Train to Busan is a South Korean zombie thriller that has truly reinvigorated the genre. It focuses on a group of passengers that are trapped in a train on the way to the city of Busan, but it mainly revolves around a divorced father named Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) and his daughter Su-an (Kim Su-an). Then a zombie outbreak starts happening, and they must fight for their survival. Directed by Yeon Sang-Ho, known for his feature debut The King of Pigs, he has decided to take on this film after claiming that the zombie movie genre hasn’t been really explored in Korean cinema. While you’re watching Train to Busan, you do get the feeling that he has revitalized it, in terms of emotion and tone. With an insanely talented cast and crew, everyone deserves praise for their hard work on making such a fantastic film.
Run for your life! A recurring element that you would normally notice in some zombie flicks is that the human characters tend to be pretty expendable. However, in this case, you actually do care about the lead protagonists. They get lots of development as the movie goes on, and you’re rooting for them to get through this awful situation. Everyone does an amazing job with their acting performances, and they all have their time to shine. The screenplay, written by Park Joo-Suk, makes sure to flesh out these characters so we would be emotionally connected to them.
Watch out for the zombies! The best thing about Train to Busan is the fact that it’s incredibly entertaining to watch. It has a two-hour runtime, but it never feels like it. From the get-go, the director perfectly sets up the tone and atmosphere of the film. When it starts out, it’s intense. The moment you first see the zombies on screen, that level of anxiety sticks with you for a very long time. For a movie that mostly takes place on a train, the filmmaker never loses that sense of urgency and survival among the characters. By doing so, it keeps the premise remarkably engaging from start to finish.