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Top 5 Dark K-Dramas

Updated: Dec 22, 2023

As the night falls and shadows lengthen, the world of Korean dramas offers a unique escape into stories that are not just about love and laughter but also about the thrilling, mysterious, and often darker sides of life. Dark K-Dramas have captivated audiences globally, not just for their suspenseful plots but for their deep exploration of the complexities of human emotions and the darker aspects of society. In this article, we delve into the enthralling world of dark K-Dramas, highlighting 5 exceptional series that stand out for their gripping narratives, intricate character development, and the ability to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. From psychological thrillers to supernatural mysteries, these shows exemplify the best of what dark K-Dramas have to offer. So, dim the lights, grab your favorite snacks, and prepare to embark on a journey through some of the most intense and captivating dramas that Korean television has to offer.


1. Save Me (2017)


OCN, Save Me

"Save Me" is a gripping South Korean television series that aired in 2017. Based on the webtoon "Out of the World" by Jo Geum-san, it is a dark and intense drama that delves into the disturbing realities of cults and their impact on individuals and families.


The story begins with the sudden move of the Im family to a small town, where they become entangled in the web of a pseudo-religious cult called Guseonwon. The central character, Im Sang-mi, portrayed brilliantly by Seo Ye-ji, finds herself and her family trapped in the oppressive and controlling environment of the cult.


This dark drama will leave you in tears and horror, it is one you will not forget. Watch it on Viki.



2. Strangers from Hell (2019)


OCN, Strangers from Hell

"Strangers from Hell" is a South Korean psychological thriller K-drama that aired in 2019, based on a popular webtoon of the same name by Kim Yong-ki. It's known for its dark narrative and unsettling atmosphere, which delves into the depths of human psychology and the horrors that can lie beneath ordinary life.


The story revolves around Yoon Jong-woo, played by Im Si-wan, a young man who moves to Seoul from the countryside in search of a job after his military service. Due to financial constraints, he ends up living in a cheap, old dormitory-style apartment building called Eden Studio. The building and its residents soon reveal themselves to be far from ordinary. Jong-woo encounters bizarre and frightening neighbors, each with their own quirks and secrets.


"Strangers from Hell" stands out as a masterfully crafted psychological thriller, its haunting narrative and exceptional performances making it an unforgettable viewing experience for fans of intense, edge-of-your-seat drama. Watch it on Netflix/Viki.



3. Extracurricular (2020)


Netflix, Extracurricular
Netflix, Extracurricular

"Extracurricular" is a South Korean drama series released in 2020 on Netflix, known for its gritty and provocative storytelling. The series is a departure from typical K-drama themes, delving into the darker and more controversial aspects of teenage life and societal issues.


The story centers around Oh Ji-soo, played by Kim Dong-hee, a high-achieving high school student who appears to lead a mundane life. However, beneath this facade, he is secretly running an illegal business to earn money for his university tuition. His life takes a tumultuous turn when a classmate, Bae Gyu-ri (played by Park Ju-hyun), discovers his secret and forces her way into his business.


This is an intense drama that offers a unique and unvarnished look at issues rarely tackled in mainstream K-dramas, making it a standout series for viewers looking for something beyond the typical romantic or comedic fare. Watch it on Netflix.



4. My Name (2021)


Netflix, My Name
Netflix, My Name

"My Name" is a South Korean crime action drama released in 2021 on Netflix, renowned for its intense action sequences and deep narrative. The series represents a gritty and emotionally charged exploration of revenge, identity, and the criminal underworld.


The drama centers on Yoon Ji-woo, portrayed by Han So-hee, who seeks vengeance for her father's murder. Her quest leads her to join a powerful crime syndicate and later infiltrate the police force under a new identity, all under the guidance of the syndicate's boss, Choi Mu-jin, played by Park Hee-soon. As she delves deeper into her undercover role as a police officer, Ji-woo becomes entangled in a complex web of deception, betrayal, and moral ambiguity.


It is a must-watch for those who appreciate a darker, more action-packed narrative, offering a gripping and emotionally resonant experience that boldly explores the depths of revenge and the complexities of human nature. Watch it on Netflix.



5. Night Has Come (2023)


Viki, Night Has Come
Viki, Night Has Come

"Night Has Come" is an enthralling mystery teen drama set against the backdrop of a high school field trip that takes a dark and unexpected turn. The story unfolds with the students of 2nd grade 3 class at Yooil High School, who find themselves thrust into a chilling real-life version of the mafia game during their retreat.

In this intense psychological thriller, the once innocent game turns into a deadly battle of wits and survival. Each student is forced to adapt, strategize, and form alliances to outlast the others. The drama skillfully portrays the transformation of these students as they are pushed into survival mode, revealing the depths of human psychology under pressure. Watch it on Viki


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