Well, the Walking Dead is now over until October and Fear the Walking Dead won’t start until June 4th, so to fill in that gap of the Monday blogs, I have decided to watch at least one movie each weekend and right a quick review of it. It will be brief, not wanting to give away too many spoilers and other plot points, but will be discussing my feelings and thoughts about each.
So to start this new series, I decided to watch a Korean film called Train to Busan. If you are a zombie fan, this movie is for you.
Released in 2016 by director Yeon Sang-ho, Train to Busan puts the movie goer in the middle of an intense zombie outbreak in Korea. The story is primarily about Seok-woo, a hedge fund manager that is divorced and is raising his daughter Soo-an with the help of his mother. Right at the beginning you can tell he is a corporate guy and spends little time with his daughter, forming a cold relationship between the two. Soo-an wants to go see her mother in Busan but Seok-woo won’t let her ride alone because its not safe for a little girl, so he decides to take her on the day of her birthday. That’s when all hell breaks loose.
So I won’t go into the entire plot on the train, but instead talk about how the virus outbreak sets out. The movie starts with a guy driving a truck, leaving a quarantine zone. He asks the guards what is going on and they explain that there has been some kind of minor leak at a biotech lab near his property. He is angry that is could kill his animals, but leaves, only to hit a deer while looking for his cell phone. He says this is a shit day, leaving the dead animal in the street. However, the deer gets back up, showing the firsts signs that the virus outbreak is affecting nature already. Seok-woo’s company, which we later find out finances the biotech lab where this entire thing started, is trying to sell off assets of failing companies. Seok-woo is reading up on articles about strange environmental issues that are taking place, but that is about all he cares about. Later on as he drives his daughter to the train station, we see a building on fire as fire crews rush to it. Seok-woo wonders what is going on so early, but again, its dismissed as nothing major. The way the plot is laid out is great which brings me to the train itself as everyone gets on board.
The people on the train are a very diverse group. We have two elderly sisters, a group of high school baseball players, business men, and just average people. Its a great group that leads to so many interactions and conflict when the infected attack the train and it spreads.
A quick note on the zombies that makes for a nice twist. Yeah, they eat humans, move fast, but a new spin is they can’t see in the dark. Also, whenever someone is bit, they re-animate super fast, which allows for the hordes to attack and the virus to spread so fast.
Overall I loved this movie. Its intense, has some great action scenes, and does legit terrify the viewer at times because of the zombies and the tight quarters of a train. I can’t recall ever seeing that before outside of Flight 462 from Fear the Walking Dead show an outbreak as it happens and on public transportation where there is no where to run.
The movie is a little under 2 hours and is all in Korean, so you will have to read the subtitles, which is something I know some will not like, but its a great film (all my years of anime watching pay off for once). I would rank this movie right up there with some of the American classic zombie films like Dawn of the Dead and others. Its just as intense, crazy, and action packed.
One last note, it is also an emotional movie with sacrifice and deep emotions, especially at the end. Even in the zombie outbreak, tears are still being shed.