Aaand, the creepiness definitely continues! The sweat glistening all over their bodies continues as well, which makes this show a pretty gross watch. I just want to soapsud ev-er-y-thing! So many reveals this episode y’all, which shocked me. Things were trucking along nicely, until …well, I don’t want to give anything away!
The episode 3 preview is translated at the bottom!
OST: Coming Soon!
IMAGES: Released Images for Strangers From Hell (updated weekly)
Caution: Be wary of typos
Shorthand Character Chart: Coming soon!
How we do this: We update the post around every 10 minutes. Sometimes sooner, sometimes later depending on the scene. There will be typos which we have fantasies of fixing once the episode finishes airing. Also, there might be lovely updates at the bottom, so check back in!
Recap Countdown: This is a quickcap
KOREAN DRAMA STRANGERS FROM HELL: EPISODE 2 RECAP
Jog-woo lays awake in bed, it is dark outside and he stares at the ceiling, but then he goes to sleep.
VO – I will just kill you, how do you want me to kill you? Tell me.
A shadow runs across his bed. But then loud noises are heard and Jong-woo startles awake. He hears the thug asking what another tenant took from his room. It is the giggling man. The giggling man says that he took nothing from his room, it was not him. The thug asks if he wants to put his wrist on it.
Then we hear another giggling coming from around the corner. It is the twin of this man. Jong-woo and the thug are both surprised that there is a twin. The thug kicks the one he has and then starts to go to the other one. Jong-woo tells him to calm down, but the thug tells him to go away.
Then room 302 comes out and tells him to stop doing this, we are neighbors, why do this? This man’s name is Ki-hyeok. the thug tries to get by him and raises his arm as if to strike the other guy, but 302 grabs his wrist. He is crazy strong yo! He doesn’t even look like he is trying hard to hold the thug back.
302 tells the thug to calm down and then tells giggling ajusshi to stop bothering others with his constant laughing. The giggling man says he is sorry, but he still giggles. He tries to stop though. The thug leaves and says that he knows that they are all in this together. They shouldn’t behave like this as neighbors.
Everyone goes back into their rooms, 302 tells Jong-woo that they are normally not like this. Jong-woo nods and says that he has to go to bed to get to work in the morning. 302 tells him he thought he was a student because he looks so young.
Jong-woo nods again and goes inside. But then he peeks out again. The hallway is empty except for 313 who is still staring at him with the knife. He starts to use the knife to get his ankle bracelet off.
TITLE: HUMAN INSTINCT
The next morning, 313 adds chewing gum to a spot on the stairs (or somewhere) and we cut to Jong-woo walking out. Bok-soon, the landlord, apologizes for all the noise last night and tells him that the gangster guy says that he is leaving so don’t worry. She says that he is actually a scary guy that looks at her with a perverted gaze.
Jong-woo excuses himself before she can keep talking. She smiles and then tells him that only good people stay there now.
Jong-woo leaves and heads down the rainbow steps, but is stopped by Ki-hyeok who is from room 302 who asks him if he is going to work? They have a stifled conversation about if it is hot outside. Ji-hyeok gives him a creepy smile instead of answering and then goes back inside. Jong-woo wonders, what the F? and then starts to go to work.
Meanwhile, the police officer, Jung-hwa is trying to put all the cat killings in the computer. Her colleagues are not into it at all. the young guy thinks it is serious, they should not take it lightly. Jung-hwa says that there are 13 cats in one month, it is super cruel. She hops up and starts to prepare to head out. the boss can’t believe she is going to find more cat things. She sighs and heads out while the head cop talks about boiling water for noodles.
Elsewhere, Jong-woo finds his workplace building and head upstairs. he gets to a hallway and starts to go inside, but a man asks him who he is? Jong-woo explains that he is the intern. The man tells him that he didn’t hear anything about an intern (his sunbae told him he bragged about him to everyone in the office though).
Jong-woo takes a seat at a table and receives a package from a delivery person immediately. Then sits again. Another man asks who he is, but then his sunbae hyung comes in and tells his friend to call him CEO while there. He tells the workers that this is his friend that he told them about before. They all greet him.
