The Korea Herald


Mystery, suspense thrillers find growing popularity this summer

By Lee Si-jin

Published : July 3, 2023 - 17:36

    • Link copied

Lim Ji-yeon plays Sang-eun, a pregnant woman who is a victim of domestic violence in "Lies Hidden in My Garden." (KT Studio Genie)

The popularity of thrillers like “Lies Hidden in My Garden” and “Revenant” suggest that horror-themed shows and movies have become a spine-chilling way for many Koreans to escape the blistering summer heat.

Cable channel Genie TV kicked off the summer season on June 19 with “Lies Hidden in My Garden” an eight-part suspense thriller series.

With the release of its fifth episode on Monday, the project continues to draw drama fans, meeting the show's well-deserved expectation as one of this year’s most anticipated series.

"Lies Hidden in My Garden" has ranked No. 3 on the weekly list of the most talked-about TV dramas since its premiere, according to the analytics firm Good Data Corp.

The company monitors and compiles data from online posts, videos, social media, news reports and blog posts in determining its rankings.

The series' lead actors Kim Tae-hee, Zev Choi, Lim Ji-yeon and Kim Seung-o swept the top spots on the weekly rankings for the most searched keywords in the last week of June.

Kim Tae-hee plays a housewife named Joo-ran in "Lies Hidden in My Garden." (KT Studio Genie)

“Lies Hidden in My Garden” not only became the most watched show on South Korea’s Netflix TV chart as of June 29, it also topped Amazon Prime Video’s TV show chart in Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar and the Philippines on Sunday.

Adapted from a Korean novel titled “A House With a Yard” (unofficial translation) by author Kim Jin-young, “Lies Hidden in My Garden” presents the story of a housewife named Joo-ran (played by Kim Tae-hee), whose life veers in an unexpected direction after she notices the smell of a decomposing corpse in her backyard.

Broadcaster SBS’ mystery thriller “Revenant” has also been off to a strong start.

Kim Tae-ri stars as Gu San-yeong, a hard-working woman who is possessed by an evil spirit, in Kim Tae-ri stars as Gu San-yeong, a hard-working woman who is possessed by an evil spirit, in "Revenant" (SBS)

As its fourth episode aired on July 1, the drama recorded a viewership rating of 10 percent, topping ratings among all TV shows in the same time slot, according to Nielsen Korea.

According to Good Data Corp., the series became one of the most talked-about TV dramas in the fourth week of June.

Actor Kim Tae-ri, who plays the lead in the series, was ranked fifth on the list of most searched keywords on Good Data Corp’s weekly chart for the last week of June.

The story of “Revenant” revolves around Gu San-yeong (played by Kim Tae-ri), who is possessed by an evil spirit, becoming strangely entangled in mysterious deaths. The 12-part series continues as Yeom Hae-sang (played by Oh Jung-se), a folklore professor, seeks to find out the truth behind the deaths with his ability to see the devil.

“Revenant” is available on Wavve and Disney+ while “Lies Hidden in My Garden” is available on Tving and Netflix.