Netflix has a new surprise drama hit — and it has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

Parasyte: The Grey poster
(Image credit: Netflix)

In the new Netflix show "Parasyte: The Grey," a race of slug-like parasitic creatures have arrived on Earth. They've worked their way into unsuspecting humans, using them as hosts and transforming their bodies in grotesque ways. This Korean horror series isn't one for the faint of heart. 

It's based on the original Japanese manga "Parasyte" from Hitoshi Iwaaki, which debuted in 1989 and has become one of the best-selling manga series of all time. It's since spawned two live-action movies and a TV series, "Parasyte -the maxim-," that aired in the West during Adult Swim's Toonami block in 2015. 

with a 100% Rotten Tomatoes critic score based on a sampling of five reviews. Currently, it holds a perfect score with unanimous praise. Its audience score, however, is currently sitting at an 81% score, based on less than 50 ratings.

"Parasyte: The Grey" dropped on April 5 for an eager weekend crowd that seemingly devoured the body horror series, since it shot up to No. 2 on the Netflix Top 10 shows list — ahead of the big-budget "3 Body Problem."

Critics are enamored with the Korean take on the popular manga and anime series, and it looks like audiences are mostly following suit, making this somewhat disturbing tale of parasitic invaders one to watch. 

What is 'Parasyte: The Grey' about? 

It's a seemingly normal day when a series of mysterious parasites begin falling from the sky. Curious humans who get too close find themselves being violently taken over by the creatures with entry through different orifices, including ears and other difficult areas. Humans who have been infiltrated by the parasites are forced to band together to create an army to fight for the aliens, who want to take over the world. 

Jeong Su-in (Jeon So-Nee) ends up receiving a parasite, but it doesn't quite take her over completely. It can't reach her brain, and as a result, she coexists with the parasite as half-host, half-human who can somewhat control what the parasite is capable of: shapeshifting. The parasites can transform humans into grotesque monsters with heads that explode, stretch, and change into forms suitable for combat. 

Su-in finds herself banding together with gangster Seol Kang-woo (Koo Kyo-hwan), who's looking for his sister by way of tracking down parasites, and Choi Jun-kyung (Lee Jung-hyun), the leader of a task force charged with eradicating all parasites. It's a free-for-all of violence and eye-popping transformations that come when you least expect them, especially as it's impossible to tell who's infected and who isn't at a glance. 

It's important to note that the storyline differs from that of both the "Parasyte" anime and manga series, though there is an important connection that brings them together eventually. 

What the critics say about 'Parasyte: The Grey'

Reviewer reactions to "Parasyte: The Grey" have been positive across the board. 

Decider's Joe Keller asserted that the series has "enough action" to hold viewers' attention, but the story behind Su-in's mutant existence will "keep us watching."

Meanwhile, Australia's The Age's Craig Mathieson found the series works best as a "horror tale" and seemed to find the disturbing monster transformations the high point, calling out how "the possessed humans transforming into monstrous form and back again."

All six episodes of "Parasyte: The Grey" season 1 are currently available to stream on Netflix, so there's no need to wait for additional episodes to air. 

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Brittany Vincent

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.