For as long as human beings have existed, we’ve wondered about divinity, creating religions and philosophies that theorize about Heaven, Hell, and divine will. But what happens when these beliefs and theories are proven real, when supernatural beings appear on Earth, bringing judgment with them? Well, that’s the premise of Netflix’s brand new South Korean horror drama series, Hellbound.
Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, who’s best known for his box office hit Train to Busan, Hellbound is based on a webtoon titled Hell (Korean: 지옥). The webtoon was written and drawn by Yeon Sang-ho and received widespread acclaim. The live-action adaptation is a Netflix Original, penned by Choi Kyu-sok (Songgot) and produced by Lezhin Studio. Hellbound is set to explore how narratives of good and evil, sin and virtue can warp and twist a society, leading to an age of chaos. Excited? We thought you’d be. So let’s dig into all the details with this handy guide compiling everything we know so far about Hellbound.
How Many Episodes Are There in Hellbound’s First Season?
Hellbound will have six episodes in its inaugural season. Netflix hasn’t revealed yet if the show will run for more seasons or if it will be a one-off story. But the premise definitely has room for more stories to be told.
Watch the Hellbound Trailer
So far, Netflix has released one teaser for Hellbound that details the basic premise of the series. In the clip, which you can check out above, we see a very nervous man being attacked by strange smoky golem-like beings. These creatures, referred to as the Executors of Hell, chase the man into the street and burn him to death with bright white supernatural flames. It’s a great taste of what’s to come, with ominous undertones that leave you hungry for more. Will there be more trailers? We’ll probably find out once we get closer to the series premiere.
When Is Hellbound’s Release Date?
Hellbound is currently scheduled to arrive on Netflix on November 19, 2021. Ahead of its release, the series had its world premiere on September 9, 2021, at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. Hellbound is the first Korean drama to be screened at the festival. The show will also be screened at the 26th Busan International Film Festival on October 7, 2021. Additionally, the first three episodes will be screened at the 65th BFI London Film Festival on October 15, 2021.
Who Is in Hellbound’s Cast?
The main cast members of Hellbound that have been announced so far include Yoo Ah-in (Chicago Typewriter, Voice of Silence), Park Jeong-min (Bleak Night, Deliver Us From Evil), Kim Hyun-joo (Glass Slippers, What Happens to My Family?), Won Jin-ah (The Age of Shadows, Steel Rain), and Yang Ik-june (Breathless). Supporting cast members appearing in the series include Kim Do-yoon, Kim Shin-rok, Ryu Kyung-soo, Lee Re, and Im Hyeong-guk.
Who Are the Major Characters in Hellbound?
Yoo Ah-in headlines Hellbound as Jung Jin-su, a charismatic cult leader who creates a new religion called the New Truth Society (or the New Truth Church, depending on the translation). Jung Jin-su quickly gathers a devout following, teaching that the appearance of the angels is a sign of divine will. The New Truth Society and its leader are among the most important and mysterious elements in the story of Hellbound, second only to the Executors of Hell themselves.
Obviously, any enigmatic organization would invite investigation. Park Jeong-min plays Bae Young-jae, a producer at a broadcasting station who looks into the emerging New Truth religious movement, trying to find the truth about them. Won Jin-ah appears as Hong Ji-yeong, Bae Young-jae’s wife and a member of the New Truth Church who comes under extreme pressure.
Kim Hyun-joo plays Min Hye-jin, an attorney. Min Hye-jin opposes the New Truth group in general and the extremists within the movement specifically in their crusade.
Another person investigating the whole mystery is Jin Gyeong-hun, played by Yang Ik-june. Jin Gyeong-hun is a police detective assigned to investigate the supernatural creatures that kick off the show’s story, trying to find out the actual truth behind their appearance. Lee Re appears as his daughter, Jin Hee-jeong.
When Is Hellbound Filming?
Netflix announced the production of the original series in April 2020, with the casting details being announced in July of the same year. Principal photography for Hellbound began on September 23, 2020.
According to IMDB, filming for the series was conducted in Seoul and Iksan, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea. The production of the show’s first season wrapped on January 18, 2021.
What Is Hellbound’s Story?
At the very center of Hellbound are two interconnected mysteries: the supernatural Executors of Hell and the New Truth movement. One is a cosmic, supernatural force and the other is a growing social movement with sinister plans. But both of these together have the potential to destroy the world as we know it.
The appearance of the supernatural monsters helps the New Truth become a mainstream force, building influence and membership. However, there are those that question the movement’s teachings and want to find the truth behind these puzzling events. According to the show’s landing page on the TIFF website, Hellbound is basically Yeon Sang-ho’s take on procedural dramas, with a strong investigative streak.
Netflix’s logline for the series, Hellbound is “A story about otherworldly beings who appear out of nowhere to issue a decree and condemn individuals to hell. These supernatural events cause great mayhem and enable the religious group The New Truth to grow in influence. A few people, however, become suspicious about its activities and begin investigating its involvement in mysterious events.”
Within the movement, an extremist group called the Arrowhead forms, with the intention of punishing those who oppose the “divine will”. The synopsis for the show, however, reveals an additional twist: a newborn child is “condemned”, which makes the New Truth Church’s teachings all the more questionable.
Quite a lot has been revealed already about Hellbound‘s plot already. For example, we know that there are three people, Bae Young-jae, Min Hye-jin, and Jin Gyeong-hun, who are the primary investigators of the story. We also know that the New Truth movement uses the appearance of the monsters as a means of spreading their gospel. But we still don’t know any concrete facts about these otherworldly creatures and their true mission on Earth.
Are they truly the divine agents that Jung Jin-su claims they are? Are they aliens or demons or gods? What actually happens to the people they attack and why are they really doing all of this? And most importantly, what triggered their arrival on Earth? These are just some of the questions we have that will hopefully be answered once Hellbound lands on Netflix.
In the meantime, check out Netflix’s official synopsis for the series:
“Unbelievable demonstrations of hell take place in the middle of Seoul right in front of crowds. Mysterious beings condemn individuals to be hellbound, and otherworldly beings appear exactly at the specified time to kill the condemned in a brutal burning. Rising above the utter chaos resulting from these inexplicable supernatural occurrences is the commanding voice of Jung Jinsu, the leader of an up-and-coming religious organization, The New Truth. He claims that only sinners are marked for condemnation and that these occurrences represent divine will to make humans righteous. A group of his followers with blind faith, the Arrowhead, take into their own hands the punishment of those who go against the divine will. The world becomes a living hell.”
Min Hyejin, a lawyer, challenges Chairman Jung by claiming the demonstrations of hell to be simply supernatural occurrences. She joins forces with the few who try to protect the hellbound and return the world to the realm of humans, not gods. They go up against the chaos instigated by The New Truth.
Then one day, an infant born two days ago is condemned, making it difficult to believe the divine will that only sinners become hellbound.”
Keep Reading:The Best Horror Movies on Netflix Right Now