TV

A Bloody Lucky Day Review: A Killer Thriller For the Ages


South Korean thriller series A Bloody Lucky Day is a hallucinatory cab ride from hell … in the best way.

L-R Yoo Yeon-seok as Geum Hyuk-soo and Lee Sung-min as Oh Taekin A Bloody Lucky Day episode 1, season 1 streaming on Paramount+ 2024.
Photo: Kim Jinyoung | Park Jonghee | Paramount+

South Korean cinema, especially twisty thrillers, have gained a massive fanbase around the globe in the last two decades for a reason. The genre’s unapologetically hyperviolent approach and thickly layered narratives (with a touch of madness) often venture beyond extremes without breaking the veil of real-life plausibility. It’s a style of filmmaking and storytelling that’s virtually unparalleled (or, at least, hard to imitate), a unique characteristic and hallmark of the country’s entertainment. 

After the global success of Netflix’s Squid Game, it’s hardly a surprise that Tving and Paramount+’s latest action-thriller, A Bloody Lucky Day, continues to carry over those impressive qualities to the small screen in an equally arresting manner. The 10-episode series is like a metaphorical butcher knife that keeps getting sharper as its gripping story unfolds between a good-hearted taxi driver and a flagrant serial killer. That might sound like a basic premise, but the creators turn this narrative into a devastating cat-and-mouse epic between good and evil, which will burn into your mind and soul before you know it. 

Oh Taek (Lee Sung-min) is a naïve but cheerful buffoon. He drives a taxi in Seoul to repay a stupendous debt he acquired through no fault of his own when he got scammed at his previous job. Though misfortune seems to be his current mistress — on the account of the debt, he did time in prison, his wife left him, and his two children look down upon him — Taek’s lively and benevolent spirit remained intact. He’s a selfless, jolly man who’s simply incapable of facing his flaws that continue to hit him in the head every day. He always assumes the best of people, which is exactly what lands him in trouble when he picks up a young doctor named Geum Hyeok-soo (Yoo Yeon-Seok).

Geum needs a long-distance ride to Mokpo and is willing to pay extra to get there. At first, Taek declines the offer, but through his passenger’s persuasiveness and the amount of dough he knows he can’t refuse, he eventually agrees to take him. Soon, he’ll realize what a giant mistake he made. Once on their way, and after some off-putting jokes about murder, Geum tells Taek that he’s, in fact, a serial killer who wants to share his “origin story.” Naturally, our hero freaks out and tries to bail immediately, but Geum threatens him with such an elaborate plan of killing his family that he’s left with no choice but to drive and listen. And what he has to hear about severed fingers, master manipulation, and despicable murders is really just a taste of something much darker that’s rapidly headed his way — in addition to the grieving mother who’s following Geum ever since he killed her son.

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