Director Yeon Sang-ho of the supernatural horror series 'Hellbound' said he was stunned to learn that the film debuted at No. 1 on the most-watched TV programmes list shortly after its global release on Netflix earlier this month.
Yeon, who had directed the hit zombie thriller 'Train to Busan' (2016), also said in a media interview held online on Thursday that the series appears to have drawn global interest because it talks about universal issues like life and death, crime and punishment, and humanity, and shows various human and vulnerable characters, reports Yonhap News Agency.
Since its November 19 release, the series also topped Netflix's official weekly chart for non-English TV programmes with 43.5 million hours of viewing for the week from November 15-21, despite having only three days to count views.
"I was stunned after hearing the news that 'Hellbound' placed No. 1 on the global rankings table when I woke up the next morning," Yeon said.
"When I had discussed this project with Netflix, I thought I would be satisfied with a second-place finish on Korea's daily chart," he added.
Based on the webtoon titled 'Hell', 'Hellbound', co-written and drawn by Yeon and Choi Kyu-sok, depicts social turmoil and unrest after a series of inexplicable supernatural phenomena.
The smoky golem-like creatures, believed to have come from hell, incinerate people who receive divine revelations about being punished, prompting an outbreak of public hysteria and religious zealotry.
The new religion of the New Truth and its radical followers of Arrowhead stigmatise all those who are given decrees as sinners and dare to use violence against them.
'Hellbound' can be categorised in the sub-genre of cosmic horror, Yeon said, adding: "Cosmic horror stories focus on human weakness or strength through the horror of the unknowable and incomprehensible phenomena from the cosmic world."