Have you watched Squid Game yet? The Netflix original series out of South Korea has been a massive sleeper hit, becoming the most-streamed program on the platform in over 94 countries since premiering in September. It has since become the most successful show ever on the platform. Every now and then, we’re reminded that water-cooler hits can still happen in the age of streaming, and Squid Game is just the latest example. The series’ creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, is less of a household name, though. So, what other Hwang Dong-hyuk movies and shows can you watch if you liked Squid Game?
Despite helming such a megahit — and having a playful “beef” with NBA star LeBron James — Hwang Dong-hyuk has had a relatively low profile and didn’t get any kind of bonus when his creation soared to the top at Netflix. But he’s been creating steadily in South Korea for almost two decades, with four feature films under his belt.
Three of those are even available to stream in the US on the Korea-centric streamer OnDemandKorea. You can watch OnDemandKorea with ads or sign up for a paid, ad-free account.
Read on for a breakdown of the Hwang Dong-hyuk movies that came before Squid Game.
Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.
My Father (2007)
The first Hwang Dong-hyuk movie was 2007’s My Father, about the search for meaning and belonging.
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James Parker has never known his birth parents. Adopted by an American family, he has grown up away from his ancestral South Korea. But as an adult, James enlists as a soldier in the US Army based in Korea. There, he takes up the search, even going on live TV while looking for answers. He finally finds and meets his father, a man condemned to death row for murder. Now, James can move forward, learning the truth about his past from a man he’s never known.
My Father is not currently streaming in the US, unfortunately.
Silenced follows Kang In-ho, a newly-appointed art teacher at the Benevolence Academy for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. When he realizes students are being physically and sexually abused by his fellow teachers, In-ho teams up with a human rights activist to shed light on the situation and bring the culprits — and those covering for them — to justice.
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Based on the novel The Crucible by Gong Ji-young and inspired by true events, Silenced caused a stir when it was released in South Korea. It eventually led to a reopening of the case of Gwangju Inhwa School, where young deaf students were sexually assaulted by faculty members over five years in the early 2000s.
In Miss Granny, a woman in her 70s suddenly finds herself mysteriously transformed, her body reverting to that of a 20-year-old. Now, she has the opportunity of a lifetime and gets to relive her youth. She seeks out new friends and gets caught up in a love triangle with two young men.
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A huge hit in Korea and one of the best-known Hwang Dong-hyuk movies, Miss Granny has been remade in seven countries, including China and Japan.
Based on the novel Namhansanseong by Kim Hoon, The Fortress takes place during the Second Manchu invasion of Korea in 1636. King Injo and his retainers seek refuge in the mountain fortress city of Namhansanseong. In their isolation, the king’s retainers make their cases for negotiating with the Qing dynasty or continuing to fight.
The fortress was a major hit and remains the only period drama among Hwang Dong-hyuk’s movies.