Winner of the 92nd Academy Award for Best Film, this visually stunning film, Parasite is a satirical take on the inherent horror of class differences. Bong Joon Ho is a master of his craft, clearly portrayed in his award-winning film of 2019, which shows the declining relationship between the wealthy Parks and the bottom-of-the-barrel Kims. This dark comedy has a slow yet immaculate story-telling that will get you hooked on its unexpected twists, heart-wrenching emotions, and tragic comedy.
It’s an unexpected watch; its title does not reveal anything the film offers, as it starts from a seemingly destitute family employed at an upper-class one and ends with things spiraling so out of control that it will leave you wondering what precisely the title enunciates.
Right from the beginning, you can tell something sinister is going to unfold when the lives of the two drastically different families from different social walks are compared side-by-side. Yet there’s no way of knowing how the fruit allergies or the lies behind the calm demeanors of the characters will lead to the end the film offers its viewers.
Bong Joon Ho has delivered various other cinematic masterpieces before, but Parasite, which bagged 4 Academy Awards and 307 nominations, put him in the sight of film enthusiasts.
Parasite is a movie unlike any other, and one of the reasons it made the whole world succumb to one-inch subtitles and become the first non-English picture to win Best Film at the Academy, was its subtle layering of the timeless social theme of disparity with humor and drama.
So, it’s no surprise that it will leave you wanting more, and trust me, you are not alone. This film has that effect on people, leaving them desiring yet another gripping twisted thriller depicting more conversation-igniting topics like class warfare.
Now, directors such as Jordan Peele (Us, Get Out), David Fincher (Gone Girl, The Killer), and David Cronenberg (Cosmopolis) are also known to deliver such thought-provoking thrillers, but Bong Joon Ho himself has some rather prolific works under his belt other than Parasite itself such as Snowpiercer, Okja and more.
44 more movies to watch just like Parasite
Wondering what to do after your third, fourth, and fifth rewatch of Parasite? Well, look no further because we have got you covered with 44 more movies similar to the exceptional story and visually appealing direction of Parasite by Bong Joon Ho.
Sit back, get ready to face hard-hitting themes, and pick a movie from our selection to have yet another experience of subtle symbolism and unexpected plot twists, just like in Parasite.
The Handmaiden (2016)
Loosely based on the 2002 novel by Sarah Waters, Fingersmith, this 2016 Korean masterpiece is considered by some to be as good as the gruesome psychological thrillers of Alfred Hitchcock. An erotic take on the social disparity depicted in Parasite, The Handmaiden is about the destitute Sook-hee, a handmaiden to a wealthy Japanese heiress who is unbeknownst to anyone, is planning to overthrow her Mistress and gain her riches.
The film beautifully depicts the grotesque narrative of surviving in the class war and compares the lives of two sensual women, who, for the most part of the film, are used for sex in the plot but rarely objectified. Park Chan-wook has managed to depict the dark humor of Parasite with the added sordid sexual tension between the characters that keeps the viewers hooked to the screen. You can watch, buy or rent The Handmaiden on Amazon Prime, Vudu, or Google Play.
Class conflict, dystopian society, post-apocalyptic chaos, and sci-fi woven with suspense and thrill, if this is what you are looking for after watching Parasite, then Snowpiercer is the movie for you. A Bong Joon-ho story, starring Chris Evans, shows the remnants of humankind living on a continuously moving train to escape the frozen world brought upon by attempts to stop global warming.
Each car of the titular train houses a separate economic class, where the wealthy enjoy luxuries while the poor are marginalized. Balancing on a similar theme as Parasite, showcasing the rebellion of the poor against the wealthy.
Based on a French graphic novel, Le Transperceneige, the story is set in 2031, and the rebellion they stage is led by Curtis. If the film isn’t enough, an ongoing show released in 2020, also based on the novel, is also available to binge-watch. Snowpiercer can be streamed on Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, or Jio Cinema.
