5 Korean Films to Keep Your Festive Spirit High

Written by on January 2, 2013 in Special Report

It’s freezing outside so there’s no better time to curl up with a good movie. If you’re bored with every-year repeats or having trouble choosing, look no further; there’s a K-film out there to suit the season, no matter your mood or movie taste.

1) Happy Ero Christmas / 해피 에로 크리스마스 (Lee Geon-Dong, 2003)
Romantic comedy / ero

Mood: Cheeky
Starring: Kim Sun-Ah, Cha Tae-Hyun




Like a good burlesque act, this ero (erotic) film combines sex, comedy and romance for fun and charming entertainment. Kids’ cartoons are great, but here’s the adult version of cute, Korean-stylee. You’ll find it’s the antidote to post-Christmas blues.


2) Virgin Snow / 첫눈 (Han Sang-Hye, 2007)
Genre: Romance
Mood: Cosy
Starring: Lee Jun-Ki, Aoi Miyazaki



Love is one of the key ingredients of the festive season. If you’re loved-up, it’s time to celebrate with a movie that feels the same way. With a Korean/Japanese romance and twisting love story, Virgin Snow is sure to do the trick. And if that special someone isn’t around, don’t worry, as the gorgeous Lee Jun-Ki and Aoi Miyazaki will make you feel a whole lot better.


3) The Day He Arrives /북촌방향 (Hong Sang-Soo, 2011)
Genre: Arthouse
Mood: Reflective
Starring: Yu Jun-Sang, Kim Sang-Jung, Song Seon-Mi, Kim Bo-Kyung



A film about reminiscing, reflecting, new beginnings and second chances; what could be more apt at the dawn of a new year? Set in a frozen, wintry Seoul, The Day He Arrives mixes naturalistic dialogue with surreal narratives for an arty piece that retains a festive feel, but breaks the mould.


4) Palwolui Christmas / Christmas in August / 8월의 크리스마스 (Hur Jin-Ho, 1998)
Genre: Drama, romance
Mood: Weepy
Starring: Han Suk-Kyu, Shim Eun-Ha



We all love a bit of sentimentality at Christmastime, so let it all out with this melodrama. The beautiful storylines, relatable characters, heartbreak and feel-good factor that you seek are all found in Christmas in August. You’ll laugh and you will definitely cry, so revel in the emotion, and don’t forget the tissues.


5) Sympathy for Lady Vengeance / 친절한 금자씨 (Park Chan-Wook, 2005)
Genre: Thriller
Mood: Vengeful
Starring: Lee Young-Ae, Choi Min-Sik, Kim Shi-Hoo, Kwon Yea-Young



Who said thrillers aren’t for Christmas? Lest we forget, “Die Hard” appears on numerous Top Festive Movies lists every year. So if you fancy watching something darker and more merciless than the average crimbo flick, look no further. The cinematography and art direction (complete with snow scenes) add to the wintry flavour and mirror the coldness of revenge.

So take your pick from our 5 very different seasonal K-movies, each of which is guaranteed to help keep the festive feel in full flow, and accompany with a duvet, snacks and tipple of choice (preferably Korean!) If you’re watching any other K-films during the festive season and in the New Year, let us know.

About the Author

Anne Cole

Annie Cole lives in South London, UK, but her heart and soul remain in Korea. After returning from a teaching year in 2009, she began to record her memories, thoughts and reviews on various blogs. She is a vegetarian foodie and a lover of horror films, indie culture, modern art, interesting literature, kooky fashion and anything cutesie. She has made it her mission to seek out, enjoy and share all things London/Korean.