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Film / Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds

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Left to right: Haewonmak, Gam-ling, Lee Deok-choon and Kim Ja-hong

Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (신과함께-죄와 벌; Sin gwa Hamkke - Joe wa Beol; lit. "Together with God - Sin and Punishment") is a Korean film directed and produced by Kim Yong-hwa and Won Dong-yeon, based on a webtoon created by Joo Ho-min. It was released December 20, 2017.

Kim Ja-hong (played by Cha Tae-hyun) is a firefighter who died in the line of duty. Upon waking up as a ghost, he meets three spiritual guardians: Gang-lim, Haewonmak and Lee Deok-choon (played by Ha Jung-woo, Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hyang-gi respectively). The guardians inform Ja-hong that he is a paragon, someone who had led an honorable life and therefore is qualified to be reincarnated in just 49 days. The catch is, Ja-hong must stand before the gods of the seven Hells and prove he's innocent of his life's misdeeds in order to be allowed to do so. As the guardians guide him through the afterlife, Ja-hong will find that even after death, the consequences of his actions are far-reaching indeed.


As of February 2018, this movie is the second most viewed film in South Korean film history. A part 2 called Along With The Gods The Last 49 Days was released August 2018.

Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds provide examples of:

  • Accidental Murder: Private Won accidentally shoots Soo-hong due to leaving his gun's safety off. Then it turns out Soo-hong survived. And then Soo-hong was buried alive.
    • In the Hell of Murder, an indirect or accidental murder can still count against the defendant.
  • Anachronic Order: Ja-hong's crimes and virtuous actions come from various points in his life, so his life story unfolds out of order.
  • Arc Number: 49, the number of days Ja-hong will be reincarnated in if he's successful and the number of paragons the guardians need to help in order to reincarnate themselves.
  • Badass Longcoat: Haewonmak and Gam-ling both wear long, ankle-length coats and are very competent fighters.
  • Big "NO!" / Little "No": Deok-choon lets out a couple of the latter when Ja-hong starts to sink into the quicksand and a tearful version of the former when she fails and he goes under completely. It's loud enough that Haewonmak and Gam-ling hear her from the world of the living.
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  • Bishōnen: Haewonmak and Gam-ling, as well as multiple other members of the male cast.
  • Blow You Away: Soo-hong summons a tornado to punish First Lieutenant Park.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Of the And the Adventure Continues flavour, as Gam-ling and Haewonmok are last seen launching themselves at Yeomra's army in order to get Soo-hong to the Filial Impiety court.
  • Buried Alive: Soo-hong's ultimate fate, which is what turns him into a vengeful spirit.
  • Celestial Bureaucracy: King Yeomra oversees all of the Hells and decides on the order in which a soul will face the Hells. The gods of each Hell judges souls, with guardians acting as defense lawyers and prosecutors on the other side. There are different levels of guardians and prosecutors, with each gaining a promotion if they succeed. There are also rules and regulations that govern how guardians and prosecutors can operate.
  • Chain Pain: Yeomra's attendants use whips made of chains to destroy hell ghouls.
  • Circles of Hell: There are 7 Hells, each dealing with different aspects of a person's life. The punishments involved usually invoke Ironic Hell for the souls trapped within.
    • The Hell of Murder is a pit filled with lava. Souls continuously try to climb up a pillar to escape the lava to no avail.
    • The Hell of Indolence is a beautiful lake filled with piranha-like demons. Guilty souls are forced to outrun a giant spinning crusher (which occupies the only patch of dry land); failing to do so will result in either being crushed, or falling into the water and be munched by said demons.
    • The Hell of Deceit is a gloomy forest filled with razor-sharp trees that will trap whoever that comes into contact with them with their sharp branches and cut them to ribbons. Deep within the forest sits the judgment hall where deceptive souls have their tongues ripped out by red-hot tongs and scissors.
    • The Hell of Injustice is an icy wasteland. Damned souls are frozen solid in blocks of ice for decades or centuries at a time.
    • The Hell of Betrayal is a vast, crystalline plain that resembles a mirror. The judgment is held in a dome-shaped palace where guilty souls are sealed into mirrors which are subsequently crushed to pieces.
    • The Hell of Violence is a Bottomless Pit filled with floating rocks. Damned souls are dropped into a asteroid belt-like environment where they're flung helplessly into the jagged rocks and each other.
