The zombie genre has always been popular with the mainstream viewing audience, and Train to Busan was spot on in capitalizing on this trend. AMC’s The Walking Dead has been on for several years now but it’s still one of the highest-grossing TV series of all time. Movies such as Ash VS The Evil Dead and Dawn of the Dead are timeless movies with a huge cult following.
In video games, the zombie genre is extremely popular as well. The original Left 4 Dead is a classic now, given the fact that it still has a huge player base despite it being a really old game. As for casual titles, the undead is a topic which has been covered many times. Pocket Fruity, the gaming site that launched the Slingo Deal or No Deal Game, hosts several undead themes such as Creepy Cash and the commercially-licensed Dracula game. The undead are literally everywhere, and they will probably be for many more years to come given their popularity among the masses.
Now, Train to Busan.
You’ve most probably heard of the hype surrounding this post-apocalyptic, zombie-survival, drama. Now, let’s take a closer look at this South Korean film which won Best Asian Feature and Best Film at the Fantasia Film Festival.
“Never a dull moment.” That’s probably the best way to describe the movie in its entirety. After a few minutes of letting the viewers know that “a small leakage happened in some plant,” hell started to break loose.
All events that would lead to a massive zombie outbreak were shown at the start of the movie. Checkpoints were erected everywhere, people were being quarantined, flames were all over the place, and road kill began coming back to life. Things, of course, turned for the worse when humans started turning into the undead as well. All it took was a single bite and a few seconds for someone to turn into a rabid, flesh-eating zombie, and well, the rest is history.
The thing about the zombies in Train to Busan is that they’re not as slow as the ones we see on The Walking Dead. The movie’s zombies can lock on to their targets while sprinting. That’s right, sprinting! But like any other enemy in fiction titles, they have a weakness. These zombies stop dead in their tracks when they’re devoid of light, which is what the heroes learned during the movie.
In short, the movie’s characters are what make this movie a Box Office hit. The different personalities of the survivors help the audience to relate to the characters when all hell unfolding.
They characters are based on your average Joe. On the train to Busan, not only do they have to fight the undead horde of zombies but they sometimes have to fight amongst themselves as well.
Seok-woo, a struggling father who is bound by his tireless job is the main character in the film. He got mixed up in the apocalyptic fray when he tried taking his daughter to Busan to let her see her mother. At his side are a student couple, a homeless person, a pregnant woman, and her husband – who later on becomes a Seok-woo’s valuable sidekick. Seeing them survive the apocalypse and battle amongst themselves is equally entertaining to say the least, and sometimes, the humor helps the viewer recover from the relentless onslaught of flesh eating zombies.
Mixed with the comedy, is, of course, the drama that comes along with the film. It is, first and foremost, a zombie movie after all. It would seem that the director learned a thing or two from his unholiness George R.R. Martin because the former knew exactly how to make an audience cry by killing off a well-loved character.
Throughout the film, up until the last moment, suspense and drama are both copious. I’m not going to spoil anything but I’m going to say this: make sure to bring a lot of tissues, as this film will take you on an emotional ride.