Hellbound is a 6 episode South Korean supernatural horror series where people hear predictions about their death and that they are bound to Hell. When the time comes, horrifying supernatural creatures appear before the person and burn them to cinders.
Hellbound opens up with a man, extremely nervous, sitting in a cafe. When the clock strikes 1:20 pm, a rumbling is heard. Three huge supernatural monsters arrive and rip him apart, throw him around, leaving the man in ashes. In the media, Jung Jinsu, Chairman of ‘The New Truth’, claims that angels are being sent on earth to damn those who have sinned because God wants the world to be righteous. The entire city is horrified.
Police investigator Jin Kyeong-hoon and his partner Eunpyo are investigating this case as a murder, but ‘The New Truth’ considers this as divine retribution. The organization called ‘The Arrowhead’ also believes in the same philosophy; its followers are young disillusioned youth who do not shy away from using physical violence to promote its propaganda.
Investigators arrive at the crime scene. Detective Jin finds a group of The New Truth volunteers, where Chairman Jung informs that the victim was charged with multiple counts of fraud and assault; therefore, the purpose of his damnation was to serve justice. He sinned, and thus God punished him.
On investigation, the police discover that these demons didn’t leave behind any evidence. The chemical analysis of the body shows no organic matter but for some out-of-the-world substance. In the gathering, Jin spots his teenage daughter, Heejung, helping Jung. Jin gets furious and orders her daughter to leave. Jung invites the detectives to walk with him as he has to go somewhere; he takes them on public transport and reveals to them his past life and humble living.
Before leaving, Jung tells Jin that he is just a messenger of God who informs people about God’s wish to live more righteously. This damnation instils fear in people, causing them to refrain from sinning. Jin disagrees and says if these damnations are divine retribution, then God must think that humans don’t have autonomy over themselves.
Detective Jin’s wife was murdered by a drug addict, Kim Changsik, years ago. However, the court released Kim after six years, believing he committed the murder under drug influence. Jin and Heejung are still grieving after this incidence.
A single mother, Park Jungja, arrives home to her children, who wish her a happy birthday, but then, a spirit appears and tells her she has five days left until she’s hellbound. She meets Lawyer Min Hyejin of the Sodo law firm and tells her she is bound for Hell; the entire incident was recorded; hence she had to be believed. Park Jungja explains that ‘The New Truth’ has contacted her and would like to do a live broadcast of the demonstration when she goes to Hell. Park Jungja is concerned about the safety and future of her children after her death.
She wants lawyer Min to take them to safety and secure their future using the huge money offered to her by Chairman Jung. A huge live telecast is organised. Arrowhead finds out the identity of the victim and wants to pursue the children to glamorize the situation and tries to guess what sin was committed by Park Jungja.
Jung laughs that detectives are looking into God’s decree. He tells Park and the lawyer that he will agree to any conditions as long as they can record it. He notes that he cannot see the father in family photos. Park Jungja explains that she’s a single mother, but the Chairman is curious how she has two children but they have no fathers. Min Hyejin takes the children to the airport and sends them to Canada, a safe destination.
Outside Park Jungja’s house, news stations park outside for the live broadcast. The countdown for Damnation plays. People around the country are watching it on their televisions. What will happen to Park Jungja? What is the secret behind these monsters and being Hellbound?
Hellbound ending explained in Detail:
Park and pandemonium
There’s a rumbling in the distance, and a monster grabs Park Jungja. Kyunghun tries to open fire on the beast, but it’s useless as it swats him away. The three monsters beat Park Jungja up and then perform their ritual in unison, bringing her to ashes before disappearing.
When Min Hyejin heads to her law office, it has been trashed, and her colleagues have all been attacked. It’s a ghost town. Min Hyejin is found by the followers, and she and her mother are beaten by baseball bats. Her mother is hurt badly, and she has to take her to the hospital where she dies.
Pastor Kim Jeongchil tries to kill lawyer Min with the help of Arrowhead followers. When Detective Jin returns home, he finds no sign of his daughter, and later her phone is not reachable. He sees a news broadcast that the burnt body of his wife’s killer has been found.
