10 Movies To Stream If You Like Bong Joon Ho's Parasite
On Oscar night, in a delightfully surprising turn-of-events, Parasite took home four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for Bong Joon-ho. As the first foreign-language film to ever win this prestigious prize, it was a historic night for the Academy Awards. And it was most certainly a triumphant win for the acclaimed filmmaker, who should hopefully gain a lot of new fans from this weekend's award ceremony. For those of you who finally got a chance to check out the hit movie and want to see more like it, you're in luck! While there are only a few movies out there like Parasite, there are, at least, a few similarly worthwhile movies that are available at your viewing convenience to watch on various different streaming services.
For this list, we compiled a number of different titles available on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and more that should hopefully quench your thirst for more movies like Parasite. Whether it's comedies, dramas, horror flicks, or other genre-benders from Bong Joon-ho himself, you should hopefully find a variety of different films with similar themes, concepts, and ideas to the Best Picture-winning hit in the titles listed down below.
Before Parasite, Bong Joon-ho made Okja, a sorely overlooked Netflix action-adventure centered around a young South Korean girl and her superpig as they embark on a cross-country adventure to keep the giant animal alive while various insidious corporate figures try to kill the oversized animal. The movie features a talented ensemble, including Tilda Swinton, Jake Gyllenhaal (in a wonderfully maniac turn), Paul Dano, Lily Collins, Giancarlo Esposito, and Steven Yeun, to name a few, but it's truly the warm central friendship dynamic between Ahn Seo-hyn and the CG title character that sells this oddball little charmer, with a message about animal preservation and environmental safety that really hits home in its admirably winning simplicity. Watch it on Netflix here.
The Handmaiden (Amazon Prime)
Inspired by the novel The Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, The Handmaiden is the most recent film from acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Oldboy), and it's most certainly one that's worth checking out, especially if you loved Parasite. An erotic psychological thriller, The Handmaiden centers around a woman who is hired to become a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress — though she ultimately has more nefarious intentions in place.
The Handmaiden is certainly twisty and unconventional in its approach, but it's layered, impactful commentary on the relationship (in more ways than one, as viewers will discover) between the elite and the lower class should definitely ring more-than-a-few comparisons to the messages and themes found at the forefront of Parasite. Indeed, if you love Bong Joon-ho's movies, you should definitely check out Park Chan-wook's filmography as well. There are a lot of great movies to be found therein. You can start with The Handmaiden, which is currently available to stream through Amazon Prime.
Before Parasite turned into a universally-acclaimed, Best Picture-winning achievement, Snowpiercer was set to become Bong Joon-ho's formal entrance into American cinema. Alas, things didn't go as planned. The director publicly clashed with producer Harvey Weinstein, notably with the producer wanting to trim the movie in a shorter, more action-oriented way. While Bong got his final cut, it came at a sacrifice. The dystopian movie received a limited release and little fanfare, but it did find its audience in due time — most notably with an equally-troubled TNT series based on the sci-fi movie set to be released later this year. And it's easy to see why. The brooding, compellingly metaphorical film is truly another Bong Joon-ho hit.
Featuring similar themes on class warfare, the divide between the upper class and the disenfranchised, and the desire of the lower class to rebel against their oppressors, Snowpiercer is yet another inventive, immersive social commentary from the award-winning director, and it features arguably Chris Evans' best performance yet, along with inspired production design, a smartly-paced plot, and several biting bits of dark satire. If you're looking to expand your horizons, most notably by hopping on-board the Bong Joon-ho train, you can check out Snowpiercer on Netflix! It's worth your while.
Train to Busan (Netflix)
Additionally, if you enjoyed both Parasite and Snowpiercer, you should make a point to check out Train to Busan. Directed by Yeon Sang-ho, the South Korean zombie movie, which takes place on a train (as the title would suggest), finds a group of passengers fighting for their lives whenever the zombie apocalypse breaks out throughout the country. Naturally, like any good zombie movie, there's more going on beyond the surface, and this engaging film is one that certainly earned a lot of fans around the world. So much so that there are reportedly plans in place to do an English-language remake at some point from producer James Wan. Whether or not that movie comes to fruition, you should check out Train to Busan, which is available on Netflix.
