Movies like Parasite: Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho and starring Joon-ho, made history as the first foreign-language film to win Best Picture, Oscar. The film has already made a significant cultural impact, encouraging more people to watch and discuss not only foreign films but also more out-there dramas and thrillers.
Those who enjoyed the film’s plot and direction and wish to see something similarly unusual and beautifully crafted should seek out some of the many other brilliantly unpredictable films that may be found.
Recently revised by Mark Birrell on February 20, 2022: You don’t see movies like “Parasite” every week, or even every year. Yet there are several films from all around the world, not just Korea, that are comparable in quality and subject matter to Parasite. The best films, like Parasite, have two things in common: excellent direction and a story that completely captivates the audience.
1. Burning (2018)
We highly suggest you begin your exploration of modern South Korean films with this film. Lee Chang-Burning, dong which is based on a short story by the Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami (which, by the way, is already a challenging concept), explores the same Parasite territory as its predecessor by focusing on the class divide in South Korea and the meaninglessness of material prosperity. There’s a lot of blood and an amazing performance by Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead).
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Bong will give Murakami a try sometime soon.
2. The Imposter (2012)
This documentary is in a league of its own; it tells the incredible true story of Frédéric Bourdin, a 36-year-old Frenchman who successfully fooled the parents, the police, and even his classmates into thinking he was a missing 16-year-old from Texas. The plot revolves around characters who reveal themselves to be someone other than who they claim to be but only in the most severe and believable way.
3. Mother (2009)
Any of Bong Joon-films, ho’s but Mother (2009) stands out as a must-see for anyone looking for similar works to Parasite. Its surprising plot about an old widow trying to exonerate her son for the murder of a young girl is only one reason for the show’s popularity; its realistic portrayal of the problems of South Korea’s working class in the modern period is also a factor.
The film, like Parasite, deftly juggles gloomy humor, ethereal drama, and frightening bursts of violence. Hong Kyung-pyo, who shot both films, does an excellent job of highlighting the director’s most distinctive features.
4. Good Time (2017)
Josh and Benny Safdie’s gritty and poignant crime drama follows Robert Pattinson’s would-be bank robber as he loses his developmentally handicapped brother to the prison system following a failed mission. Following his arrest, he immediately sets out on a frenzied mission to secure the funds for his release as soon as feasible.
Thanks to Pattinson’s steady central performance and the film’s kinetic presentation and direction, viewers of Good Time will never guess what twists and turns the movie has in store for them. It’s not as polished as Parasite, but the lengths to which the main character will go in order to escape yet another hopeless scenario make it just as brilliant.
When looking for other movies that like “Parasite,” it makes logical, to begin with, Bong Joon-other ho’s works. Attempts to curb global warming bring on an ice age in his 2013 film “Snowpiercer,” creating a dystopian future in which the few surviving humans dwell on a train where the rich rule and the poor are shunned.
Despite their vast differences, “Snowpiercer” and “Parasite” share a similar theme in that they both depict the impoverished rising up in rebellion against the wealthy. A revolt is underway, with Curtis Everett (Chris Evans) at the helm, as those at the train’s rear make their way forward.
6. The Handmaiden
Similarly to the plot of “Parasite,” the poor try to overtake the rich by infiltrating a luxurious household in South Korean director Park Chan-beautiful wook’s wonderfully dark erotic thriller “The Handmaiden,” released in 2016. A scam artist posing as Count Fujiwara (Ha Jung-woo) hires an orphaned pickpocket named Nam Sook-hee (Kim Tae-ri) to serve as a maid to the affluent Japanese heiress Lady Hideko (Kim Min-hee). Sook-mission hee’s as an employee of Lady Hideko is to get her to wed the Count in order to steal her inheritance.
7. Memories of Murder
Bong Joon-previous ho’s masterpiece, Memories of Murder (2017), came before his 2019 masterpiece, Parasite. The story follows Detectives Park and Seo as they investigate a string of rape and murder cases involving women committed by an anonymous offender.
The film is based on Kim Kwang Rim’s 1966 stage play about the first serial murders in South Korea and stars Bong Joon-ho’s regular Song Kang-ho (the patriarch of the basement family). The film masquerades as an investigative thriller, but Bong expertly establishes the connection between the characters and the oppressive society in which they are immersed.
This Bollywood thriller starring Aayushman Khurana and Tabu is, without a doubt, one of the best movies of the decade. Raghavan’s film is a wild ride that centers on blind pianist Akash and the horrible web of desire and murder that he finds himself in. This multiple-scar-winning film shares themes of invasion and black humor with the upcoming Parasite (2019), and it also provides a fascinating reflection on the entire concept of art.
Andhadhun is able to do the same by repeatedly changing the tone of a scene from tragic to comic, tricking the viewers into keeping their distance from the characters. And of all the Indian films, the fifth symphony of Beethoven is used in Andhadhun in the most inventive way. You may watch it on Netflix.
According to Bong, this is one of the best films of all time and a major inspiration for him as a filmmaker. We also recommend watching the crime drama After the Parasite by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, which bears some similarities to Bong’s Memories of Murder from 2003.
Cosmopolis, adapted from a Don DeLillo novel, features the same sort of decadence and decay that foreshadows most of Parasite. But of course, there can’t be any snarkiness involved. The film is also responsible for our growing admiration of Robert Pattinson.