by Cho Na, October 15, 2021
130

Beware: 

The article contains slightly scary images and
the synopsis may contain light spoilers!

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October is here. In Northern Hemisphere, it means the autumn/fall season is coming.  The temperature starts dropping as the chill of winter is on the horizon. Days get shorter, and nights get longer. Skies turn grey, many people turn inside physically and mentally, the mood becomes somber.

This month is also associated with Halloween, and in many places, people start preparing for the festive event. Although you may not celebrate Halloween, there is always a mood for watching horror shows. Therefore, hereby I compiled 10 top horror dramas on MDL. Enough for you to binge-watch for the whole month and beyond! Without romance or comedy genres to tone down the creepiness, you will not see any monster falls for the lead character, neither will you laugh at the (supposedly) scary creatures. It's a pure terror to enjoy!

Image credit: "Noface fanart" by Gilberto "Soren" Zaragoza - ArtStation


Some disclaimers:

  • The list is based on MDL top dramas filtered by horror and excluded romance and comedy genres (although some titles may have slight romance and/or humorous dialogues).
  • The rank and popularity numbers are based on the overall MDL ranking system. The smaller the numbers, the higher rank and the more popular the dramas are.
  • The drama summaries are excerpted from MDL while eliminating long or spoilery synopsis.
  • The data is taken on September 3, 2021. 
  • Any rank/popularity/rating discrepancy happened due to changes after the article was submitted for editing.
  • It is advisable to check the tags before watching any horror show! Some trigger warnings found in these dramas may include: murder/suicide/death, abuse of any form, sexual assault/rape/gang rape, violence/ torture, bullying, blood, gore, mutilation, cannibalism, etc.

     Let us start with the count-down!    


#10 - A Gift to the People You Hate (2019)

Ranked: #1234  |   Popularity: #3240
Genres:  Thriller,  Mystery,  Horror,  Drama  


Country: ThailandEpisodes: 10Duration: 55 min.
Ratings: 8.0/10Where to watch: GMMTV 
The shop of a certain person wearing a mask sells gifts for people that you hate. There are four levels of gifts; making the receiver ashamed, scaring the receiver, hurting the receiver, and making the receiver die. Do you hate someone so much to give them this gift? Your hatred is their responsibility.  

#9 - Tientsin Mystic (2017)

Ranked: #1190  |   Popularity: #2231
Genres:  Mystery,  Horror,  Drama,  Supernatural  


Country: ChinaEpisodes: 24Duration: 45 min.
Ratings: 8.0/10Where to watch: iQiyi 
During the Republican era, a river is haunted by inexplicable occurrences. Guo De You (Li Xian) is a policeman who ends up being suspected of the murder of a distinguished chairman whose son Ding Mao (Zhang Ming En) joins hands with him to uncover the truth. Together with some unlikely partners Gu Ying (CiCi Wang) and Xiao Lan Lan (Charlene Chen), they begin an investigation that leads them to an incident that happened twenty years ago.

This drama has its sequel Tientsin Mystic 2, which has also finished airing with ratings of 7.8/10.

Note: The poster, if rotated, cleverly resembles a monster.

#8 - Reunion: The Sound of the Providence (2020)

Ranked: #733  |   Popularity: #2175
Genres:  Action,  Adventure,  Mystery,  Horror,  Fantasy  


Country: ChinaEpisodes: 32Duration: 45 min.
Ratings: 8.2/10Where to watch: YOUKU 
The iron triangle Wu Xie (Zhu Yi Long), Pang Zi (Chen Ming Hao), and Zhang Qiling (Huang Jun Jie) have hung up their hats to end a ten-year promise. After trading their adventures for a normal life, a text from Wu Xie's uncle Wu Sansheng (Nathan Yu), drives them to embark on a mysterious journey for the sake of family and friendship.

This drama has its sequel Reunion: The Sound of the Providence Season 2 with the same actors. Ratings 8.4/10.


#7 - Search (2020)

Ranked: #731  |   Popularity: #696
Genres:  Military,  Thriller,  Mystery,  Horror  


Country: South KoreaEpisodes: 10Duration: 60 min.
Ratings: 8.2/10Where to watch: Viki 
Yong Dong Jin (Jang Dong Yoon) is a conscript sergeant in the South Korean armed forces, the military’s leading sniffer-dog handler, and is just one month away from discharge. But in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), a suspected murder in bizarre circumstances piques the army’s attention. The army leaders decide to form an elite search party enlisting Yong Dong Jin and his keen-nosed dogs. Also joining the team will be Son Ye Rim (Krystal), a relatively green but highly promising soldier. However, as the party begins to investigate, its members quickly begin to realize that whatever it is they are hunting does not appear to be human…

#6 - Girl From Nowhere Season 2 (2021)

Ranked: #528   |   Popularity: #1166
Genres:  Mystery,  Horror,  Psychological,  Drama  


Country: ThailandEpisodes: 8Duration: 45 min.
Ratings: 8.3/10Where to watch: Netflix 
A mysterious, clever girl named Nanno (Kitty Chicha Amatayakul) transfers to different schools, exposing the lies and misdeeds of the students and faculty at every turn.
This drama has its prequel 
Girl From Nowhere, with ratings of 8.5/10. There is no horror genre in the prequel, but I'm pretty sure it is creepy as well.