A small family on the margins of Tokyo takes under their wing a young homeless girl, without any sure-shot chances of their own survival. The film is an understated, meticulous storytelling on the effects of poverty and the strain it renders on a family and its elders who are trying to make ends meet in this declining economy.
Osamu and Nobuyo work hard on their jobs, but when it fails to provide enough for their destitute family, they turn to shoplifting. When the younger members of the family also try their hands at these petty crimes, a moral dilemma arises that may threaten the family’s lives. The director of the movie, like Bong Joon-ho, draws inspiration from societal realism and presents it in an artistic manner to the viewers. Shoplifters are available to rent/buy on Hulu.
Adapted from a short story by Haruki Murakami, this slow-burning story follows Jong-su, a young man who, upon reconnecting with his old classmate, Hae-mi, discovers that she’s going abroad on a long trip.
When she returns, she’s accompanied by a wealthy stranger, Ben, who doesn’t sit well in Jong-su’s eyes. The plot only gets more discombobulating from here as Jong-su’s paranoia and growing surmise get him entangled in a sinister plot.
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Although Lee Chang-dong takes a different tonal approach than Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite, both films explore the vast divide between the various economic sectors of the society prevalent in Korea. Ben and Jong-su symbolize the wealth disparity that affects the Korean youth. Burning is available to rent/buy on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Prime, or Vudu.
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Train to Busan (2016)
One of the most popular Korean flicks of all time, Train to Busan is a gripping thriller complete with zombies and a heart-wrenching father-daughter relationship. This sci-fi, high-octane film is said to win over all the others of the genre with its sheer filmmaking.
The father-daughter duo, played by Gong Yoo and Ma Dong-Seok, start the film with a tumultuous relationship, but the apocalypse looms over their heads, with flesh-eating zombies working to bring them closer.
In a movie with so much blood and gore, you wouldn’t expect there to be emotions that move you and cry tears of not knowing what’s to come, but Yeon Sang-ho’s cinematography and Park Joo-suk’s brilliant story-telling serve you exactly that. Train to Busan is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video and Netflix.
Sorry to Bother You (2018)
The directorial debut of Boots Riley, follows the story of Cash Green, a young black telemarketer who quickly ascends the corporate ladder having adopted a white accent. The film is filled with comedic satires, surreal themes, and quick wit; all wrapped up in the narration of capitalism and the rise of the poor amongst the ranks of the rich.
The cast is up to the mark, with big names such as Armie Hammer, Danny Glover, and Tessa Thompson. Sorry to Bother You is now available to watch on Hulu.
The Housemaid (1960)
Director Kim Ki-young’s The Housemaid is said to be a great influence on the theme and tone of Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite. Released 60 years before the latter, The Housemaid also revolves around the eccentric and strange behaviors of the hired house help and their own schemes for their game.
The story takes place in the house of the Kims and their maid, Myung-sook. The film is praised for its exceptional representation of female sexuality. The themes depicted in the movie, such as the avaricious home invasion, domestic dismantling, and the building of suspense, are all concepts that also kept us glued to Parasite as well. You can watch The Housemaid on Netflix.
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This 2017 Netflix film directed by Bong Joon-ho is, to put it simply, a straightforward yet brain-rattling watch. The plot is simple, and yet, it makes for a movie so great that once you start, you won’t be able to leave your seats, even if you tried. Genetically modified pigs are sent out to farmers across the world, but in South Korea, a young girl befriends one of these Okja or the engineered pigs.
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The company workers who created these lab animals go on a rampage to get them back; they are met with the support of animal rights groups. The casting is stellar, and so are the performances and the storytelling, which makes this simple narrative such an interesting watch. You can now avail Okja on Hulu.
The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)
This psychological thriller/horror is the brainchild of Yorgos Lanthimos, who serves the dark, twisted theme of free will deteriorating under the triteness of society. The plot revolves around Steven, a friendly surgeon who takes under his wing and welcomes into his home a teenager, Martin.
