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Korean thriller 'Hellbound' tops Netflix charts on heels of 'Squid Game'

By Kim Kwang-ho & Kim Tae-gyu, UPI News Korea
Korean thriller 'Hellbound' tops Netflix charts on heels of 'Squid Game'
The South Korean fantasy thriller "Hellbound" hit No. 1 on the global Netflix charts after its premiere. Photo courtesy of Netflix

SEOUL, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Another South Korean thriller, Hellbound, has topped Netflix charts.

The six-episode show, directed by Yeon Sang-ho, hit No. 1 on Friday in countries including Mexico, Belgium, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam, according to Flixpatrol, which tracks streaming data. In the United States, it ranked third.

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Hellbound has become the second South Korean Netflix original series to reach its top spot after Squid Game, which became a global sensation after its September premiere.

While it took more than a week for Squid Game to climb to No. 1, Hellbound reached the spot in just a day. The series fell to No. 2 Sunday but returned to No. 1 the following day.

Hellbound, an adaptation of a popular webtoon, depicts an apocalyptic world in which smoky gray monsters deliver bloody condemnations and drag people to hell. Amid the chaos, a religious group spreads the idea of divine justice.

"Hellbound demonstrates different sides of people in a desperate situation in the midst of extreme social chaos," director Yeon said during an online press conference before the show's launch.

The success of Squid Game earlier this year is helping South Korean shows win over global audiences.

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Squid Game debuted in mid-September to become the most-viewed show on Netflix. In the series, hundreds of cash-strapped contestants play deadly games in a bid to win $39 million.

In October, another South Korean Netflix original series, My Name, also joined the Top 10 charts.

"Without the tremendous success of Squid Game, I don't think that Hellbound and My Name would be able to attract so many global viewers," HMC Investment & Securities analyst Kim Hyun-yong said.

"For the time being, I think new South Korean shows or movies will draw attention across the world. That's all thanks to Squid Game," he said.

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