Chairman Jung gets Heejung to burn her mother’s killer alive in an incinerator to give her closure. Detective Jin guesses this and goes to confront Jung. Chairman Jung calls Detective Jin to the ruins of his Catholic orphanage. He explained to Jin that 20 years ago, he received a prophecy under the very same roof. The angel told him that he would die at 10:30 PM, 20 years later.
Jung explains that he wanted God to bring back his mother and thus never committed any sin before the prophecy, yet God prophesied to send him to hell. The big revelation established that these decrees didn’t only happen to the sinners, but it was random.
The New Truth
Jung tells Detective Jin that his daughter is safe at home and not to tell anybody about his death and demonstration and keep it a secret so that the New Truth survives and chaos is avoided further Jin would not have to prosecute his daughter for killing her mother’s killer.
Soon after Jung’s death, pastor Kim Jeongchil of Future Church takes over the organization. He holds public demonstrations of the damnations to inflict fear in people and humiliated the families of those who received a decree. He turns The New Truth into a radical society with his tyrant beliefs.
Four years later, we find Min has survived the attack and Min Hyejin and Professor Gong Hyeongjun start their own organization, Sodo (named after her original law firm). The secret organization helps those who received a decree and helps them vanish before the thugs of The New Truth could find them. Min Hyejin wanted to expose The New Truth and end its tyranny.
Bae Youngjae is creating a documentary on recent events with The New Truth. His newborn baby is prophesied to die in three days. Bae Youngjae approches Min Hyejin. According to Min Hyejin, the doctrines of The New Truth had no concept of original sin or redemption. The followers of The New Truth believed that humans choose to sin; therefore, these decrees happened. But what sin or choice to sin a newborn baby could have? Min wants to broadcast his baby’s demonstration to show the world that The New Truth is wrong.
Song Sohyun takes her baby to The New Truth to find out why their baby received the decree. Song Sohyun meets Deacon Yuji and shows the footage. As this will show The New truth in poor light, the followers trap her and try to take away her baby. Min Hyejin and Bae Youngjae infiltrate the building and rescue the mother and the baby. They all manage to get into a car and escape. Kim Jeongchil punishes Deacon Yuji for losing the mother and the baby, knowing that their secret is at risk — the baby’s demonstration will be the next day.
Min Hyejin, Youngjae, and Song Sohyun find refuge with a man called Mr. Lee, who has also received a decree. He was a former member of The New Truth but had left after the decree. Min Hyejin wants to continue with plans by broadcasting the baby’s demonstration. However, Mr. Lee rings ‘The New Truth’ and tells them that the parents and that Min Hyejin is with him.
He also states that he got his decree 3 years ago and is hellbound today, but he hasn’t done anything to sin, so he’s confused. His demonstration is five minutes after the baby’s time is up. Kim Jeongchil tells the man that it is a message and calls Mr. Lee a messiah and he is the chosen to cover for God’s mistake.
Mr. Lee loses his mind and threatens to kill Youngjae and his wife. Youngjae manages to taser him and then alerts Min Hyejin and others. Song Sohyun escapes in the freezing cold and talks to the people outside. She reveals her innocent newborn baby is subject to the demonstration. The moment is shared on social media. Song Sohyun puts her baby down and sobs, knowing that this is the end. Meanwhile, Min Hyejin fights Mr. Lee and manages to knock him unconscious.
At the appointed hour, the monsters appear. Sohyun hustles to protect her child, and soon her husband Bae joins her. Bae and Sohyun wrap themselves around the baby while the neighbours record the parents’ protective gesture and love. The demons burn Bae and Sohyun to death, but Toughie the baby survives because of his parents’ sacrifice. Lee Dongwook tries to kill Toughie, but Min Hyejin intervenes, and before he can harm the baby, the demons appear and kill Lee.
The New Truth and Arrowhead members arrive outside the building to take the baby but the neighbours block Deacon Yuji’s path and help Min run away with the Toughie. An old man accuses Yuji of lying, enraging him. He attacks the old man and gets arrested for battery. Min Hyejin gets away in a taxi car, and she holds the baby tightly. The driver talks to her about the life and the autonomy of humans. The driver is revealed to be Detective Jin.
The season ends, with the corpse of Park Jungja, who died at the hands of the monsters, suddenly coming back to life. What does this imply? Season 2 will reveal.