Train to Busan

Image: Next Entertainment World

I am a sucker for zombie movies and will watch nearly anything, even if it is not of the highest quality. Thankfully, Train to Busan is not one of the second-rate z-flicks.

Disclaimer to start with, this is a Korean film so if you do not like subtitles it might be a struggle; but I would definitely recommend fans of the zombie genre give it a chance.

Directed by Sang-ho Yeon, and written by Yeon and Joo-Suk Park, Train to Busan is a suspense filled thriller meets horror. Workaholic dad, Seok-woo (Yoo Gong), and his young daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim) are on the train headed to see Soo-an’s mother in Busan. When riots and violence begin to break out, the trains passengers see it in their media feeds on their phones, and start to receive calls from loved ones as people try to work out what it going on. Unfortunately the incidents don’t stay outside the train. When one infected gets aboard it starts a domino effect.

While these creatures seem more the result of a rage virus than zombification, that is a whole separate discussion. The way they move and swarm is terrifyingly brilliant. Reminiscent of the swarm over the wall in World War Z, they move more like a wave of bodies than a riot or even stampede.

When battling the undead, our group of survivors only have a range of blunt force weapons. Yet unlike many other films of this nature, a single blow to the head with a baseball bat from an ordinary human is not enough for instant death. Thanks to this, the characters are required to fight smart, not just strong. While the time involved in planning and executing some of these tactics slows the film’s momentum at times, the build-up and suspense keeps you on the edge of your seat, holding your breath.

The whole way through, Train to Busan will make you feel. Frustration, anger fear, sadness, heartbreak, it is all there within this two hour movie.

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