Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writers: Joo-Suk Park, Sang-ho Yeon (screenplay)
Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma
Plot: While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.
Running Time: 1 hour 58 minutes
Rotten tomatoes score: Critics 95% Audience 88%
Why I watched it: Well as you can see by the rotten tomatoes score critics loved this movie and the buzz was and still is very strong. So I jumped all over this one.
Thoughts: First off yes it’s a Korean film and it has English sub-titles, and yes it’s zombies on a train. That’s all i really knew about it and I would suggest that is the best way to see the film.
What I liked: This is a very well made film, that might not seen like a big thing but with horror films and especially the zombie sub-genre we get some half assed films. The film is directed very well and shot well. Technology the film is very good, the CGI the stunt work is top notched.
The big thing with this film yes it’s about people on a train with zombies but it’s not played for laughs, this is not tongue-in-check at all this is played seriously and with some huge stakes. First and foremost this is an intense film where no one is safe, this isn’t a cookie cutter Hollywood horror film, here everyone is at risk, kids, older women, a pregnant women, the lead of the film everyone is at risk.
The movie makes the stakes high and also balance that with trying to do as much character work as they can fit in. You have to care if these people make it for the film to work.This is also a pretty big action film, the film kind of remind me of Snowpiercer, it’s a gauntlet movie these people have to make their way through these train cars and they run into lots of trouble mostly zombies. The action is done very well it’s not only thrilling but tense, the editing is also top rate here, it’s a seamless film. The action at the end does go very big but for most of the film it’s more compact.
What I didn’t like: There’s one trend in horror films that I get very tired of, it’s not enough we have zombies to be the bad guys we need human bad guys who are evil and mean and petty and they hinder our heroes, why do we need these characters aren’t the zombies enough. The lead “bad guy” here is pure cliche and he did hurt my enjoyment of the film, that character cost the film a point in my rating.
Also the ending is not great, once the movie gets off the train it loses some momentum and they go bigger with grand stunts.
Final thoughts: I very good horror film and an excellent zombie movie, there’s some twists and turns here and some deaths I didn’t see coming, it’s well worth a watch.