    • The Hell of Filial Impiety is a desert which would manifest the souls' worst fears into sand-made constructs and attack them. The punishment for this hell isn't shown, but it's assumed to be very gruesome.
  • Cool Sword: Gam-ling has a black sword which also doubles as a Whip Sword that he can summon and heat up into a Flaming Sword. Haewonmak can summon two of a similar style, which he can combine into a cool, double-tipped Blade on a Stick.
  • Dead Man Writing: Ja-hong's deceased firefighter colleague left behind a young daughter. Ridden by guilt, Ja-hong writes her for years pretending to be her dead father.
    • Ja-hong left a letter to his mother in a rice-cooker that he bought for her. It details the truth about his life after he ran away from home 15 years before.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Those who succeed in reincarnating are allowed to appear in a living person's dream to say goodbye. Ja-hong desperately wants to reincarnate so that he can speak to his mother one last time.
    • Gam-ling allows Soo-hong to speak to his mother in a dream even though the latter hasn't gone through the trials yet.
  • Dead to Begin With: The story starts with Ja-hong's death and follows his journey through the afterlife.
  • Driven to Suicide: Private Won, unable to bear the guilt of having killed Soo-hong, tries to hang himself. It fails since Gam-ling was following him and Soo-hong, with Gam-ling acting as a messenger, talks him out of trying again.
  • Eaten Alive: Well, everyone's already dead but the sentiment is the same. By fish no less, more specifically the ones that a person has consumed in life. Not only is this one of the punishments in the Indolence Hell, but it's also a hazard just to get to the dang place.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The God of Murder has paper-white skin with Tainted Veins and No Brows.
  • Everyone Has Standards: The two prosecutors who have been harassing Ja-hong, Gam-ling, Deok-choon and Haewonmak at every turn since the start of the journey, are both moved to tears after Soo-hong's spirit makes contact with his mother in a dream, during which Soo-hong tearfully breaks down as he tells her what Ja-hong's been doing for the past years, only for her to reveal that she never held any resentment towards Ja-hong for attempting to kill her, and that she loves both Ja-hong and Soo-hong so much while in a tearful embrace with Soo-hong. Needless to say, the two prosecutors voice no qualms of opposition when Ja-hong is given reincarnation.
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Fish, trees, hell ghouls, gods - it's Hell, after all.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Soo-hong was still twitching after being shot but unfortunately Private Won was too emotionally distraught and First Lieutenant Park was too busy trying to erase the evidence to notice.
  • Family Theme Naming: Ja-hong and his brother, Soo-hong.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: The Leader Gam-ling is phlegmatic, young Deok-choon is sanguine, The Lancer Haewonmak is choleric and the defendant Ja-hong is melancholic.
  • Ghostly Chill: Private Won feels a perpetual chill when he's being haunted by a vengeful spirit.
  • Healing Factor: Wounds sustained in the afterlife heal faster than in the living world.
  • Hell: The main setting and there are 7 of them, derived from Buddhism, separated based on different crimes such as Violence, Murder, Betrayal, Injustice, Indolence, Deceit and Filial Impiety.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ja-hong sacrifices himself at the beginning of the movie to save a little girl.
    • Ja-hong's firefighter colleague allows himself to remain trapped in a burning building so that his colleagues can focus on saving the civilians. This ends up costing him his life when the building collapses on top of him.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Ja-hong denies his status as paragon and is particularly resistant to the idea seemingly due to this rather than humbleness, particularly in the beginning. As the film progresses, we learn that it seems to stem from guilt.
    • Ja-hong's mother as well, as she blames herself for being a bad parent due to burdening her children.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Deok-choon only comes up to Haewonmak's shoulder. In fact, she's quite a bit shorter than most of the male characters.
  • Identity Amnesia: Deok-choon reveals that she and Haewonmak can't remember their past life or anything about who they used to be before they died. Averted with Gam-ling: Deok-choon says that it might be because he's a higher-ranking guardian than the other two.
  • Ignorance Is Bliss: Gam-ling lies to Ja-hong about the identity of the vengeful spirit. He also orders the assistant guardians to maintain this lie in order to prevent Ja-hong from sabotaging their attempts to defend him.
