Because these deaths are unexplained, rival groups arise seeking to both explain and capitalize on the frightening events. The Arrowhead is a frenetic, violence-prone youth element led by Alex Jones-esque internet streamer Lee Dong-wook, memorably played by Kim Do-yoon. The New Truth Society is better organized and more reserved, operating almost like a political party, like Leftovers’ Guilty Remnant – they even pay a woman to broadcast her death to raise awareness of the attacks. Yoo Ah-in’s performance as Jeong Jin-soo, the cool steely leader of the New Truth Society, is the series’ most magnetic and showcases the actor’s range following his acclaimed turn in 2018 Burning as an unhappy writer. (Kim Hyun-joo is also excellent in a less flashy role as attorney Min Hye-jin.)
It’s a daunting task to juggle all of these themes and not lose the fantasy element, but Yeon is one of the best genre directors working today. His 2016 zombie movie, Train to Busan, is an exciting and emotionally touching genre film that uses its singular setting to create intense action scenes and feature a diverse cast of characters. And his charming 2018 superhero tale Psychokinesis is the kind of witty, heartfelt movie we can’t get enough of – it’s like the best possible iteration of Will Smith Hancock. Hell is well-paced enough that the underworld elements usually seem to reappear just when you’re fully obsessed with the human drama.
The show’s universe is well-crafted and immersive, although the character designs of the demons seem clunkier than expected – they’re about as scary as they come. ghost hunters bad guys. The third episode’s twist involving Jeong seems guessable in retrospect, but Yeon steers it deftly enough that the tension is still electric. Hell is also shrewd in its social media integration, and as noted by Polygonhis ability to discuss modern morality without getting into tired cancel culture tropes.
In an interview published by The Korean Herald, Yeon said he hopes to one day weave all of his projects into an interconnected universe à la Stephen King. He admitted it was a “difficult dream to achieve”, but between Hellbound quality and its incredible apparent popularityexecutives would be wise to start exploring the idea of the YCU as soon as possible.
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