If you're looking to continue watching recent Palme D'or-winning movies, look no further than 2018's recipient, Shoplifters. A beautiful, emotionally devastating tale of a non-biological family who relies on frequent acts of shoplifting in order to survive, the first Japanese film to ever win the Cannes Film Festival's most prestigious prize shares a lot of similar ideas to Bong Joon-ho's Parasite, though its approach is a little bit more melancholy and subdued in comparison. The character piece is fragile and heartbreaking in its execution, though the idea of a poor, unconventional family using their wits to make their way through an unforgiving world on their own terms should resonate with those viewers who found themselves entranced by the themes at the center of Parasite. But above all else, it's simply a lovely film. Shoplifters will undoubtedly steal your heart. Check it out. It's now on Hulu.
Sorry To Bother You (Hulu)
A joyfully inspired surrealist satire, Sorry to Bother You serves as the feature directorial debut of musician Boots Riley. It centers on LaKeith Stanfield's Cassius "Cash" Green, a young, low-level telemarketer who ascends the levels of his company by adopting a "white voice" and quickly climbing up the corporate ladder. To spoil anymore would be a sin, but with wonderful production design, richly inspired comedic beats, an absurd wit, and a bunch of sharp commentary on capitalism and the rise of poor into the ranks of the rich, Sorry to Bother You serves as good company to Parasite. Also, it features a cast that includes Tessa Thompson, Armie Hammer, Danny Glover, and other big names. You can check it out for yourself on Hulu.
The Killing Of A Sacred Deer (Amazon Prime)
Before Yorgos Lanthimos made his Oscar-friendly The Favourite, the Greek director made a bleak, ruthlessly compelling psychological thriller-horror film as only he can with The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Focused on a cardiac surgeon, played by Colin Farrell, who finds his life thrown for a loop when a teen boy from his past, played by Dunkirk's Barry Keoghan, turns his doctor's family (including Nicole Kidman as the mom) ill as an act of vengeful, calculated act of retribution for a past sin from his family's history, The Killing of a Sacred Deer might be too cold and dourer for some folks' tastes. Nevertheless, if you like your pointed and uncompromising commentaries on the dangers of the rich and powerful on the poor and misfortunate with a bit of a bitter aftertaste (which is the case for me, at least), you should give The Killing of a Sacred Deer a shot. It's now available on Amazon Prime.
The Host (Tubi)
While Parasite will serve as many people's introductions to Bong Joon-ho, my first Bong hit came when I watched The Host in 2007. The monster film centers around a father's efforts to rescue his daughter from a creature who kidnaps her, and through its unique blend of genre and tones, you should expect another brilliantly layered film from this master filmmaker. Also starring Song Kang-ho, who played the patriarch in Parasite (and a leading actor who often collaborates with the director), The Host became more of a success in South Korea than it did in the United States, but if you're making a concentrated effort to catch up on the director's past movies, this is most certainly one that you don't want to miss. You can watch it for free on Tubi.
The Invitation (Netflix)
If you enjoyed the escalating tension of Parasite's climatic birthday party sequence, but you're also in the mood for a somber, slow-burn thriller as well, you might want to check out The Invitation. Karyn Kusama's thriller is set in an extravagant home, not unlike the upper-class location at the center of Parasite, and it centers around characters of different economical backgrounds at a dinner party which goes disastrously wrong, building from a fine sense of dread into a state of chaos. Ultimately, while not a clean comparison to Parasite, it does feature a few comparable points. If you think this one might be of interest to you, particularly with Logan Marshall-Green and John Carroll Lynch giving a couple fine performances, give it a watch on Netflix.
As a follow-up to his acclaimed, award-winning directorial debut, Get Out, Jordan Peele's sophomore feature, Us, didn't get quite as much attention and notice as his first movie, which is a shame because it's possibly just as good (and possibly even better) than the movie he made prior. Centered on a Californian family who finds their vacation disturbed by a creepy, mysterious group of doppelgängers of themselves, known as the tethered, Us is a layered, compelling look at classicism and marginalization, as well as the unspoken divides found throughout a nation that prides itself on prosperity. There is more going on, of course, but a lot of these themes echo throughout Parasite. If you haven't had a chance to check out Us, watch it on HBO.
Which movies would you recommend to someone who loved Parasite? Let us know in the comment section below.
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Will is an entertainment writer based in Pittsburgh, PA. His writing can also be found in The Playlist, Cut Print Film, We Got This Covered, The Young Folks, Slate and other outlets. He also co-hosts the weekly film/TV podcast Cinemaholics with Jon Negroni and he likes to think he's a professional Garfield enthusiast.
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