shows the bodies of Jung Moon's parents lying in their own blood on the floor and Jung Moon standing in the darkness with a rock in his hand with blood dripping down.

WHY IT'S SPINE-CHILLING: Perhaps even scarier than this gory scene of Jung Moon's dead parents is the fact that Jung Moon keeps insisting on being innocent and says that he does not remember murdering anyone. So is he truly innocent? Or is he pretending not to remember? Or perhaps the most unsettling option, does his mind block out the memory of the murder because he feels no guilt over it and thus makes him sincerely believe he's innocent? In any case, it's spine-chilling.
(I'd also like to point out that the instrumental score for that flashback scene was just perfectly sinister.)

You Might Also Like

0 comments

Do share your thoughts!

Copyright © 2017 POPdramatic. Powered by Blogger.