Hellbound: an original supernatural series that deserves a look

SERIAL REVIEW / OPINION – The author of the film “Last Train to Busan” is adapting his own webtoon “Hellbound” to series, on Netflix. A work that uses a supernatural argument to find the worst that can be found in humans.

Hellbound : demons land on Earth

Director Yeon Sang-ho revealed himself to the world with his killing spree Last train to Busan. A film of zombies on a train that has created a consensus because of its great qualities. His progenitor could not necessarily confirm the hopes placed in him with the means Psychokinesis and especially with the failure Peninsula that we would have liked to love. But Yeon Sang-ho is back, on Netflix, with a rather promising series: Hellbound.

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An adaptation of its own webtoon, whose premise is enticing. Humans witness strange phenomena that are beyond comprehension. Indeed, monsters appear on Earth to send people who have sinned to Hell. In addition, the mysterious Jeong Jin-soo explains to anyone who will listen that these events are willed by God. Following the death of a man in the middle of the street, the police decide to investigate this case but no one is really ready to accept what will happen.

Hellbound ©Netflix

Hellbound begins with an astonishing opening of violence. A man, to whom a prophecy announced the death to come, is chased by three demons in the middle of the city center, at a busy hour. Under the astonished eyes of witnesses who do not understand much, he is assaulted without concession and killed by combustion. The scene is obviously captured by passers-by who quickly draw their cell phones. Everyone – including viewers – attend an uncompromising killing, quite destabilizing because frontal. Once this appetizer has passed, we discover thatHellbound is a series that resonates with our times in more than one way and that is precisely what makes it interesting to follow.

A supernatural series on human nature

In the first three episodes that we have seen, the interventions of demons are rare. VSt is more on the periphery that the sap of history is to be found. It is about belief, on several scales. The divine, necessarily, but also that of human justice, where the victims see the culprits not receiving the penalties they deserve. Finally, and this is where the horror ultimately grows more importantly, Hellbound evokes the fanaticism that stems from religious beliefs. When it is not the demons who arrive to spread a divine punishment, it is men, little sheep of a sect, who allow themselves to punish people and use excessive violence. It is difficult not to see a reminder of the terrorist movements which assert their ideals through terror.

Hellbound ©Netflix

The brutality of men is painful when it intervenes in Hellbound, perhaps even more so than when it is monsters – unreal creatures, therefore – who use them. The series is quite stingy on the screen time of demons because its purpose is elsewhere. Their appearance very early in the pilot is not surprising. The scenario does not even seek to play the card of suspense on their veracity, their design or their power. Everything is dropped from the outset, to rule on the fact that they exist.

This does not prevent their appearances from working, because they emerge at strategic times. However, we will pass on the visual effects of the demons, which could have been more convincing, even if their appearance is faithful to what we find in the original webtoon.

Originality, precisely, is what deploys the universe ofHellbound. The concept is cleverly thought out with a mythology that is out of the ordinary. Execution, on the other hand, does not always live up to the beautiful promises of the universe. At least, in the first three episodes, the pace shows lows. It is also difficult to get attached to the characters, especially since the casting is not a real success. However, Yoo Ah-in comes out of the crowd, thanks to his magnetic interpretation of President Jin-soo. Despite these flaws which spoil what could have been a success, the universe gives off enough singularity to make you want to hang on to the end.

Hellbound created by Yeon Sang-ho, on Netflix on November 19, 2021. Above the trailer. Find all our trailers here.

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