#5 - Strangers from Hell (2019)

Ranked: #127   |   Popularity: #178
Genres:  Thriller,  Horror,  Psychological,  Drama  


Country: South KoreaEpisodes: 10Duration: 60 min.
Ratings: 8.6/10Where to watch: Netflix 
Yoon Jong Woo (Im Shi Wan)  is a young guy who moves to Seoul after he is offered a job. While looking for a place to live, he stumbles upon a cheap hostel called Eden Gosiwon. He is not thrilled about the quality of the place or the other abnormal residents, such as his next-door neighbor Seo Moon Jo (Lee Dong Wook), a charismatic dentist. Nevertheless, Jong Woo decides to put up with it until he saves enough money to move out. However, mysterious events start occurring in the apartment, causing Jong Woo to begin fearing the apartment's residents.

#4 - The Guest (2018)

Ranked: #77   |   Popularity: #306
Genres:  Thriller,  Mystery,  Horror,  Supernatural  


Country: South KoreaEpisodes: 16Duration: 1 hr. 7 min.
Ratings: 8.8/10Where to watch: Netflix 
Fatefully, Yoon Hwa Pyung (Kim Dong Wook); a physic taxi driver who uses his power to help possessed people, Choi Yoon (Kim Jae Wook); a Catholic priest who is talented in exorcism, and Kang Kil Yeong (Jung Eun Chae); a detective who doesn't believe in ghosts, reunited after a powerful demon called "Son" (The Guest) killed their families twenty years ago. They work together to defeat "Son".

#3 - Sweet Home (2020)

Ranked: #72   |   Popularity: #109
Genres:  Horror,  Psychological,  Drama,  Supernatural  


Country: South KoreaEpisodes: 10Duration: 52 min.
Ratings: 8.8/10Where to watch: Netflix 
Following the death of his family in an accident, loner Cha Hyun Soo (Song Kang) moves to a new apartment. His quiet life is soon disturbed by strange incidents that start occurring in his apartment and throughout Korea. As people start to turn into monsters, Hyun Soo and the other residents try to survive.

#2 - Kingdom (2019)

Ranked: #55   |   Popularity: #118
Genres:  Thriller,  Historical,  Horror,  Zombies  


Country: South KoreaEpisodes: 6Duration: 51 min.
Ratings: 8.8/10Where to watch: Netflix 
Set in the Joseon Era, no sooner does the King succumb to smallpox, do the rumors of his death begin. The Cho Clan, the clan of the pregnant Queen (Kim Hye Joon) and her father, Chief State Councillor Cho Hak Joo (Ryu Seung Ryong), declares the Crown Prince Lee Chang (Joo Ji Hoon) a traitor for questioning the circumstances surrounding the King’s death. Dissatisfied, the Crown Prince and his guard, Moo Young (Kim  Sang Ho), set forth to locate Lee Seung Hui (Kwon Bum Taek), the last physician to treat his father. But only his Assistant Seo Bi (Bae Doo Na) and Young Shin (Kim Sung Gyu), a mysterious man, are to be found in a village now plagued by a terrifying disease.

#1 - Kingdom: Season 2 (2020)

Ranked: #33   |   Popularity: #248
Genres:  Thriller,  Historical,  Horror,  Zombies  


Country: South KoreaEpisodes: 6Duration: 45 min.
Ratings: 8.9/10Where to watch: Netflix 
Following the events in season one, waves of the undead threaten to reach the capital. In an attempt to save the people during the plague and regain his right to the throne, Crown Prince Lee Chang (Joo Ji Hoon) pursues Jo Hak Joo (Ryu Seung Ryong) to overthrow him, while the Queen (Kim Hye Joon) is in a race against time to produce an heir to the throne.  

There is a spin-off released this year Kingdom: Ashin of the North, a backstory about the mysterious character Ashin (Jun Ji Hyun) whom Lee Chang's group encountered on their journey north to discover the origins of the infected. Will Ashin play a major role in the next installment? Who knows? Rating: 8.3/10.

Last disclaimer...

Please don't ask me which one is my favorite or any detail on dramas listed above, since I don't watch any of them! I am a scaredy-cat, although I love watching horror dramas/movies with romance and/or comedy in them! But I have observed that there are not many articles on horror drama/movie topics. Therefore, by writing one, my sincere hope is that this article will satiate the taste of the ones who prefer the 'dark side' in dramaland, and gave a recommendation of the best horror dramas to them who want to give this genre a try.

This is me when watching horror shows!

    Thanks for reading, and happy watching!    


Thank you to the editors who edited this article. I do not own any of the images used. Credits go to the respective owners. Other than stated above, image sources are taken from official drama posters and stills. Gif is self-made from Girl Next Room: Midnight Fantasy.


 Edited by: Nymphadora (1st editor), YW (2nd editor)

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