When I thought zombie films were quite..dead for awhile, Train to Busan surprised me. I didn’t know what to expect, only that I felt I had seen most of the better ones made to date, and didn’t know if it would be anything out of the ordinary, the countless undead can get tiring for the human mind.
What Intrigued me is the fact I always seem to enjoy Korean movies of choice and hearing of a zombie one was exciting enough as I am drawn to movies of this kind.
Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) is a divorced father spending his visiting time with his daughter Su-an (Kim Su- an) who he rarely sees due to his commitment at work. The kind of father who buys two Nintendo Wii and “makes promises you can’t keep” as his daughter sadly points out.
As her birthday wish is to visit her mother in Busan, the pair make a train journey to hell when a young infected woman frantically boards the train, unnoticed by the conductor who panics ” this can’t be happening “, whilst wrapping up her wounded thigh. I’m afraid to tell you.. It’s happening.
Before the outbreak, the director has managed to capture the characters personality on this journey which builds up the tension slowly but surely, unknowing to them, as the camera cuts to a secluded part of the carrage of the dying woman on the floor.
Meanwhile we see two elderly sisters who remark ” don’t eat too much boiled egg, you’ll be passing gas”. A man with his pregnant wife timidly asking her from a long -awaited locked cubicle “ baby are you ok”, a selfish businessman who doesn’t want to be here for long, an oddball homeless looking man and a bunch of athletes. Great! the gangs all here, now we can continue the train ride.
It’s not long before the walking dead are jolted back to life with disjointed bodies and throats are being ripped open and legs are chewed upon, whilst we venture through the claustrophobic narrow halls that are the gateway to their escape. Now would be a good idea to stack up some luggage.
I kept wondering what would have occurred if the train wasn’t as fancy with the several toilet cubicles and doors which serve as useful survival routes for the people.
There are moments of the action that seemed to be dragged out whilst the zombies are sparsed in different directions outside the train, but it is entertaining to see how it would all pan out.
Visually there are great scenes where the zombies are awkwardly mounted on each other, as recognised in World War Z and a horde of zombies climbing the escalators.
A few blood filling moments later you realise it plays greatly on instincts and survival tactics by everyone on the train and the lengths people would go to protect themselves and their loved ones. An endearing movie about sacrifice that makes this a tasteful movie to sink your teeth into.
Credits: Directed by Yeon Sang-ho. Written by Park Joo-suk. Cinematography by Lee Hyung- deok. Music by Jang Young- gyu.
An animated prequel was made by the same director which I will shortly be on board to watch.