12 Best Park Chan-Wook Movies, Ranked

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

Park Chan-Wook is a true auteur, weaving narratives that linger in the mind long after the credits roll. He is a director whose work transcends cultural boundaries to create a global impact. With an arsenal of films that range from hauntingly intense to visually opulent, Park’s storytelling prowess has earned him a dedicated following. 

Known for his meticulous attention to detail, each frame in a Park film is a carefully composed masterpiece. His use of vibrant colors, intricate camera movements, and a penchant for exploring the human psyche contribute to a cinematic experience that goes beyond mere storytelling.

We have compiled the list of works of Park Chan-Wook. You can watch these movies right now.

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies, Ranked

Oldboy (2003)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

After being imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released and seeks revenge. It’s against those responsible for his captivity. Our protagonist’s suffering won’t stop here. Even after being released from prison 15 years later. He discovers that he is still in captivity. In search of the culprit, he also falls in love with a young chef.

This movie’s superb display of visual poetry and performance is intriguing. It has exceeded the boundary of the common genre. It is a definition of cinematic art. Superb performance from its actors contributes deeply to emotional resonance and originality.

Park Chan-Wook’s movies have sensible plots and character depth. Oldboy has set a landmark with its unique plotline and innovation. It’s one of the most-watched movies as well. I would rank it among the top psychological thrillers.

The Handmaiden (2016)     

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

In 1930 Korea, a pickpocket(Sook-Hee) is tangled in a mind-blowing plot. She eyes on a  Japanese heiress (Lady Hideko) and her property. Interestingly, one planning the actual robbery is someone else. I will only add further as it may spoil your experience.

This Park Chan Wook movie is full of suspense and deception. Three main characters in the film have given it a whole new life. As its plot gets deeper,  you are going in for a rollercoaster ride. The film discloses various plots in its main 3 chapters. There is a great twist in the film. So, you are prepared to be shocked.

Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

A deaf Ryu who is also mute, is trying hard to collect money. Things start going against his will after losing a job. Ryu and his girlfriend (Yeong-Mi), therefore plan to kidnap the daughter of their boss. Everything they planned, fails. 

In this movie, Ryu is trying everything to collect money for his sister, who needs a kidney transplant. The movie starts to gear up after he along with his girlfriend kidnaps the daughter of their boss.

It is the first movie from Park Chan Wook’s movie trilogy, followed by Oldboy and Lady Vengeance. The film delves into the themes of dark reality. The problems of living with a poor financial situation are deeply explored. Watch this and you will understand a lot about life. 

Lady Vengeance (2005)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

The movie delves into the revenge story of women. She lost her child because she was imprisoned for 13 years in a false claim. 

Despite her calm exterior, Lee Geum-Ja’s oath to take revenge. It starts showing her true ideals. After her release, she unites with her daughter to fight for justice. The story unfolds with a series of various twists and turns. 

Lady Vengence is the final film from Park Chan Wook’s trilogy. The film’s spectacular and jaw-dropping twists captivate its viewers with unforgettable revelations. It’s explosive narratives and characters are mind-blowing. If you have watched Oldboy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, this is a must-watch movie. 

Decision to Leave(2022)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

The decision to Leave is a modern-day noir masterpiece, with its portrayal of a detective succumbing to the allure of a mysterious suspect. The film embraces the Hitchcockian tradition of suspense, painting a canvas of desire that is distinctly Park Chan-Wook. The emotional depth of the characters and the intricate layers of the plot create wells of feeling that resonate long after the credits roll.

Drawing inspiration from cinematic classics, the film bears a resemblance to Hitchcock’s “Vertigo.” However, unlike mere imitation, “Decision to Leave” injects more earnestness into its complex story, steering clear of gimmicks and relying on the strength of its narrative and character development.

Thirst (2009)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

A Catholic priest turns into a vampire after participating in a medical procedure. To find a solution to a dangerous virus. The experiment, however, fails. After turning into a vampire, his lust for blood increases making him fall in love with his friend’s wife.  