The hyung tells them to take care of him, he is smart. With a little bit of training, he can work hard. He shows him a place to sit and says that they will have a meeting in 10 minutes. then he asks Jong-woo to the rooftop.
On the rooftop, Jong-woo tells sunbae that that one guy in the office is pretty creepy, the one with the big head. The sunbae says that he is a good worker. Just work hard and you will get along with everyone. This is real-life work, not college work, okay? He tells him to call him hyung when it is only those two. he tries to pat him on the shoulder but then realizes that there is spit or something on his shirt.
Jong-woo tries to get it off and thinks that this was that guy, aish. He thinks about 302 from the office. His sunbae tells him that those kinds of guys have anger management issues, so just ignore them. But he also tells his friend to be careful because he has a temper as well.
Back at the gochiwon, the thug wakes to a rattling of his door. Suddenly all the tenants bust in and hold him down as 302 holds a knife to his arm and says it is his turn now. The thug suddenly wakes up, it was all a dream. But he hears something from upstairs and goes to the fourth floor.
The fourth floor is all kinds of creepy and there might be someone else up there. then he finds a dead body! Ew! It looked like a foreigner dead body with blood all over it. the thug is stunned, then he hears a creek behind him and turns. 306 comes out quickly with a hammer and swings it at him.
Outside, officer Jung-hwa searches around the neighborhood. there is a car that is parked there for a while so she calls the car owner to see if she can check the black box. On the video, she sees a person carrying a black bag, but we don’t see his face. The owner of the car says that black bag is from the school supply store. he gives her directions to it.
She goes to the school supply store and looks at her CCTV. The owner says that she has a lot of kids with short hair because it is school season. But Jung-hwa sees the ajusshi and asks about him. The owner says that he lives in the city renovation area.
Afterward, the owner gives Jung-hwa the video and says that she heard everyone left that place. It has the name of Eden Goshiwon. Jung-hwa did not know that they had that goshiwon there. The owner says that a lot of people don’t know about it, it is hidden all the way at the top.
Jung-hwa goes to the goshiwon and heads up the steps. She makes it to the goshiwon floor and starts to talk to owner Bok-soon. She asks her if the giggling guy lives there, Bok-soon says he does. What is the problem? She says that she has questions. Boksoon says that 306 is a good person, but he has mental issues. She yells for 306 to come out.
306 giggles himself out of the room with Boksoon telling him that he should not torture animals, she told him he would get in trouble.
In the office, the scary guy gives a pretty girl some slippers that were two for one. She says they are nice but maybe they should give them to Jong-woo, so she gives it to him and he tries them on. Sunbae tells her that Jong-woo has a girlfriend already, they joke about that for a second.
Meanwhile, Jong-hwa talks to Deuk-jong in the police office. But he is proving hard to talk to and giggles a lot. She says that he killed thirteen cats, don’t you feel bad? He shoots his fake gun around and says that he only killed one.
The three officers start to talk as one other one sits with the giggling guy to keep him in some kind of normal order. they think this will be so hard to prove. So the boss tells him not to do it again and don’t shoot that bb gun at humans! But 306 is all kinds of not into this conversation. they let him go because he seems like a headache.
Jung-hwa thinks that they should not let him go. But they also have a lot of reported cases with killed cats. 306 comes back inside and grabs a lot of candy from the table, then leaves. the cops all sigh and very tired sigh. then they start to look at missing cases. There is one of a lost foreigner who is from Pakistan. Jung-hwa asks if this is near Eden Goshiwon?
Back at the goshiwon, the thug is all bloodied and tied to a chair. The 32 twin has an ax and asks him if he should cut off his wrist? Are you scared? He motions to cut it off. This twin does not stutter and does not laugh as much as the other one.
The other twin comes in giggling and stuttering. #2 asks him if he went to the police? I told you to be careful! The giggling twin says that they don’t know anything. But he will be careful. He continues giggling and then walks away.
