Netflix’s ‘Unlocked’ is a South Korean film loosely based on the novel ‘Sumaho O Otoshita Dake Na No Ni’ by Akira Shiga. The bone-chilling crime thriller is the directorial debut of Kim Tae-joon, who also wrote its screenplay. The plot revolves around Na-Mi, who loses her smartphone, which later falls into the wrong hands of a serial killer. He misuses her data by tracking and threatening her daily, wreaking havoc over her life, and playing mind games.
Na-Mi’s ordinary life is suddenly under a vicious man’s surveillance who might kill her, and she must find a way to counteract. Now, if you are engrossed in the movie’s suspense and need more such nail-biting flicks to binge, here’s a list we’ve curated for your leisure. You can watch most of these movies like ‘Unlocked’ on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu!
8. The Chaser (2008)
‘The Chaser’ is inspired by the heinous acts of real-life serial killer Yoo Young-Chul. The South Korean action thriller film is directed and co-written by Na Hong-jin, who does complete justice to the true crime genre mixed with fictional elements. The movie revolves around an ex-policeman whose new source of income is running a prostitute ring. However, his livelihood is threatened when a serial killer is on the loose, targetting prostitutes. Alternatively known as ‘Chugyeokja,’ the movie is congruent to ‘Unlocked’ due to its portrayal of the serial killer who is eerie and gives you the “ick” every time he appears.
7. Phantom Detective (2016)
‘Phantom Detective’ (also known as ‘Tamjung Hong Gil-dong: Sarajin ma-eul’) is a South Korean action comedy film written and directed by Jo Sung-hee. It follows a private detective named Hong Gil-dong, who seeks vengeance for his mother’s murder. Soon, he discovers the man’s identity and tries to trace him. Suddenly, the young detective realizes that the culprit is a cult leader, a slightly bigger fish than he was ready to catch. If you enjoyed the brainy elements of ‘Unlocked,’ you will be enthralled by what ‘Phantom Detective’ offers.
6. Burning (2018)
The Lee Chang-dong directorial ‘Burning’ (originally titled ‘Beoning’) is a South Korean psychological thriller movie that revolves around Jong-su, an aspiring writer. He befriends Hae-mi, who asks for a small favor and later brings an enigmatic man named Ben into the equation. The trio has a good time until Jong-su learns about Ben’s unusual hobby. Like Na-mi in ‘Unlocked,’ the protagonist is a simple man who is faced with the challenge of dealing with an uncanny incident caused by a person with sinister motives.
5. Missing (2023)
June’s mother goes missing during a vacation in Colombia, and she is held back from investigating the case due to international borders and other factors. Although, this doesn’t stop the worried daughter as she hops onto her computer, phone, and all the latest technology available to her to find her mother. Soon, her search begins to dwindle when there are more questions than answers, and she realizes her mother was never who she claimed to be.
‘Missing’ is a thriller movie written and directed by Will Merrick and Nick Johnson, who effortlessly build up the story for the big reveal! Akin to the use of technology in ‘Unlocked,’ ‘Missing’ depicts how it can be used or exploited as a medium to have all the information at your fingertips.
4. The Call (2020)
Two women connect over a phone call, only to learn that they live in different timelines. They are in the same house, having conversations about another period, which alters the course of their lives, never to be the same again. ‘The Call’ (also known as ‘Kol’) is directed and written by Lee Chung-hyun and is an unforgettable mystery thriller movie that will leave a long-lasting impression. In both films, the women are connected over the phone with an unknown person after losing their smartphones, which becomes the turning point of their stories.
3. One Missed Call (2003)
A group of teenage students receives voicemails from their future selves, which specify the exact date and time of their deaths while dying. They die one by one in the oddest ways, and only a handful survive. Now, the group must find a way to stop this supernatural force from further damaging or taking their lives.
‘One Missed Call’ is based on the novel Chakushin Ari by Yasushi Akimoto, and the Japanese horror directorial by Takashi Miike is alternatively referred to as ‘Chakushin ari.’ As seen in ‘Unlocked,’ even ‘One Missed Call’ demonstrates how technology can be tampered with and misused in unthinkable ways to destroy a person.
2. Memories of Murder (2003)
Helmed by the acclaimed Bong Joon-ho, ‘Memories of Murder’(or ‘Salinui Chueok’) is a South Korean crime thriller movie that is loosely based on serial murders that took place in Korea during 1986-1991. The narrative zooms into the province of Gyunggi, where two detectives investigate a series of murders and rapes. However, it is only until the third murder happens, which leads to substantial evidence that helps them hunt the killer. For those who tuned in to watch ‘Unlock’ for the serial killer element, the critically acclaimed ‘Memories of Murder’ is a must-watch for you.
1. Stolen Identity (2018)
‘Stolen Identity’ (AKA ‘Sumaho O Otoshita Dake Na No Ni’) is the first adaptation of Akira Shiga’s novel, which inspired ‘Unlocked.’ Thus, the two movies are pretty alike in more than one way. Asami’s boyfriend loses his cell phone, and a stranger hands it over a few days later. But since then, she has started receiving unknown credit card payment notifications, and her social media information is leaked publicly. As her life dwindles, there’s an ongoing investigation of serial murders in the remote mountains. The mystery thriller movie is helmed by Hideo Nakata and is the closest you could get to watching ‘Unlocked.’ Precisely due to that reason, it tops this list.
Read More: Where Was Netflix’s Unlocked Filmed?