Kingdom – television series, South Korea, 2019 – reviews

 

Kingdom  is a 2019 South Korean action horror television series directed by Seong-hun Kim (Tunnel) from a screenplay by Kim Eun-hee. The series stars Doona Bae, Ji-Hoon Ju and Seung-ryong Ryu.

Plot:

Six hundred years ago in Chosun Dynasty-era Korea, a mysterious plague is turning people into something akin to zombies. The crown prince, framed for treason and desperate to save his people, sets out on a journey to unveil what evil lurks in the dark…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“Shots cleverly linger on certain scenes to draw out the impressive sets, while adeptly tracking the action during sword fights or zombie attacks. The scenery is also breathtaking, from the beautiful royal-palace gardens to the vast plains of Korea, while the realistic hovels of civilians add a visceral feel of poverty that contrasts from the glamor of the palace.” Aloysius Low, Cnet

“Character portrayals are important and so is showing things rather than simply stating them with a few lines of dialogue. In Kingdom, this also means we get to see the most gorgeous shots of both Korean nature, culture, and architecture. It does take time to get into, but it is worth it in the end. The slow-burn is rewarded with lots of brutal events later on.” Karin Adelgaard, Heaven of Horror

“Functioning as a gore-centric, albeit politically charged, take on the genre, Kingdom explores relatively uncharted territory, and in turn, achieves the sentiment of experiencing an age-old tale for the first time. The show blends water and oil, but more often than not, the mixture works to a surprisingly effective degree.” Jonathan Christian, The Playlist

Kingdom’s setting, costume design, and overall writing are impressive all-around, making you feel convinced that this is an entirely different zombie story. It tries to patch over the phrase by calling it a plague, but you cannot play games; they eat people. Like Mr. Sunshine, Kingdom respects the culture, the history, and somehow embeds a crazy-infested story within the confines of the setting.” Daniel Hart, Ready Steady Cut!

Release:

Kingdom is on Netflix worldwide from January 25, 2019.

Cast and characters:

  • Doona Bae … Seobi – The Host; Ring (1999)
  • Greg Chun … Chang
  • Jun-ho Heo … TBC
  • Ji-Hoon Ju … Chang
  • Sang-ho Kim … Muyeong
  • Seung-ryong Ryu … Cho
  • Jason Her … Beom Il
  • Crystal Lee … Second Queen

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