In his workplace, Jong-hwa asks his neighbor if he has something to do for him? There is nothing he has for him to do but he says that he can make him a coffee. Jong-hwa goes to a very fancy looking coffee machine and then brings back a coffee.
The worker asks him if he spit in it. Jong-hwa is startled and says he didn’t. The worker then gives Jong-hwa a computer and says that they have something going on next month so write up an evaluation for it.
Jong-hwa opens the computer and immediately sees a search for “female slippers” he sighs and thinks that this guy likes this girl. He looks at them both. The girl, Yoo-jung, then turns to Jong-hwa and starts to talk to him about redirecting their calls to his desk. Byeong-min (the other worker that likes the girl) mutters that they have a primary school novice there.
Cut to Moon-zo, the dentist, talking to a child and their mom about taking care of his teeth well. If he does that then he does not have to visit him again. The mother thanks him and says that her son likes him as his dentist and cries in front of other dentists. Later on, Moon-zo talks on the phone and says he will be there after work.
In the workplace, sunbae tells his workers that they should go home, but he is joking and says that they should go out because they have a new person here. They tell Jong-hwa to just say yes, so he says yes. Yoo-jung tells him that he is super cute. Sunbae tells her that he has a girlfriend. They keep teasing him. But Byeong-min mutters curses to himself as he packs up.
Elsewhere, Min Ji-eun is about to head out as well, but her manager tells her to finish some work first. Ji-wun says that is not her work. The manager says that she knows that, the other person is sick. Ji-wun mentions that they have their own work. The manager says that she is the most trustworthy, that is why she is asking her. But sometimes I think you are too cold. Ji-eun apologizes. The manager says it is nothing, they all work hard, send it to me tomorrow. Ji-wun sighs and sits back at her desk to continue working. She checks her phone and sees that Jong-hwa cannot see her today anyway because they have a company dinner.
She texts him back “Okay, work hard.” He tells her that he will call her after their dinner. then he looks into the window of a cafe and sees a couple feeding each other and having a good time.
Later, the team is sitting and eating together. Yoo-jung touches Jong-woo on the shoulder and says that she heard he was a writer. the sunbae says he is a genius writer, people said he would be the biggest writer from their school. The sunbae is a bit drunk, maybe super drunk. The sunbae says that this genius writer is working with them. He wrote his book for 3 years, but money is the best stock, writing, you know, art and writing are nothing, quitting, quit (drunken babble)
Jong-hwa gets up and asks him what the F he is talking about quitting? Everyone is scared.
But that was all in his mind. The manager is all in his ear talking about quitting and not quitting and holding his shoulder and all that. Later on, the evening draws to a close and the team starts to head out. The boss is put in a car because he is too drunk to drive.
the remaining three are Byeong-min, Jong-woo, and Yoo-jung. BM wants to go drinking with Yoo-jung. She asks where Jong-woo lives, he says he lives in a certain direction. She tells him that it is opposite from her. The chubby guy says he is right over there but she ignores him and says that it would be nice to take a taxi together, goodbye.
The chubby guy then tells Jong-woo that he will give him advice. Don’t brag that you are hyung/dong-saeng with the CEO. Jong-hwa starts to ask what he is talking about, but the chubby guy tells him to just be quiet! And scuttles off.
back at the gochiwon, the thug is still tied up. But when one of the twins leaves, he is able to get his wrist loose and then is able to untie himself. He gets up and starts to look for his cell phone. He finds it and calls Detective Cha at the police station. He answers so the thug says some crazy guys are trying to kill him! But the detective hangs up. the thug curses his luck, but he smartly takes off his shoes and starts to sneak out quietly.
However, we see that Ki-hyeok, from 302 is watching him. 302 is able to sneak up behind the thug and hit him with the hammer. He then goes downstairs, with the bloody hammer, and sits at the table with one of the twins. He tells the twin that he told him to keep an eye on him. the twin apologizes and says that he was hungry, then he starts to hit himself over and over again until he knocks himself out.
