Train to Busan: Review

Written by: Jon Castillo

Film | Sep 13, 2016

korean films Train to Busan zombies

The hype is real.

If you haven't seen it yet, do yourself a favor and go watch it. Skip school. Ditch work. Grab your friends and family and bring them along for this ride.

Train to Busan, for a zombie movie, is terrifying, sad and sweet. If there is one thing Asians do efficiently when making a film, it's evoking emotions. The movie explores kinship, survival, and how fear can drive a mob mentality to a single train of thought.

Majority of the scenes take place in the train all throughout a single ride from one end of the station to the other. It is within this tight space that causes a sense of claustrophobia for the duration of the film.

Unlike most zombie films, where the origins of the outbreak are never explored, Train to Busan takes a moment to tell us exactly what happened. It is rare for such a thing to come from a zombie film.

Some of the greats have had their moments and withstood the test of time to become legends, hushed whispers among hardcore fans of the genre - nearly all of them have come from George Romero. Dawn of the Dead (1978), Night of the Living Dead (1968), Zombieland (2009), and World War Z (2013) are the only good films that come to mind where zombies have been mildly entertaining.

It wasn't the zombies that made these films great, it was the characters.

Make no mistake, Train to Busan is all about the characters. They are flawed and frustrating, all suffering from human dilemmas that are a stark contrast to their current situation. It is a film about family, featuring a cast full of traveling families. If there is anything to analyze here, it is how modernism has driven us apart from our loved ones.

Train to Busan is an entirely different beast. If films such as The Good, The Bad, and The Weird and Snowpiercer have not already put Korea on the map as a fine source of international films, then this one will.

About the author: Jon Castillo

Jonathan is hiding from a lynch mob after messing with the wrong basketball team. His favorite song is "Boys do Fall in Love" by Robin Gibb.

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