Train to Busan (2016) Review

Spoiler-free so you can read before you watch

Train to Busan (2016) Review

Horrorific content by Dusan on May 03rd, 2020 | Movie Review | Survival, Confined, Zombie, K-Horror

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It’s about people on an express train to Busan, a city that has successfully fended off the viral outbreak, which must fight for their own survival.

Train to Busan was directed by Yeon Sang-Ho and stars Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-Seok, Kim Soo-An and Kim Eui-Sung (from Rampant).

Life-or-death survival begins

This K-Horror zombie film brought us something new to the cinema that we usually do not see in Hollywood. Unlike the usual Hollywood formula, in Train to Busan our main lead Gong Yoo has a long way to go before he figures out his true path and that the selfish way he uses to go through life is not the best choice if he wishes to keep his daughter safe.

The supporting cast did an excellent job and is here to help him evolve. You will care about these people as each of their stories will pull you into the movie. There is no set of rules on how people would act in situations like these. Once panic and fear set in, chaos begins and this is the moment where each choice we make can mean life or death.

The plot is fairly simple. A divorced fund manager Seok-woo needs to take his daughter back to her mother for her birthday. As you already might have guessed, the workaholic father is not really present in her life and it takes a toll on their relationship. At the same time a strange new infection starts to spread. It spreads fast and the effects are scary, turning anyone exposed into an aggressive rage filled monster. Like most zombie virus horrors, the disease is transmitted through a bite from the infected so if possible, close contact should be avoided – this is not an easy thing to do when stuck on a train filled with these creatures. But this is also what makes this movie interesting and one of the biggest positive aspects is that our protagonists actually use their brain and think of innovative ways to stay safe. And they do this without the use of hundreds of guns that these types of films mostly depend on. That is the second positive thing about it… it is realistic (as much as a zombie film can be of course). Laws in South Korea prohibit civilians to bear arms so only those in military or police would be able to have any guns. With no weapons, surrounded by the infected it is easy to understand even the worst of people. They are scared and they are fighting for survival any way they can even at the cost of getting someone else killed.

Many people compare Train to Busan with World War Z. Yes, it has fast zombies. Yes, it has a father figure trying to protect his family. Both are filled with action and overall both are great movies. But, there is one thing that separates them. Brad Pitt is a chiseled out hero with a strong background story that never makes a mistake during the entire film and he is able to survive even the most unrealistic situations. For this sole reason I give my vote to Train to Busan.

Worth Watching?

A big YES. Especially if you love movies where characters have inner-struggles and must evolve in order to overcome the dangers that are in front of them.

*There were talks on this one getting an American remake but as of this year there are no new updates.

*The newest update is a Korean sequel coming out in August, Peninsula (2020) so make sure to check it out!

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