It has been over one year since the incredible director had four Oscars under his belt along with the many other awards he’s received there is really no reason to keep away from his older movies which are as good as his best-picture winning genre-bending legend Parasite.
If you haven’t seen that one yet, what are you waiting for?
What is fascinating about Bong’s movies is his ability to make you ridiculously uncomfortable for a second and then laugh like there’s no tomorrow in the next. He has a knack for detail and story-telling that is smooth as butter on hot toast. If you enjoyed Parasite, here are three movies that will give you the same amount of excitement and satisfaction.
1. The host (Available on Netflix)
The Host from 2006 was Bong’s answer to the monster Sci-Fi genre which was huge back in the day. The movie tells the story of a highly dysfunctional family, getting together to save their youngest member from the disgusting fish-monster that has risen out of the Han river due to some pharmaceutical negligence. Song Kang Ho stars as a disoriented, dimwit (or so we think) dad who loves his daughter more than anything in this world. Bae Doona stars as his sluggish archery champion sister, Park Hae Il as his unemployed brother and Byun Hee Bong their dad. Ko-Ah Sung is fantastic as the fearful but intelligent monster-hostage, 13-year-old Hyun Seo. While the CG monster is a bit out-dated, this movie will not allow you to stop watching because you’re too invested after the first five minutes and are rooting for the family. The story also has an underlying political narrative that you can choose to ignore or acknowledge based on your preference. In the classic genre-hybrid way of Bong Joon Ho, this movie is a good watch to get over your parasite hangover.
2. Memories of Murder
Based on South Korea’s first serial killings from 1986-1991, this movie brings out the gruesome details of the rapes and murders of the women and how the investigations took place. This movie is highly graphic and will make your skin crawl more than once. Bong’s mascot Song Kang Ho plays the leading detective in the case with his partner played by Kim Roi-ha, who resembles a gangster more than a detective in a small town. They are soon joined by a detective from Seoul played by Kim Sang-Kyung who seems to be the only one of them that actually puts in the effort to research the crimes. The movie is fast-paced and never lets you blink, it is amazing to watch how the main characters develop and almost grab on each other’s traits while desperately trying to solve the mystery. If you like thriller movies you can not skip this one! Bong has a way of bringing in humour to this disturbing tale too.
3. Snowpiercer ( Available on Netflix)
The Chris Evans starring post-apocalyptic film takes you around the world on a train that inhabits the only few people that survived the end of the world. The movie was adapted from the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige, It’s the most political of the three movies mentioned in this article. Evans plays the rebel leader of the poor compartment of the train, Curtis, who aims to get to the front and break the walls between the class discrimination within the train. Tilda Swinton plays a privileged minister who is the middle woman between the head and the tail of the train. Song Kang-Ho appears in this movie as a drugged-up mechanic who can get the rebel team across the many gates of the train with his daughter again played by Ko Ah-Sung. With a massive cast from Hollywood, this movie is majorly in English and touches upon many class-based themes. It’s slower than the other two movies on the list due to its political concept but still equally entertaining.
There is also a TV show with the same name on Netflix, which is based both on this movie and the French novel.
These movies are not for the weak-hearted due to their high levels of violence and graphic content. At this point, it is not wrong to say that Bong Joon Ho is one of the greatest directors of the last decade and with the massive growth of Netflix around the world over the past few years, the number of international movies a person watches has increased too.