What started off as an 11-minute webtoon back in 2002 is now a 6-episode Netflix series. That is Hellbound in a nutshell. Netflix’s newest show is a Korean fantasy/drama with horror elements that is very similar to earlier classics such as Train to Busan and Peninsula, which makes sense since it was directed by the same person, Yeon Sang-ho. Now, a lot of people are wondering just how scary Hellbound is and whether it is gory?
Hellbound is not a full-fledged horror series, but it does have its fair share of horror and gore. When compared to actual horror shows, it’s certainly not as scary and is less gory, but when compared to your usual thrillers, it’ll give you a solid number of chills over the course of the six episodes that are available on Netflix.
In the paragraphs that follow, we are going to elaborate on this answer and give you some additional information on the show’s content. You’re going to find out whether Hellbound is a horror series, how scary and gory it is, as well as whether it is suitable for younger teenagers, and whether it is disturbing or not.
Is Hellbound a Horror?
Hellbound debuted on November 19, 2021, after initially being a simple, 11-minute webtoon produced in 2002. We have to say that we had a lot of information on the show’s style and aesthetic beforehand, but we didn’t really know how disturbing it would be.
A lot of people speculated that Hellbound might be somewhere in the realm of the horror genre and we shall now see that this is not really far from the truth.
Hellbound was categorized as a drama and fantasy series but even the trailer has shown us, and the series has confirmed it, that there are thriller, mystery and horror elements to the show. This is a very accurate categorization and it actually fits the categorization of the League of Legends video game, which is why we can confirm that it is absolutely correct.
Now, it’s not rare to see a fantasy series have horror elements (for drama, it’s not really that typical, but there have been examples), especially if it can fit into the subgenre of dark or urban fantasy (like Train to Busan or Peninsula, both examples that we are using intentionally), but such shows are very specific and you immediately get that horror vibe from the very beginning.
After watching the six episodes of Hellbound we can only confirm that the show has a lot more horror elements than we originally anticipated based on the genres.
Hellbound is a fantasy show, and it is a drama series, but it has so many horror elements that we think that the original classification is a bit off. Now, this might be because Hellbound‘s primary idea isn’t to scare people, it is to tell a story, but we do think that the sheer number of horror elements is too large for it to not be classified as a horror series.
Now, it’s far from a classic horror series, and the fantasy and drama elements are narratively predominant, but the show wants to shock you and it wants to scare you, so do expect some chills along the way.
Is Hellbound Scary?
Unlike some other shows, the answer to this question doesn’t really depend on what you consider to be scary. On a general level, Hellbound is relatively scary and it doesn’t really hesitate with that aspect. Certainly, it’s not a proper horror show and it doesn’t aspire to be one, but we cannot deny that it’s more than creepy
The only issue here is that Hellbound doesn’t really aspire to be a horror series. Sure, it wants to scare you, it wants to make you feel the tension of the show, but it doesn’t want to be a horror show, now; the whole plot is more philosophical than that.
Now, we do have to admit that the scenes aren’t really The Office and the likes, but they’re not really Exorcist or Saw level either. If you simply compare Hellbound to American Horror Story, or Conjuring, or The Haunting of Hill House, you’ll see what we are talking about. These three works are true horror shows and you’ll immediately spot the difference.
Ultimately, Hellbound doesn’t want to scare us completely, but it does want to show us the dangers of hysteria and it does send some relevant moral messages. Hellbound is a philosophical work and not a horror series, but the philosophy it represents is pretty scary.
Is Hellbound Gory?
Well, Hellbound is somewhat gory, although it is more violent than actually gory. We don’t have a proper comparison, since it’s not as gory as American Horror Story or the Saw franchise, but it is gorier than a lot of other similar shows. There are some scenes that will turn your stomach slightly, but we honestly think that the level of goriness is tolerable when Hellbound is concerned.
Those viewers that don’t tolerate such scenes might have some trouble with the show, but overall, we think that the goriness is pretty mild and tolerable.
Is Hellbound Suitable for 13 Year-olds?
Initial announcements, as well as Netflix’s categorization, states that Hellbound is not appropriate for children under the age of 16. This makes a lot of sense, as even the trailer revealed that the show would include violence, mature visuals and would tackle dark topics. Hellbound doesn’t really hesitate when darker subjects are concerned and it tackles them rather directly.
The show is full of monsters, mass hysteria, and open violence, all of which are topics for more mature children. So, if you have a 13-year-old child, should you let them watch the show?
Well, in all honesty, we don’t think that Hellbound is fully appropriate for 13-year old children. It’s not because of the violence and the horror, as much as it is because of the mature topics and issues it tackles. Religious hysteria, issues of morality, punishment, good and evil – all of the topics of Hellbound might be a little too philosophical and to complex for such a young child, which is why we wouldn’t recommend it for them.