This movie is a combination of horror and sensuality. Philosophical and poetic meaning can be found in this film. The movie is visually rich and also captivates viewers with brilliant character development. As the character deals with his inner suffering and existential crisis, your perception of life is sure to be changed. 

If you are looking for something unique about the character in the film, this is for you. Its philosophical theme intertwined with the character’s suffering adds a delicious taste to the plot. 

Joint Security Area (2000)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

The film is set against the backdrop of the intense Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). It delves into a mysterious murder of soldiers from North and South Korea. A team from Swiss and Sweden discovered an explosive truth behind the case.

This is one of my favorite Park Chan Wook movies. It’s different as it leaves with everlasting aftermath of emotions. It explores the themes of brotherhood and unity. Tension builds up as the case gets intense. It also shows the breathtaking cinematography of the DMZ. If you are looking for a thought-provoking cinematic journey, watch it now.                                    

I’m a Cyborg, But Thats OK! (2006)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

Young-Goon is psychologically unstable. After a compulsive self-harm behavior, she is admitted to a hospital where she falls in love with a man (II-Soon) who tries to help her.

Young-Goon’s mental illness isn’t normal. She thinks she is a cyborg. Refusing to eat and live like a human, her condition gets worse over time. II-Soon’s responsibility is to cure her eating disorder.

This movie is a blend of comedy, romance, and thriller. One of the Park Chan Wook movies dazzling with the finest form of art. To create a vibrant and sensible storyline by fusing genres that are poles apart can be found in this film. It’s amazing to see how a mental illness character isn’t villainized in this film. True love exists! and this film will show you how. 

Stoker (2013)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

India Stoker is a young woman with a strong sense of smell. After the death of her father, a strange but charming man who calls himself an uncle joins the family. Stoker senses something unusual from this man.

India however finds her uncle alluring but also suspects his hidden intentions which initiates the film’s thrilling exposure.

Be prepared to uncover the character’s dark secrets and personality. Park Chan Wook’s movies coveys character depth with remarkable effect at the end. Stoker oscillates the psychological war of the main character. She battles between the space of love and doubts.

Night Fishing (2011)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

A fisherman sets up for a fishing trip. As the sun begins to settle down he catches a women’s body in the water. An unexpected twist occurs. He discovers the body is alive and possesses supernatural powers. 

After the body is discovered, the scene changes. We see that a woman is now attending a man’s funeral as a shaman. She is expressing regret for a man who drowned in a river.

There is one pioneering fact about Night Fishing. The film was completely recorded using the iPhone 4. It is one of the shortest Park Chan Wook movies. Even with the types of types of equipment used in the film, Park Chan Wook pulled out an impossible fate. There should be no compromise in watching this film. Go and check out how brilliantly it is done. 

The Moon Is The Sun’s Dream (1992)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

This is Park Chan Wook’s first feature film. The film’s plot delves around three characters. One is a gangster Mu-Hoon, Eun-ju. And a photographer who is also Mu-hoon’s brother. Mu-hoon runs away with Eun-ju after stealing a large sum of money from the boss (Mr. Oh). Eun-Ju is the wife of the boss, which is a source of amazement

The movie radiates the classic love triangle story. Tension begins to build up after Mr. Oh men find out about the couple during their hideout. Mu-Hoon escapes but Eun-ju is left behind.

Looking at other Park Chan Wook movies, this does not live up to the hype. This does not mean that it’s not worth watching. You must see it considering how old this film is. If you recently discovered Park Chan Wook then this film is the first to go.

Trio (1997)

Best Park Chan-Wook Movies

Ahn is a saxophonist but his appetite to live is deceased. He discovers that his wife is cheating on him, shockingly deciding to rob a bank. He is joined by other two characters with different personalities.

Trio was not Park Chan Wook’s favorite movie. He even said he regrets making this film. The initial plan for this film was to resonate its tone with a French film. Leon. But Things didn’t go according to plan. The production team for the film was changed in the later stages. It was supposed to be a vicious film but lost its theme in becoming a mainstream film. 

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