In modern South Korea, passengers inside a train try to survive amidst a sudden zombie epidemic.
Reaction & Thoughts:
Word War Z, Asian style. Hands down, the best zombie movie since George A. Romero’s original “Dead” trilogy. Sang-ho Yeon’s first live action movie is a lean, mean, thrilling zombie opus — there is not a dull moment in the entire film.
The story is simply told — 90% of the movie takes place aboard a moving train — yet the narrative generates an unbelievable amount of tension and excitement. About halfway through the film, my wife finally bailed out because she couldn’t take it anymore!
These aren’t Romero’s lethargic zombies. They run faster than an Olympic runner! And Train to Busan (aka Busanhaeng) has no qualms about dispatching beloved characters with alarming savageness — it’s impossible to know which characters will survive the onslaught. You are prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.
Train to Busan isn’t overly gory either (just the right amount of blood) — the emphasis is on suspense and character development. The characters are nicely drawn, and I loved the idea that the carnage is built on top of the theme of altruism vs self-interest — tragedy brings out the best & worst in people.
The film has been interpreted as a critique of South Korea’s society, but I thought the movie deals with universal themes. As I said before, the film explores the idea of magnanimity/selfishness in modern society. It’s fascinating to see people react according to age, gender, social status, etc.
Conclusions & Final Thoughts:
Train to Busan is not for the faint-hearted! The excellent make-up & visual effects enhance the suspense. The film is directed with brutal energy. This is definitely a keeper. Highly Recommended! Color, 118 minutes, Rated R.
P.S. This is part of my annual October Horror Movie Challenge.