Night Bloomers: Australian Korean horror series on SBS – first look

The new SBS horror anthology offers tales of the Korean diaspora that 'bloom in the night and quietly move you'.

The new SBS horror anthology Night Bloomers will see stories from the Australian Korean diaspora come to life in a haunting five-part series premiering just ahead of Halloween, on 28 October.

Shot in the Western Suburbs of Sydney, Night Bloomers is part of the SBS/NITV and Screen Australia’s Digital Originals initiative. Its ensemble cast includes Ra Chapman (Wentworth), Deborah An (Harrow), Helen Kim (Doctor Doctor), Joshua Park (The Messenger), Rayden Casano, Jaewoo Kim, Clara Kim (Troppo), Jeno Kim (Appetite), Charles An (Last King of the Cross) and Cooper Mortlock.

The series will also feature at SXSW Sydney as part of their prestigious TV Premieres section.

Read: SXSW Sydney: full screen program 2023

The series is created, written, directed, and produced by Andrew Undi Lee (Melon Grab, Troppo, Born to Spy), and produced by Ashlea Ritchie (Melon Grab) for Turn About Entertainment.

The creative team also includes executive producers Michael McMahon (Clickbait, Nowhere Boys) and Arts & Cultural Exchange’s Barry Gamba (Carla & Lisa’s Countdown), and writers Ra Chapman (White Fever), Jacob Holmes-Brown and Suzanne Soo Hyun Kim, who also directed an episode.

Read: SBS On Demand: best new streaming shows in September 2023

Night Bloomers, said a spokesperson for SBS, is:

a horror anthology series exploring multigenerational stories from the unspoken immigration experiences of the Korean Australia diaspora. It adapts a modern twist on ancient Korean folklore stories, mixed with the supernatural beliefs and story traditions from Korean Shamanism. In it, is a creepy and off-kilter world with interconnected heroes, all struggling with fractured identities that were impacted by war and immigration. Each hero faces mortality in a unique way, coupled with a deep yearning that manifests in malevolent forms of evilness that the ensemble of characters must overcome collectively. If not, the goblins, ghosts and creatures that live in and around them will continue to devour the community.

 ‘We can’t wait for audiences to be delighted, surprised, and on the edge of their seats as they experience the spooky tales,’ said Loani Arman, SBS Scripted Commissioning Editor. ‘The series is another distinct offering from Digital Originals initiative, which once again delivers on its ambition to initiative creates more pathways for creatives from underrepresented backgrounds and showcase the next generation of storytelling talent in this country.’


Producer Andrew Undi Lee said: ‘I wanted to highlight various Korean-Australian experiences that dated back to the 1970’s, while not shying away from the truths of our dark history and experiences as Asians in Australia.

‘What motivated me to create Night Bloomers was mainly to preserve the dying Korean-Australian narratives from first-generation Korean immigrants, while also honouring our culture of folklore and shamanistic storytelling, which are all under threat of becoming just memories for the next generation. We can’t wait to share our stories not only with our diaspora, but with horror enthusiasts across Australia.’

Night Bloomers follows the success of acclaimed Digital Originals such as A Beginner’s Guide to Grief and Latecomers, both available to stream free on SBS On Demand.

Night Bloomers premieres on Saturday 28 October at 9.30pm on SBS VICELAND and SBS On Demand.

Paul Dalgarno is author of the novels A Country of Eternal Light (2023) and Poly (2020); the memoir And You May Find Yourself (2015); and the creative non-fiction book Prudish Nation (2023). He was formerly Deputy Editor of The Conversation and joined ScreenHub as Managing Editor in 2022. X: @pauldalgarno. Insta: @dalgarnowrites