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This scary Netflix series with a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes literally gave me a nightmare

Published Apr 7th, 2024 9:07PM EDT
Parasyte: The Grey on Netflix
Image: Netflix

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One of the biggest Netflix shows in the US right now, trouncing even major titles like 3 Body Problem, is a Korean horror series that has a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes and is continuing to attract significant buzz online from viewers begging for a second season. Parasyte: The Grey is actually from a specific corner of the horror genre, dealing with body snatchers, and for everything else that there is to say about the series, I can’t stress this next part enough:

The parasitic creatures throughout the show, with human faces that abruptly open up to look like some kind of multi-tentacled hydra, are one of the scariest things I think I’ve ever seen on Netflix. And I mean that as a compliment. This is a fantastic, and a fantastically scary, show. What’s more, Parasyte: The Grey doesn’t just offer up gore and scares for the sake of it — there’s also plenty of depth and sophistication here, as well as a story that I think even people who tend to shy away from horror might be able to get into.

Let’s talk about the latter first. Parasyte: The Grey takes place in a version of Korea where unsuspecting people have been taken over by horrifying, tentacled parasites. The parasites control their human hosts and learn to mimic their behavior — and, obviously, they’re focused on multiplying. The clip below gives you a good idea of what they look like (jump scare incoming!):

There are two things going on here worth noting. These extraterrestrial larvae are attempting to take control of as many humans as possible, while at the same time a crack team of specialists called The Grey hunts down and eliminates the parasites, one by one.

“All over the world,” Netflix explains about the series, “humans have become infected by unidentified parasites that’ve taken over their brains. The parasites have the ability to control humans and make them do things, make them kill. In response, the government creates an aggressive anti-parasite task force — led by the coldhearted Choi Jun-kyung (Lee Jung-hyun) — to annihilate every last one.”

This six-episode shock and gore fest, by the way, is based on the extremely popular manga Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki, which has racked up more than 25 million copies sold in 30+ regions and countries.

Korean Netflix series, as a rule, are almost always a cut above most of what passes for streaming entertainment these days, and that goes for everything from their production value to the quality of the writing, plus things like the action scenes, soundtracks, you name it. Parasyte: The Grey is no exception. I don’t tend to watch horror, yet I was riveted by the action, the terrifying sight of the parasites themselves, and also the way the story tries to work in deeper themes, like the idea of coexistence.

Parasyte: The Grey on NetflixImage source: Netflix

Most of the humans who’ve been infected in this story, for example, have really ceased to be human — except for a woman named Su-in, who enjoys some kind of weird symbiosis with her parasite, to the point that it speaks to her and even saves her from getting hit by a car. She adds an interesting wrinkle to the story: Why are the parasites infecting and destroying everyone else, while she somehow managed to preserve some of her own humanity?

The leader of The Grey, meanwhile, lost her own husband to the parasites, so obviously she’s hell-bent on fighting back.

Long story short, I can’t really think of anything else like this show that’s available from a streamer right now. Parasyte: The Grey is seriously horrifying, action-packed, emotionally-riveting, and filled with surprises from start to finish.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.