Bok-soon comes in and sees the twin with the ramen on his head and Ki-hyeok sitting there. She tells them that they fight too much! She told the new guy that they have all good people there! She is annoyed with them, they both apologize.
Elsewhere, Jung-hwa goes back to the dentist office. It is not her appointment date but she has to change her schedule. Moon-zo says that today’s dentist is good so you won’t be in pain. She asks if he has a date and looks at the box he is carrying. She says she envies that person and nods her goodbyes to him.
Outside, Jong-woo walks up the many steps to get back to his gochiwon. He looks at it before going in.
VO – Ah, only one day passed, but I don’t want to go there anymore.
He reluctantly goes inside. Boksoon smiles as she greets him and asks if he would like to have fried eggs or boiled eggs? It tastes good with salt. He says he does not feel good. She walks away and says that she can draw some blood from him (from his finger, often used to help with digestion in Korea). He goes to his room and wonders why she wants him to eat eggs so much.
With a sigh, he falls onto his bed for a much-needed rest and closes his eyes. But then he sees the ripped wallpaper and goes to fix it. While doing that, he drops his cell phone. So he goes to grab it under the bed and sees a notebook there.
he grabs the notebook and looks through it. The notebook is in Arabic in the opening pages. Then it switches to Korea and says:
It is good
I like it
Lonely, lonely, lonely
Kimchi, thank you
Die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die, die…
Jong-woo wonders if this is the guy that lived there before and killed himself. but he tells himself that he will forget about it and drink a beer and sleep. He goes to a local mart to drink his beer, which turns into 3 beers. Then his phone rings, it is someone asking for JH content, which is his company.
Jong-woo says that he is the intern and takes a message.
Meanwhile, the detective that the thug called shows up at the gochiwon. He asks Bok-soon if he knows this guy and shows a photo of the thug. Boksoon says that she was about to call if he did not come tomorrow. He left and did not pay, tsk, he betrayed me.
She shows him to the thugs room and says that this guy drinks and breaks things a lot and says he would kill you, I really wanted to ask him to leave. Yesterday he hit a neighbor so I told him to leave. She tells 306 to come and talk because this detective came to catch 310 guy. 306 talks about how 310 slapped him and kicked him and that he was really scary.
The detective asks about how 306 is behaving. Bok-soon says he just acts this way. Then she says that the detective should find him and tell him to pay. The detective leaves muttering that he thinks the thug caused a lot of trouble and left. On his way out, he sees Jong-woo and asks him if he knows the thug and if he had any strange behavior.
Jong-woo says he is new to the building, but asks if anything happened to him? the detective asks Jong-woo why he would ask him that? Then he says that the thug guy called him and says that he was being murdered. Jong-woo starts to say that the thug hated people in this apartment. the detective tells him to call him if he finds out anything and he gives him his card.
Jong-woo goes inside where Boksoon gives him his package, but it is already opened. he asks her if she did it? She says that one of the tenants did it, but it was an accident, you know. Jong-woo takes it, highly frustrated, and head to his room. He passes the perverts room who is watching pervert things. He thinks about the spit or gum or something on his shirt but tells himself that he will let it go.
He goes to his room and sees that the computer in the box is on. He thinks the company left it on and tsks. But he also remembers that the thug wanted to go to his hometown, so he hurries outside to tell the detective. However, the detective is currently being attacked by 302 in his car. 302 strangles him and stabs him! Goodness, ya’ll.
Jong-woo goes downstairs but does not see the detective, so he goes back inside. 302 thinks that because of this guy he will be busy.
But we cut back to the detective who is not dead yet? He is very much alive and starts to attack 302 back. He is able to grab the knife and starts to stab 302. He struggles with 302, but 302 gets the knife back and stabs him again.
the car shakes as they fight continues.
Moon-zo sees the car shaking and starts to walk to it to see what is going on. He opens the door and the detective slumps out onto the ground. Moon-zo does not show any emotion, he just looks inside the car.
He then opens the back seat.
There is a series of camera cuts here as we see the doctors bag and the package put on a table in the gochiwon.