Like a ‘parasite’, the infiltration of Martin into this unsuspecting family starts to infect it with harrowing consequences. The film will leave you biting your tongue in anticipation, often compared to a modern-day Greek family tragedy by critics. The Killing of a Sacred Deer is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video.
The Host (2016)
One of the many of the same name, 2006 The Host is a South Korean film following the monster trope. When an unnamed monster emerges on the Han River right after it’s declared contaminated and dead, the plot of the movie follows the family of one such victim of the monster who will go to any lengths to save her.
The film takes environmental conspiracy and combines it with thrill, family drama, and tantalizing monster gory. Bong Joon Ho is often referred to as the Spielberg of the East, with his films adding classic humor and character depth into American monster flicks. The Host is available to watch on MX Player and Netflix.
After Jordan Peele’s massive success with Get Out, it was no surprise that he came back bigger and better with Us. Apart from the trailblazing cast, this film ups the analogies and symbolism and serves it to the viewers, layer after layer as the film progresses.
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The plot itself is eerie, a seemingly normal Californian family out on vacation is haunted by their own doppelgangers, called Us. It dwells into genre-mixing, and Lupita Nyongó’s earth-shattering performance paired with the subtle commentary on the marginalization of the oppressed, makes this a fantastic watch after Parasite. Watch Us on Netflix now.
Memories of Murder (2003)
Bong Joon-ho might be coming into the eyes of movie-goers and film fanatics recently, but before he introduced the world to his Academy Award-winning Parasite, he rolled out other masterpieces such as Memories of Murder.
Involving two detectives, Park and Seo, who set out to solve Korea’s first serial murders. Based on Kim Kwang-rim’s 1966 play, this film adapts from real life and promises the viewers a deep introspection into the repression of the poor in society. The film is available to watch on Netflix.
From the director of Parasite himself, this Bong Joon-ho classic is a South Korean thriller not to be confused with the Hollywood movie of the same name starring Jennifer Lawrence. This 2009 crime and drama film follows the story of a vengeful single mother looking for a killer who framed her son for murder.
The story is a passionate take on a mother’s maternal instinct to protect her son and forces the viewers to look past her actions while leaving them wondering about a lot of hard questions. It’s a subversive watch, as the dark humor and slight perversion interweave into a mesmerizing narration that depicts the primary idea of perception over reality to a new extreme. You can rent/buy the movie on Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, or Apple TV.
Yet another film worth watching from Park Chan-wook, Mother shows the mastery of the director over artistic storytelling with perplexing plots. An action-packed drama, based on the Japanese Manga of the same name, Oldboy tells the story of a captive, Oh Dae-su held for fifteen years. Upon his freedom, the captive just ends up finding himself in a web of vengeance and mystery surrounding his capture in the first place.
Slightly darker and more violent than Parasite, Oldboy too undergoes an escalating spiral that gets darker as the movie progresses. The film has a striking take on toxic masculinity, great hand-to-hand combat scenes, and a commanding hold over discombobulating story-telling and genre-blending to give a brain-tickling masterpiece.
Fans of Quentin Tarantino will especially enjoy this movie which was praised by the legendary director himself during the Cannes Film Festival of 2004, having won the Grand Prix that year. The film also marks the second installment of the Vengeance trilogy by Park Chan-wook. You can stream, rent or buy Oldboy on Lionsgate Play.
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
No matter how many years later you get a chance to tune into this movie, it still holds its charisma and delivers a story about vengeance and revenge without violence but with excellent satire. Watch the Kind Hearts and Coronets now on Apple TV or Prime Video.
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The Chaser (2008)
This cop movie by Na Hong-jin is a South Korean action thriller that marks the director’s debut. The plot involves a disgraced police officer running an underground prostitution ring who has to race through time to find one of his own girls taken by a serial killer when she goes missing.
South Korean thrillers have a way of keeping you hooked to them with their brutal gory cinematography and dark twisted plot that delivers neck-breaking palpable tension throughout the runtime. Watch The Chaser now on Netflix.
