“The Guest”: Korean Exorcist Series Has Loads of Thrills and (Blood) Spills

South Korean television producers have created another addictive horror series in “The Guest,” now streaming on Netflix.

The 16-episode drama has brooding atmosphere, exciting twists and turns, edge-of-the-seat moments, beautiful scenery and relatable, albeit tragic, characters.

The show revolves around a demonic spirit known as “the guest” who also goes by the name Park Il-do. Twenty years ago, the demon visits a small seaside village. This results in terrible loss for three children, one of whom comes from a family of shamans and has special psychic abilities.

Fast forward to today. The children are all grown up. One is a taxi driver, another is a priest and the third is a cop. The taxi driver, the boy from the shaman family, has made it his life quest to hunt down the demon. The other two are roped in when the demon and its minions possess people and spark off a killing spree. The three must stop the demon before more bodies pile up.

Photo: Netflix.com
What I particularly liked about the series is that the Roman Catholic priest and the shaman are working together to thwart the demon. Although fun is poked at some of the shamanistic practices, there is no suggestion that the shamans' rites are any less effective than the church’s exorcisms. I find this refreshing and inclusive, and it gives the series an authentic Korean flavor.

Photo: Netflix.com
One warning: if, like me, you aren’t fond of blood and gore—the series has plenty of it.

Another caveat is that the show, although new for Netflix viewers, was released in South Korea in September 2018. The last episode sets the stage for a second season, but it seems the creators aren’t working on one. So unfortunately, a Season 2 is unlikely. That’s a pity because the demon was intriguing and I wanted to learn more about its origins.

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