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)
Genre: Romantic comedy / ero
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)
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)
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
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)
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.