I have decided to take a break from Bloody Streaming Roulette for a few weeks boils and ghouls. So that I can focus on reviewing some films that I actually want to review. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy my segment of chance, so don’t get me wrong. I love doing BSR, but I never know week to week what I’ll be watching. So, I am getting back to the basics this week, to review a film I have been wanting to watch since its release. Let’s take a brief look at the international blockbuster from Korea, 2016’s Train to Busan.
The flick starts out in South Korea’s capital of Seoul. Seok-woo played by Yoo Gong (The Suspect), is a single father trying to balance a nasty divorce and still make ends meet as a stock broker. When the brokerage firm decides to fire sell all the stock for their companies’ largest client, Seok-woo becomes very worried for his job. His daughter, Soo-an has a birthday coming up and wants to see her mother in Busan. So, they both take a train to Busan, to meet with Soo-an’s mother. Little did they know; this short little train ride would be one they would never forget.
As some of you may know, Train to Busan is a zombie flick. Unfortunately, today in 2017 our beloved genre of horror has done the zombie sub-genre to death. By beating us constantly senseless and not letting us come up for air. Leaving us with an oversaturation of lumbering bags of dead flesh seeking their next victims. Zombies are really popular right now, I mean REALLY POPULAR. Which is something I never thought I would ever say and it’s partly due to a popular hit TV show that shall remain nameless. So, you can probably imagine my reluctance to initially see it upon its release. But as the glowing reviews began to immerge after said release, my excitement grew but I still had just a dash of trepidation.
Twenty minutes in, my trepidation swiftly disappeared. This movie is for real! These zombies are not your run of the mill ordinary lumbering sacks or so incredibly fast that they look like liquid (I’m talking to you World War Z and we are very disappointed in you). These deads are more instinctual and more animalistic in nature relying on senses to attack their next victim. After succumbing to a bite, it would take just a few seconds to turn into one of the undead. These zombies are actually terrifying!
Director Sang-ho Yeon had really only directed animated efforts previously, with Train to Busan being his first live-action film. Yeon did an exceptional job with this film. I will keep an out for his work in the future. The make-up effects while minimal were very effective, as most of the zombies are just freshly turned. The gore effects were also minimal and equally well done. Most of the driving force of this film though was not the blood and guts, it was the character development and the constant tension. The cinematography was incredibly smooth for such a fast-paced film. Keeping the viewer uneasy throughout. The entire production team on this film should be commended for their efforts.
Train to Busan is an amazing entry into the zombie sub-genre. Franticly-paced and wonderfully written. But as I said above, the character development really drives the film. The father/daughter relationship constantly evolves throughout the film. Culminating into an unexpectedly beautiful and yet heartbreakingly sad ending. This flick will linger with you long after viewing. I can’t wait until I can check this one out again!
Thanks for reading and remember to…..