In Bong Joon-ho's Parasite (2019), lead character Kim Ki-taek (driver of Mr. Park) suddenly

kills Mr. Park at the end when he says something about "smell of rotten stink".

But in the entire movie, they have shown the Park family to have a good heart (though they are rich and dumb). Even in the scene where Mr. Park tells his wife about his driver's bad smell, he in fact heaps praise of his driver for not “crossing the line".

So why did Kim

kill Mr Park?


You mentioned two things right: the smell, which indicated the belonging of the poor family, and crossing the line.

The driver concluded a few times to Mr. Park that he really loved his wife. For Mr. Park it was entering his private territory, which he could not accept from a servant, because he thought of himself to be the upper class. At the party Mr. Park told the driver to do his job, which he was paid for. He didn't want to get close to him on a human level.

When the killing happened, the driver was grieving about his daughter, and Mr. Park didn't care about her and only wanted to save himself and his son. While it's right for the father, he should have thought of taking the wounded girl to the hospital as a human being, or saving others, but not running away. He didn't ask to drive him away, but rather demanded the keys from the driver, leaving everyone behind, and was disgusted by the smell.

In this critical situation he didn't care about his manners and showed his arrogance and ignorance. He still considered himself to be supreme. The driver lost his daughter and decided not to let the rich guy get away. He has assumed the role of the God and killed him.

So the main parasite (the driver) eventually kills his host, Mr. Park. It refers to the title of this film, "Parasite".

  • 3
    Nice reply. I would not categorically say that the title refers to the driver or his family however ; as it can be interpreted in both sides. Are the parasites the poor family earning money by serving the riches, or are the parasites the rich family leaving off the lives of many many poors they or their ancestors got their wealth from?
    – wip
    Jan 3 '20 at 16:09
  • 1
    Nice answer - just a little clarification, though. I'm pretty sure Mr. Park does, initially ask the father to "get the car" (implying that he wanted him to drive him away). Only when he hesitates does he demand the keys.
    – rinogo
    Feb 19 '20 at 7:54
  • 1
    Awesome answer super Mar 7 '20 at 21:23
  • One of the best answers I have read on this site. The observation regarding the death of the host is completely unique to me, due to most peoples tendencies to just look at the general parasitic behaviour of the Kim family + Moon-gwang and her husband. Jul 4 '20 at 6:25

I agree with the top answer, however, I believe there's specifically one thing that triggered him to kill him.

It was when Mr. Park looked disgusted after smelling the basement guy and ran off with the key. Kim knew how much the basement guy respected Mr. Park and it seemed like after a while, he started to feel empathy for him. You can see Kim's face change expression when Mr. Park covered his nose and just ran with the key. So when Mr. Park treated the basement guy like garbage, in Kim's eyes, that's when he crossed the line.

  • 2
    Also I believe that in that way Kim understood that Mr. Park considered him and the basement guy 'the same thing': lower class people that stink. We was equating him with the weirdo living in the basement (which in Mr Park's eyes was the same. 'The others')
    – papakias
    Nov 22 '19 at 13:19

One thing to consider: the wife said that in time of crisis, he (the husband/driver) would scatter like a cockroach exposed to the light. In the crisis, he initially did freeze as the wife took on the killer. Eventually, the husband sprung into action and the only thing he could do was to attack Mr. Park.


Kim killed Park at the end because of the reasons well-stated above, I like to add that it perhaps also because Mr.Kim finally saw the true nature of the Park family. The wife didn't even bother to call an ambulance, nor did anyone else at the party, and the husband was still disgusted by the basement guy's smell as he went for the keys. This showed the prejudice and the cold-hearted characters of the so-called upper-class "Elitists".

Park thought money is everything, and if I pay you, you better be my bitch... at some point, the person on the other end of the job just won't take it anymore. Because Park never, nor did his wife, respected their servants (The odor is just a symbol, cannot be taken literally. It stroke home for Kim when Park showed Kim that he crossed the line when Kim mentioned to Park about Park's wife when Kim only said it because he thought Park could be a friend. Park never considered Kim, and everyone working for him as equal).

Is living in the basement, becoming another "parasite", losing a daughter and a half a son (brain damage) a good ending? Kim would probably eventually rot to death in the same old basement, without a proper burial. Would anyone consider that a nicer ending versus getting killed?

Living isn't everything, it is more about how you live, whether or not like a parasite...


Nice answers and discussions. I had the same questions about why a poor, under-educated, and rather "coward" could make a hard decision by killing his boss. I would rationalize from the previous scene when the "parasite" father told his son that they should not live on a plan. It is better leave the plan at God's hand. So, he seems not to like radical thinking but rather making decision based on the momentary emotion which essentially reached the climax when he saw his daughter got stabbed to death. As well, the subsequent ignorance of the boss in tandem with his expression of disgust did make the killing nature (the animal part) in Kim overwhelmed his mind. The killing may not happen if both of them behaved with little empathy. However, sadly both of them ended up like a selfish money-making robot (the Park) and the savage animal of no return (the Kim).

  • First of all, your haven't provided an answer, just gave your opinion on the discussion. Second, Kim feels humiliated by Park's disgust. There are many points of tangency with Kafka's opus. When I began reading your post, I hoped to hear something concrete. 🙁
    – Invisible
    Jun 23 '20 at 22:43

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