Then we cut back to the car and see the syringes fall onto the ground and Moon-zo stab 302 in the neck with a syringe.
Then we cut back to his apartment and a photo on the wall.
Then we cut back to the car.
MZ – Ajusshi, you are a failure. I am doing artwork, not just murder.
He covers 302’s mouth and asks him why he did this without his permission. We have our own rules.
He then starts to strangle 302 until 302 dies or at least passes out.
Inside, we see him in his room.
Outside, we hear him talking to 302. he tells him that he did a good job.
Inside, he stands in his room and then looks through the peephole and Jong-woo.
Cut to Jong-woo on the rooftop. He is talking to his girlfriend about how everyone in this gochiwon is strange. His girlfriend says he might be a little too sensitive. he says he sounds like he is talking about nonsense. She tells him that she worked morning to night, let’s talk tomorrow, okay? He says okay and they wish each other a good night.
Then Moon-zo approaches him on the rooftop and asks if he is the new guy. He mentions that he heard from the landlord that he is in room 303. He tells him that the room is like a coffin, but it is nice drinking beer on the rooftop.
Jong-woo asks Moon-zo why he is smiling at him. Moon-zo says he is sorry that it is bothering him. He is just doing it because he liked it.
MZ – When I saw you, I had this thought, maybe you are a similar person as me.
He starts to smile at him again in about as creepy a way as possible.
Okay, let’s start with the grimy and creepy factor continuing because they have the tone of this show on lock. I really want to drink a cold drink just by watching this show and possible have a cold hand towel nearby to wipe the grime away. Everyone in this apartment has sweat stains and sweat and shiny skin (but not in a dewy way) and overall just looks hot and disgusting. It is so gross. Wherease everyone outside the show looks pretty sparkly. I don’t know if that is just in comparison to the tenants or if the production really wanted to have that look, either way, I welcome scenes outside the apartment complex.
I am so surprised at the pace of this show. Granted, at only 10 episodes, they need to get things rolling quickly. But I just did not expect things to get rolling so quickly! We already have a dead body in the attic, a live body in the attic, a third body that is about to be in the attic (ie Jong-woo), a detective body in a car, and the killers body in that same car! Like, slow down, wow. If you thought that everyone in that apartment complex were killers well guess what, they are. They are not beating around the bush with telling us that. At only episode two we know that every outside person who enters this apartment complex is about to die a twisted Hannibal style death where they are put on display before the action takes place. So creepy!
The acting is wonderful. It is so strange to see the cast looking normal in the preproduction images, because they look nothing like normal in the drama. It was also pretty surprising that one of the actors is playing two different people. It looks like one of the twins giggles a lot and has a stutter, but the other one does not and might giggle a bit less if at all. It is also super shocking that 302 might be dead already? Does anyone think Moon-zo killed him? Because I kind of do.
Speaking of Moon-zo, Lee Dong-wook is amazing as a crazy looking person. I think this is the genre for him. Though most people don’t want to play crazy people all the time and probably couldn’t really make a career out of it, I really feel like this is his area of natural expertise. Serial killers are supposed to be super beautiful and likeable, right? But they have that “something is just not right” vibe just below the surface. Well, Dong-wook is serving that in spades. I look forward to seeing more of him.
I thought the notebook was a bit Redrum-ish and reminded me too much of The Shining. But I think it is supposed to show how a person goes from being normal to completely crazy while in this apartment. What it does not show is why someone would go back to that apartment? I honestly would not go back unless I had at least 4 people with me and another five outside waiting for us to come out. This place is creepy! But I kind of assume that the killers have to get killing within a week, otherwise all the poor unfortunate souls who enter will leave quickly.
VO – You see those people around you. You know. They look normal, but in their mind, they want to kill everyone.
JW – Are you sure the door is locked without the key
BS – Of course, it won’t open
DJ – I want to work on the new guy soon. I think he is very very soft.
VO – He said he is scared. Strange people tried to kill him.
Novel – Die die die die…
VO – I don’t see the gangster ajusshi all of a sudden
VO – That is a little strange, right?