I’ve been a fan of Zombie movies since I was a wee little lad in the early 80’s. Of course it started with “Night of the Living Dead”, and advanced further with the campy, but fun, “Return of the Living Dead”. We also can’t forget “Day of the Dead” or “Dawn of the Dead”. But somewhere in the 90’s, the zombie genre can’t of died (yes pun intended). In the 2000’s, we would see a string of hit or miss zombie flicks. Among them the reboot of Dawn of the Dead and “Resident Evil”. Interest for the living dead grew, as they are the movie equivalent of escape rooms. It was fun to discuss with friends and loved ones what you would do in that scenario. Popular books were written, like “The Zombie Survival Guide“, one of my personal favorites. We witnessed the genre become one of the most popular television shows with AMC’s, “the Walking Dead”.
But, as the market became more and more saturated, zombie movies were severely polarized into great, or a 1 star Netflix movie. They became too formulaic, predictable, and just down right terrible. I accidentally watched “Train to Busan”, while the wife and I were trying to decide on a scary movie to watch, and for some reason, this one caught my attention. The movie is like a formulaic George R.R Martin story. But, every played out characteristic of a zombie flick, was done right. It was the perfect storm. The gore was there, but not gratuitous. The different character representations were there; the coward, the man who receives redemption, the betrayed, the kid, etc.
I think what made this movie great, what the physical acting, and the fact that it was subtitled. I don’t speak Korean, so I can’t judge the delivery of the dialogue. The actors had to sell me on it with their physical expressions and holy shit, did they ever deliver. The acting was phenomenal. Their delivery really suspends disbelief. Even the kid was great. There were points in the movie that made me tear up, and anyone who knows me, knows I only do that when a dog dies.
The movie is 1 hour 58 minutes, but seemed much longer, in a good way. Its equivalency is like a roller-coaster that makes you think it’s over, but then launches you again. And to think, this is all based on a simple concept of surviving in a contained, but tight environment.
I highly recommend this work of art. Watch this film and let us know what you think.