The 6 episode Netflix Kdrama Hellbound was creating a buzz even before it aired. After DP, My Name and Squid Game, Hellbound was next from South Korea to blow your mind away. However, Hellbound was quite overhyped and was a huge disappointment in terms of storyline and acting.
There's a webtoon available on the Line app, and if the episodes are available for a binge read would have been nice. Despite the potential, Hellbound was lacklustre, although the graphics and special effects were top-notch. The cinematography, music and background score were good.
Hellbound did end on a massive cliffhanger, hopefully, a season 2 coming soon, but season 1 itself was not quite there. Before you tread further, this contains spoilers from Hellbound Kdrama so feel free to skip if you want to avoid spoilers.
Actor Yoo Ah In was phenomenal in his role of Jung Jin Soo, the founder of the cult religion New Truth. Jung Jin Soo was a character shrouded in mystery and would throw your predictions off. Yoo Ah In's Jung Jin Soo was attractive, captivating and creepy at the same time. What made the character Jung Jin Soo quite appealing was the humble demeanour yet mocking every other character trying to question his knowledge, thinking and motives.
What was most shocking was Jung Jin Soo helping Jin Hee Jung murder the culprit responsible for her mother's death. That was outright scary and twisted how Jung Jin Soo manipulated the little girl to do his bidding. That wasn't the least infuriating thing in Hellbound, because there's more.
In a shocking plot twist in Hellbound, it was revealed that Jung Jin Soo was the first person who received the prophecy or the death summoned by the angel (or God), 20 years ago. Jung Jin Soo was practically damned to hell when he was not even an adult. Imagine having to live a life, fearing every moment because you know you are gonna end up dead on a set date in the future. That's not the worst part; the characters are subjected to death even if they haven't committed any sin.
The initial idea of Hellbound or Jung Jin Soo's sermon spoke of punishment given to sinners. God will punish the sinners for the wrongdoing people have done, subjecting them to hell as the creatures of the underworld come and deliver the judgment, rendering death as the final act. Welp, what sucks, even more, is that despite Jung Jin Soo living a righteous life (except for manipulating the girl), he was subjected to death without any sins.
It was creepy and scary when Jung Jin Soo disclosed the revelation to the angry cop officer Jin. Jung Jin Soo has two choices for him: either bury the truth and go back to their old lives without arresting her daughter or disclose the truth and arrest her daughter. Needless to guess, officer Jin chose the former and buried the truth of how Jung Jin Soo died.
What made Hellbound lose charm was solely due to the fact that the characters had no connection whatsoever, and nothing was connected. Even if you decided to randomly watch the episodes (not that it’s recommended), you won’t miss anything. Things are simultaneously executing but don’t add anything to the final story and flow of logic. The plot holes are even more concerning.
Why did Jung Jin Soo receive the prophecy of death when he lived his life more righteously than others? Was there any code or logic that determined that people were getting a ticket to hell?
The propaganda part and using fear as a powerful fuel was justified and understandable, but what doesn’t make sense, is that no logical character asked or dared question the disappearance of the founder of the New Truth aka Mr Jung Jin Soo, who was brutally killed by the hell agents because why the hell not.
Were Jun Jun Soo’s activities justified where he happily manipulates a minor to go on a murdering event fulfilling the vendetta, as a course of action in his twisted and creepy way?
Welp, it’s a drama so logic is clearly out of the window, but oh well. The lawyer Min Hye Jin was a rational character who was the only good thing in Hellbound. The biggest schemer of Hellbound was Jung Jin Soo who knew the truth and his so-called awareness was a stupid plan to ensure more chaos and a state of anarchy giving absolute power to the cult-like believers of New Truth.
It didn’t bother him once because he’s dying soon, so the aftermath is not his responsibility. The characters lacked appeal and pat from delusion, creepiness, and no use of logic, you can sit back and enjoy Hellbound with a quick binge session on Netflix. Unless season 2 doesn’t get announced, Hellbound is something of a mixed bag; intriguing yet disappointing at the same time.