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Ready or Not (2019)
If the shocks and turns in Parasite, delivered one by one at a slow-burn pace, weren’t enough, then you have got to watch Ready or Not by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. The entire movie seems like a constant force of scare jumps, top-notch violence, and speedy, dark satire.
The story is about Grace, who is forced to play a sinister game of hide and seek by her in-laws right after her wedding, except the simple games of the rules are made horrifying by hunting and killing. In this whirlwind of a film, the last thing you would expect is to be a subtle underlying theme of the minority trying to blend in with the upper class, while extracting their sweet revenge. You can now stream, buy or rent Ready or Not on iTunes, Vudu, and FuboTV.
This 1989 American horror movie, directed by Brian Yuzna, stars Billy Warlock as Bill who doesn’t quite seem to fit in with his posh family and friends. One day when he returns home unexpectedly, he discovers that his family might be involved in some sort of eerie cult for the elite upper class.
The meaningful commentary behind the film about the socioeconomic disparity, the building tension, and the creepy horrifying end all make for an amazing watch. Society is now available to stream on Roku Channel, Vudu, or Apple TV.
The People Under the Stairs (1991)
This 1991 film is a horror flick narrating the story of a young boy who breaks into the home of his wealthy upper-class landlord, where he discovers a horrifying act between the adults of the house. He soon discovers their landlord’s daughter, and they attempt to escape from this house of horrors before it’s too late.
If you are looking for something like Home Alone but creepier and more aesthetically pleasing with deep, thought-provoking themes like Parasite, then this is the movie for you. You can now watch The People Under the Stairs on Prime Video.
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The Imposter (2012)
Depicting a thought-igniting theme that will leave people talking ages after, this documentary follows the life of Frederic Bourdin, a middle-aged French man who impersonates a teenager from Texas, managing to fool the parents, authorities, and friends.
The docu-film inspired by the real-life case of 1997 is an interesting take on identity theft, sprinkled with enough suspense to keep you hooked. Watch The Imposter on Google Play, iTunes, Vudu, or Amazon Instant Video.
Gone Girl (2014)
Gone Girl has a humongous fan following, and rightly so for its tumultuous twists, intriguing plots, and unsettling characters. This Psychological drama starring Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck was directed by none other than David Fincher, the aster of thrillers himself.
The story revolves around a seemingly happy couple in a small town until the wife disappears, and the case becomes the center of a media circus. Less is more when it comes to this film, so without much ado, stream Gone Girl now on Prime Video.
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The Servant (1963)
The film follows a British aristocrat hiring a seemingly normal house helper, who soon stirs up trouble in the house, and even after trying, the family can’t seem to get rid of him. The cinematography for a film brought to life in the 60s is absolutely mesmerizing.
Like Parasite, the film covers the aspects of the upper class getting a taste of their own ugliness when the repressed take over for revenge. Apple TV and Vudu are streaming The Servant now.
Nobody Knows (2004)
The 2014 Japanese film follows a twelve-year-old who has to grow up way beyond his years and care for his siblings after their mom abandons them in a small apartment in Tokyo.
This movie is an emotional rollercoaster; you grow to care for the children and take pity as they go about trying to survive when everyone around them sees and neglects their condition. The film itself is like art coming alive with its beautiful cinematography and heart-wrenching feel. Watch Nobody Knows on Netflix now.
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The Platform (2019)
If you want to watch something just like Parasite, then the closest in any other language has to be the Spanish Platform. A horror-thriller in the truest sense, this disturbing cinematography is about modern society and the way it treats its poor. In this dystopian prison cell, prisoners live in what seems to be a never-ending vertical tower where they wait for food on a platform.
The platform starts with the topmost floor, is loaded with food, and travels downwards. Those on top, eat to their heart’s desire leaving less and less for the endless number of people below. You go into the movie without much expectation, but it leaves you haunted to your core and riddled with thoughts about society. Watch The Platform now on Netflix.
Good Time (2017)
This Robert Pattinson starring tale of two brothers involves the race against the time of a petty criminal. Connie dwells in New York’s shady underworld to save his brother, Nick from police custody where he lands after a botched bank robbery.
