“Hellbound”, a
South Korean horror series, has overtaken another show from the country — “Squid
” — to become the most-watched Netflix show in the world, according to
FlixPatrol analytics. The horror series that features gratuitous violence
topped streaming ratings in 80 countries within 24 hours of the show’s debut,
according to a Guardian report. “Hellbound” is an addition to the wide array of
South Korean fiction generating buzz worldwide.

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Directed by Yeon
Sang-ho, “Hellhound” revolves around the actions of a team of demons who hunt
down sinners. The sinners have already been informed of the date and time of
their death by a celestial being and the hairy demons attack them at the stipulated
time triggering frenzy, public hysteria and religious zealotry. The creatures
incinerate their victims and send them to hell.

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“Hellbound” premiered
at the Toronto international film festival in September. Yeon Sang-ho, the
director, is a celebrated filmmaker around the world for blockbuster films like
“Train to Busan” and “Peninsula”. The series stars an array of South Korean
superstars, including Yoo Ah-in, Park Jeong-min, Kim Hyun-joo and Won Jin-a.

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The popularity of “Hellbound”
has just about taken over that of “Squid Game” which turned into a global
sensation barely months ago. At least 111 million people have watched “Squid
Game” so far. The dystopian series is about hundreds of people in debt who are
pitted against each other in Korean children’s games. While victors win
millions, losers are killed.

Korean dramas, also
called K-dramas, have become popular worldwide over the last year, including in
India. K-dramas have come to occupy a disproportionate amount of space in the over-the-top
(OTT) content circuit.

In India, the
popularity of K-dramas has been ascribed to the emotionally-charged nature of
narratives that is also found in Indian cinema. However, the immense popularity
of K-dramas shows how language is no longer a barrier to storytelling even
within the confines of popular culture.