The Investigation Deepens
Following yesterday’s dramatic episode and its cliffhanger ending, Strangers From Hell returns to find Jung-Hwa’s investigation deepening and all eyes turning to the suspicious nature of Eden Studio. With more characterisation for Bok-Soon and a decent pacing throughout, despite the narrative changes to the webtoon it’s based on, this spooky Korean drama does well to keep things consistently interesting.
After making a hasty retreat from Moon-Zo’s dinner joke, Jong-Woo heads back to his room to find everything unspoilt, while Bok-Soon enjoys the meat left by Moon-Zo instead.
On the road, Deuk-Jong is stopped by Constable Jung-Hwa who immediately spots a similar style watch on him as the missing person she was made aware of last episode. Instructing him to open the boot, she notices red blotches which the twins write off as food waste. After a brief moment of panic, her associate shows his face in the police car and Jung-Hwa makes a getaway.
The next day she returns to Eden Studio in plain clothing, asking about the missing man. Bok-Soon tells her the man used to live in Unit 303, the same unit Jong-Woo is now living in, and as our oblivious writer walks past he overhears Jung-Hwa mention that the previous tenant is missing, not dead as Bok-Soon would have him believe. On his way to work, the Constable stops him and asks questions regarding Eden Studio. He tells the Constable about the missing people and previous Detective who came by before leaving to head on to work.
At the office, Ji-Eun shows up, prompting the male members of the office to immediately express jealousy before he shows her outside and into the taxi. As he waves goodbye, he spies Moon-Zo across the road staring at him, but as a car zooms past, his ghostly figure disappears. Was this a hallucination?
Invited back for a cup of tea, Bok-Soon drugs a woman as Deuk-Jong shows up and it’s here we see first-hand that she’s part of this elaborate set-up. As she ties the woman up and antagonizes her, it turns out she knew the lady from earlier in her life.
Back at the station, Jung-Hwa phones through to the station, looking for Detective Cha regarding the Eden Studio issue. Beginning to see a pattern emerge, she relays her theory on to her colleague who tells her not to worry; the missing detective will show up in a few days’ time. As she heads to the dentistry, she tells him about her work. As fate would have it, her dentist is Moon-Zo.
Unbeknownst to her, she relays the case and her theories about who may be responsible to him while he prepares to inject her. On the verge of being drugged, Jung-Hwa saves her own skin at the last second by rushing out thanks to an important phone call.
Heading back to Eden Studio after hard day’s work, Jong-Woo is greeted by Bok-Soom and given some soup to try, which he gulps down hungrily. It’s here she questions him about the conversation with the Detective and tells him that if any weird rumours spread, it’ll affect her business. Stumbling back to his room, it turns out he was drugged and the effects of this kicks in almost immediately.
Hearing whispers in the hallway, Jung-Woo makes it back to his Unit, only to find the residents standing outside holding weapons, waiting. As he lies down to sleep, Moon-Zo smiles evilly from the other room, spying him through the tiny gap in the wall.
With the door left wide open for where this drama may go from here, Strangers From Hell boasts another decent episode. With more danger for Jung-Woo to overcome and a slowly unveiled history that sheds more light on Eden Studio, this supernatural drama does well to blend the mystery elements with the horror. There’s some good material here too and as Jung-Woo begins hallucinating, all roads appear to lead to the same fate the previous tenant experienced.
Having not read the webtoon myself, I am aware that certain elements of the story have been changed but to be honest, I think the show works well regardless of these changes. Still, quite where this drama is likely to go from here remains to be seen but for now, Strangers From Hell has been an enjoyable watch and one that certainly leaves many questions hanging over this one going into next week’s set of episodes.