'Hellbound' Ending Explained: What does Park Jungja's return signify?

The ending to the six-part horror series is a shocking surprise, paving way for a mysterious cliffhanger


                            'Hellbound' Ending Explained: What does Park Jungja's return signify?
Shin-rok Kim as Park Jeong-ja in 'Hellbound' (Netflix)

Netflix is back with yet another foreign horror series, this time in Korean. The series 'Hellbound' is directed by Yeon Sang-ho, based on a webtoon that he created, of the same name.

The supernatural horror series is a Netflix Original and follows the destruction left in the wake of the "death angels," whose main incentive is to condemn people to hell, while brutally killing and burning them alive. 'Hellbound' stars Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Jeong-min, Won Jin-ah, and Yang Ik-june in lead roles, among others. 

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The six hour-long episodes of 'Hellbound' leave you with unanswered questions and general wonderment, rather than answers. The series also offers the audience a series of interesting topics and even theories to be discussed.

The basic premise of the supernatural series is this — those who have sinned receive a decree and are sentenced to death and eventually hell in public demonstrations (at the exact day and time mentioned) by a supernatural presence of 3 monstrous beings. These enormous creatures emerge from a portal of seeming nothingness, and brutally massacre the victim via bludgeoning and ripping them into pieces, after which, they are burnt alive. 

The last two episodes of 'Hellbound' are set 4 years after the happenings of the first few episodes of the series. The main focus is on a couple whose newborn is condemned to hell while it is still in the hospital's infant ward. It's heartbreaking to see how torn the parents are, wondering what wrongs they had done to partake in this misery and what sin a newborn could have committed that it has been condemned by God to die painfully and go to hell. In time, the parents are made to understand that the "divine condemnation" is really just religious hype, and they learn more about the fanatical New Truth movement that sprung up after the appearance of the supernatural beasts. 

The new parents, Bae Young-jae and So-hyun, huddle together when it is time for their baby to be sentenced. The three giant beings from earlier appear on time, starting their hunt for the newborn baby, who is shielded by the two parents. Desperate to save their child, Bae Young-jae and So-hyun hug tight, whilst holding their baby. Due to this, the creatures can't separate the family, and so, end up burning the bodies of the parents who are protecting their child. 

This is not where the mystery ends. The final leg of the 6th episode brings back Park Jungja, who was one of the first victims sent to hell. She was shown as a single mother of two who had received her decree while at home on her birthday. But we are not told what sins she had committed. So why was she sentenced? The rebirth of Park Jungja is definitely a doozy. But her reappearance means that people can 'return' from the hellscape they have been cast into despite being burnt to a crisp. The cliffhanger shows that there is more to the supernatural beasts than the New Truth's "divine justice" narrative. Let's hope to understand more of this supernatural horror series in Season 2 of 'Hellbound'!

Season 1 of 'Hellbound' premiered on November 19, 2021, on Netflix

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