  • It's All About Me: First Lieutenant Park is concerned first and foremost with covering his ass, as he hurries to dispose of Soo-hong's body to hide the murder, without properly making sure the latter was actually dead, completely disregards Private Won's well-being and violently knocks Soo-hong's mother to the ground to prevent her from entering the camp and learning the truth.
  • Jury of the Damned: When a person dies, they're obligated to go through 7 trials judging how they lived their lives. Each trial is overseen by the god in charge of that particular section of Hell. They examine different aspects of a spirit's life as guardians and prosecutors argue for or against the spirit. In the end, the spirit's fate is completely up to the god.
  • Kill It with Fire: A vengeful spirit is exterminated by incinerating its body. However, this implies that the spirit is erased as a result.
    • A memory during the Indolence trial shows someone lighting an aerosol spray on fire in order to combat bees. Doubles as a Funny Background Event.
  • Master of Illusion: Guardians can disguise themselves on the fly while in the living world, allowing them to easily blend in.
  • Loose Lips: Haewonmak accidentally lets slip that Soo-hong is the vengeful spirit, something Gam-ling told him to be secretive about due to concerns of Ja-hong going over the Despair Event Horizon. Subverted in that, while Ja-hong is devastated to hear the news, he gains new motivation in his quest because if he doesn't reincarnate, his mother will have no one else.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: While you shouldn't mess with any of the gods, some of them have fun names like God of Murder, God of Violence and what is essentially the King of Hell.
  • The Needs of the Many: Argued as a defense during the Murder trial, as Ja-hong managed to save 8 people at the cost of losing his colleague, who had also prioritized saving civilians over his own life.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Gang-lim warns Ja-hong not to talk back to the Goddess of Indolence and for good reason. She nearly sends Ja-hong plummeting off a waterfall and into a lake filled with killer fish.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: When people die, they are usually sent to the afterlife to face 7 trials to determine their fate. A spirit can become vengeful and linger in the living world if they hold a strong grudge. These vengeful spirits are capable of telekinesis and creating intense weather phenomena.
    • Guardians are spirits charged with defending the recently-deceased in the trials of the afterlife. They possess many powers as well, although they're not supposed to interfere with the living world. They can manipulate time, disguise themselves, and travel from one location to another in a blink of an eye.
  • Older Than They Look: The Goddess of Deceit looks like a young girl, but is likely much, much older.
  • Psychic Link: Deok-choon shares one with Gam-ling, which lets them communicate with each other to some extent and lets Gam-ling temporarily possess Deok-choon's body in case of emergencies.
  • Psychic Powers: Deok-choon can see the details regarding a spirit's crimes, allowing her to prepare her defense in advance of the trial. She falls into a trance while doing so and is vulnerable.
  • Psychopomp: The three spirit guardians are this, though they function more like defense lawyers than a traditional guide and were once alive themselves.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Don't piss off the God of Murder by trying to escape your prison.
    • Soo-hong's eyes glow red before his true form is revealed.
  • Reincarnation: The ultimate goal of the protagonists.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Soo-hong, upon seeing his mother get hurt, reverts to a vengeful spirit and unleashes a tornado on the military camp.
  • Secret Test of Character: Yeomra subjects Gang-lim to this while disguised as Haewonmak to see how Gang-lim would handle the vengeful spirit.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Ja-hong's mute mother is suddenly able to talk during the finale. Justified in that it's in her dream.
  • Vengeful Ghost: Soo-hong becomes one after he is accidentally buried alive.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Ja-hong is often on the receiving end, usually from Gam-ling or Haewonmak, due to going against their instructions and generally being self-sabotaging.
    • Deon-chook gives Gam-ling a minor one for lying to Ja-hong about his brother's death and status as a vengeful spirit, right outside of the Deception Hell too.
  • Year Outside, Hour Inside: The vengeful spirit's interference is causing time to pass more quickly in the world of the living while Ja-hong and the guardians are in Hell, giving them less time to make it through all the trials in 49 days.

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