Starring Kim Dong Wook, Kim Jae Wook, and Jung Eun Chae, The Guest K-Drama takes us on a suspense-filled journey where ghosts are real, and the devil is not too far away. It was my first horror K-Drama and let me tell you, The Guest is an excellent place to start if you want to dip your toes in this genre. Even with the scary aspects of this drama, what makes it unique is the plot, and the way characters come together to defeat evil. You feel for the characters and the bond they form.
Yoon Hwa Pung is a psychic who was born into a shaman family. As a child, he has an encounter with a powerful evil spirit called ‘The Guest’. An evil spirit can control other weaker spirits and make them possess humans. After the possession, the possessed humans are made to kill their families and later go insane and end the possession by stabbing themselves in the eye. It so happens that after a specific traumatic incident, Yoon Hwa Pung comes in contact with Kang Gil Young and Choi Yoon.
After twenty years, Hwa Pung works as a taxi driver and is still pursuing the guest. Following a lead, he ends up meeting with Kang Gil Young, a detective, and later they encounter Choi Yoon, who has become a priest. These three are unaware of how their past connects them, and it is compelling to watch how the story unfolds as the three of them come together to put an end to the guest!
Yoon Hwa Pung
Sometimes being unique is a curse. This sentiment rings true when it comes to Yoon Hwa Pung’s character. Because of his psychic ability, he becomes a beacon for the powerful evil spirit ‘The Guest’. Tragic events occur in his life due to this spirit, and even after years, the need to end it makes him do questionable things. His strength is commendable because of the way he holds on to the responsibility of finishing the spirit. Even after experiencing heartbreaking situations, he stands tall because he cares about the people he loves.
Kang Gil Young
Kang Gil Young is a detective; she is not a believer in the ghost world. So there is a fresh perspective to this story when it comes to her understanding. The journey from not believing to admitting what she sees cannot be explained if not for the existence of something sinister is engaging to watch. She takes her job seriously, and she believes people should be punished legally. So when it comes to following something that cannot be arrested makes her struggle with her principles.
Choi Yoon grows up to be a priest. As Father Matthew, he performs an exorcism and has a burden of tragic past. His sense of duty is also pretty strong, and Choi Yoon always wants to do things within the rules of the Church. But when push comes to shove, he does not hold back from supporting the people he cares for. He is suspicious and not easy to get along with right away, but eventually, he lets his guard down, and seeing him open up to others makes you feel good.
This is one theme I love seeing in dramas even more than romance. And The Guest K-Drama serves you the best kind of friendship feels. Yoon Hwa Pung, Kang Gil Young, Choi Yoon have survived a tragic past as kids that binds them together. So when they meet each other years later as adults and start chasing the evil, the bond becomes genuine. They care about each other and want to protect the other from any harm.
Something beautiful like their friendship coming out from the horrific events in their life makes you stick through watching the drama. You can feel their love for each other, and it’s a brilliant feeling amid the darkness we’re experiencing.
Also, the best part? The romantic questions are sure to arise in your mind with two male leads and one female lead. Will your heart be split between the two love interests? Well, fear not because the best thing ever happens in The Guest K-Drama. I like that there is no hint of romance. Honestly, fighting against the most powerful evil spirit is time-consuming.
But the story is written in a way that only friendship comes through the plot. So seeing friendship blossom and sticking to that lane while fighting off evil spirits gives you a good experience of watching it.
Each of our main characters is on this path of revenge because of what happened to their families. Yoon Hwa Pung has someone he considers brother- Yook Gwang, who aids him during this fight. I liked their dynamics. Even though Yook Gwang does not condone following the evil spirit and seems quite scared of it, he always helps out Yoon Hwa Pung. And that’s what family is for, right. Yook Gwang is the comedic aspect of the drama, and it’s easy to relate to his character. So seeing him face his fears for Yoon Hwa Pung touches your heart.
What did I like about The Guest K-Drama?
The suspense is perfectly built. I loved how the drama makes you feel like you know who the person the guest is possessing is. But then it changes your guesswork by showing you something completely different. And when the big reveal happens, it catches you off guard. The story takes us through a different set of villains until we reach the biggest one is good to watch. It is unique how crazy the drama gets and increases the scary factor as we move on in the story.
Also, there is a whole reason and origin story for the evil possessing others, which was quite interesting. Everything was not mindless; the guest is influential and had laid down its plans to achieve what it wanted. It all comes to full circle in the end.
The drama takes you through a lot of emotions. A childhood connection that later gets explored as adults is an excellent trope to watch. So this aspect glues you in, and you see how they form the friendship. You start rooting for the three of our main leads to be on the same team. And when they finally get on the same team, things start getting intense. The stakes are high, and you feel anything can happen, so there is a sense of dread.
When you reach the last episode of The Guest k-drama, what happens shocks you. Then your mind goes back into the story to connect the dots to confirm what you are seeing. It is a full-ride journey and in the end, even though your heart might break down and you are bawling your eyes out, trust me, it will be alright.
The ending takes you to a tough spot but then progresses into the best thing ever. There is just this tremendous amount of love in your heart for the characters. I am smiling just thinking about the ending scene because it breathed me back to life after everything in the showdown with the evil spirit.
If you are a fan of Supernatural American drama series, you get those authentic vibes here while watching the characters chase down the evil and help out innocent people. It is super intense and fun to watch.
The whole exorcism ritual felt a bit lacking. The Guest K-Drama does scare you and it fleshes out the horror aspect of the drama well. But the exorcism ritual does not come off as powerful or leave you with a shuddering breath. It does not have a powerful impact in my opinion. But I do like the way things take place when the possession wears off. That was a newer component of the exorcism for me, as it was something I hadn’t seen before.
Hands down, The Guest has the best soundtrack ever. The instrumentals make you feel the intensity of the situations the characters are in. The scary factor becomes scarier when you have the right kind of music, bringing you goosebumps. Also, the soundtrack effectively captures all of these emotions when things start unravelling, and it feels there is no way to win, that desperation to get through the current situation.
A favourite of mine is Somewhere by O3ohn; it has become my all-time favourite song. Whenever it plays in the drama, it heightens your emotions. And it is one of those songs that just right away brings up the tears in your eyes and leaves an ache in your heart. At times I have listened to this song in a one-hour loop; it’s just extraordinary.
Even if horror scares you quickly, I feel The Guest K-Drama is something you can give a try to watch. The connection you form with the characters while watching makes you survive the scarier parts. It is an exciting story with thrilling suspense and the best characters ever! Trust me, and you will not regret watching it. The ending is so beautiful that you are left feeling so good after you finish the drama!
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The Guest K-Drama is available on Netflix