The film takes upon a theme as old as ages, talking about the extent one goes for love. All throughout the run-time, you are left wondering whether Connie is a dark character
or does he fall into the grey area, and this conundrum keeps you hooked. Watch The Good Time now on Prime Video.
A Hard Day (2014)
Setting a high bar for Korean crime thrillers, A Hard Day boasts of excellent acting by the cast and an intriguing storyline.
The plot of the movie is so suspenseful in itself, following a detective who killed a man
in a car accident and is now being blackmailed by a mysterious stranger who seems to know what he did. Watch A Hard Day on Apple Tv now.
The Fool (2014)
The fight against corruption is never-ending, and there are rarely movies that depict it the way this one does.
The story follows a plumber trying to fight the corrupted politicians who will not save a building inhabiting 800 residents, which is about to collapse. This Russian drama narrates the power-wielding rich and their lack of empathy for the poor. Watch The Fool now on Netflix, Hotstar, or Jio Cinema.
The Last Seduction (1994)
The plot of the movie will give you nothing until the very end, and that’s what makes it a great thriller. The story is about a seductive female con who steals all her husband’s money (from selling drugs) and runs away to find her next target.
Complete with a delectable femme fatale, intriguing shocks and turns, and a classic neo-noir, it has all you need to convince you to watch The Last Seduction now on Prime Video.
House of Games (1987)
Pair a suspicious psychiatrist with gambling in a high-end casino and con men, and you have got a classic psychological thriller that will keep you hooked to the screen.
When Mike threatens to commit suicide, his psychiatrist Lindsay gets involved in his gambling problems, and things go downhill from there. Watch The House of Games now on Amazon Prime Video.
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This 2022 film with a star-studded cast including Margot Robbie and Christian Bale, has it all. The action is jam-packed yet not overwhelming and the cinematography is beautiful, and through it all the film still manages to deliver its contemplating message subtly.
The main trio who witnesses a murder which they are framed for, work together to uncover a gruesome plot in the history of America. Watch Amsterdam on Apple Tv or Google Play.
Triangle of Sadness (2022)
Another flick with the super wealthy on an expensive yacht yet the scenes bring you in, get you immersed, and force you into thinking. The director cleverly edges in mature themes like masculinity and the divide between the privileged and the poor like in Parasite.
The script manages to sprinkle in entitlement, the needs of the destitute, and the ignorance of the powerful without it overpowering the entire story. The Triangle of Sadness is now available to watch on Sony LIV.
Don’t Look Up (2021)
This movie is so power packed with outstanding actors, and that combined with the dark satire, fired at politicians and those holding the power.
Two scientists try to warn about a comet heading toward Earth that can lead to the extinction of life as we know it. The film is also a knock on the door of the looming climate threat on our heads. Watch Don’t Look Up now on Netflix.
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The Exterminating Angel (1962)
This black-and-white classic from 1962 directly attacks the upper class. The plot involves a group of wealthy friends dining at a mansion but things start to go downhill when all the help leaves and they are left alone.
The movie will leave you gaping at the screen wondering what the heck is going on as the scenes just keep escalating one after the other. It’s not a contemporary thriller but takes the suspense up a notch as the blows keep coming slowly and steadily throughout the film. Watch The Exterminating Angel on The Criterion Channel, Prime Video, and Apple Tv.
This dark comedy flick is full of unexpected twists which dwell on the realistic interactions between human beings.
The plot is simple, about an average American out on a journey to find peace, but it is this simplicity of the story that is taken and transformed into something worth appreciating through brilliant filming and excellent storytelling. Watch Happiness now on Voot and Jio Cinema.
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Angela’s Ashes (1999)
Having had a Christmas release, this movie was a harrowing, emotional watch depicting the struggle of a lower-class family having an alcoholic father.
The film is sure to make you weep, provoke intriguing questions, and leave you not wanting it to end. Even though the themes touched are difficult to watch, it makes for a heartwarming evening in front of the screen. Watch Angela’s Ashes now on Paramount+.
