Tis' the season in Korea when moviegoers expect to see spine-chilling horror films as a respite from the sweltering heat.
Son Heekyung takes a look at some of the summer's most horrific Korean productions.
For many in the country it means barbecues, beaches and bone-chilling horror flicks.
This season's horror lineup has taken on a medical theme.
In the film ‘‘Return,’’ a 10-year-old boy kills a child after awakening unexpectedly during surgery.
The mystery is why his life has turned for worse after the operation.
Another horror flick with a medical element is ''Epitaph.''
Here, a medical intern's arranged marriage is called off when his fiancee commits suicide.
Twenty years later, the man, now an elite doctor, is haunted by a bizarre series of events.
The chilling tale, set in the 40s, revolves around the doctor who runs the best Western-style hospital in Gyeongseong - what is now Seoul.
Besides the frightful elements, the film adds a touch of class in its portrayal of old Gyeongseong.
So what is the appeal of summertime horrors?
''The trend of watching horror films at the hottest time of the year in Korea began about five years ago. That's when Korean directors started to produce more horror movies in time for a summer release to satisfy moviegoers. An obvious reason for watching such flicks in the summer is to cool off from the heat.''
This season's horror films show more diversity than in years past.
Take ‘‘Muoi’’, which is set in Vietnam.
It's the tale of a young novelist, who comes across a mystical century-old portrait while searching for inspiration.
A secret lies behind the portrait.
Another anticipated horror flick is ''There Are Two People.''
It's about a high school student who is in for a wild ride after a murder occurs right before her eyes.
The teenager comes to realize the two people that she trusted and loved the most are out to kill her.
Film critics say horrors had a limited following in the past, but are now gaining a wider fan base.
Filmmakers are breaking with convention and coming up with elements that leave audiences shivering with delight.
Son Heekyung, Arirang News.