Sorry We Missed You (2019)
Another movie with a theme so titillating that you can’t help but want to watch and let your thoughts ponder. Sorry We Missed You is a film about the unrealistic demands employers bestow on their zero-hour employees, and how it makes the lives of these daily wage earners difficult.
In this story, Ken Loach dives deep into the exploration of emotions, indictment of socioeconomic disparity, and political biasedness. Watch Sorry We Missed You now on Apple TV or MUBI.
A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
A story that fuses the horror genre perfectly with a psychological thriller. The filming is vivid with colors and beautiful, directly in contrast to the movie’s dark themes. A slow-moving tale about two sisters out of which one of them just returned home from time away in a mental asylum.
Things start to go awry upon her arrival and till the end, you won’t be able to grasp what is actually happening. Watch A Tale of Two Sisters now on Netflix.
Extreme Jobs (2019)
A classic cop stakeout movie where a team of detectives goes undercover from the narcotics department at a fast food restaurant to catch an organized crime gang selling out drugs.
The movie focuses on the dangerous consequences of over-working of the lower class in order to survive and the inordinate responsibility on their shoulders to support their families. Watch Extreme Jobs from 2019 on Apple TV or Search.
House of Hummingbird (2018)
A beautifully created coming-of-age Korean film about a young girl who sets out to find love in the corners of the city after the collapse of the Seongsu Bridge in Gangnam in 1994.
It spins topics of love, health, and friendship around from the point of view of a 13-year-old along with brief moments of spiritual awakening. Watch the House of Hummingbird now on Netflix.
A Simple Favor (2018)
Based on the novel of the same name by Darcy Bell, the story of Simple Favor revolves around Stephanie, a single mom vlogger who sets out to uncover the truth behind the life of her friend. The cast boasts of some big names such as Blake Lively, Anna Kendrick, and Henry Golding.
It’s a classical American crime thriller with an unexpected number of shocks throughout. Watch A Simple Favor now on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.
Read also: A Simple Favor Ending Explained
The Wailing (2016)
This film and the excellent cinematography of Na Hong-jin make you lose touch with reality and submerse deep into the narration of the story as it progresses. The plot takes place in a rural Korean village where the arrival of a mysterious Japanese man stirs the suspicions of the locals. Its a one of a kind horror flick with an imaginative setting that puts most of the American cinema of the same genre to shame.
Ambiguity is put to good use in the cinematic storytelling that makes the movie so endearing and scary rather than the events happening in the village itself. Like Parasite, the movie will shock you to the core, unlike the former, The Wailing uses archaic folklore, gory rituals, violence, and even exorcisms to make it a gripping watch.
The Invitation (2015)
Not to be confused with the 2022 vampire flick of the same name, this 2015 film follows the story of a man who was invited to a mysterious dinner by his ex-wife, which opens up old tales and everything goes dreadfully wrong.
The viewers get to join in on the protagonist’s confusion and experience the shocking twists as and when they come. Watch The Invitation now on Prime Video.
Bong Joon-ho always says his inspiration for his projects comes from the works of other great directors, and he puts Cure by Kiyoshi Kurosawa very high on that list. This crime drama makes for a great watch post-Parasite, with its extreme plot twists and a story that will keep you guessing until the very end.
The narrative follows a helpless detective trying to solve the case of a series of murders committed by people who have no recollection of doing them. Watch Cure on Roku now.
This Robert Pattinson starer, inspired by the novel of the same name by Don DeLillo, comes with the dissipation and developing anticipation of Parasite but with the added witty, dark humor.
It focuses on the dehumanization and increasing greed forced upon society by wealth and power. Watch Cosmopolis now on Hulu.
Being the first foreign-language film to bag Best Picture at the Oscars, Parasite opened the world to more gems of the cinema that were previously hidden due to the barrier of subtitles. It had a huge cultural impact, paving the way for films with a social message to be given more attention and engage people in these conversations using dark humor and suspense.