Sok-woo, a father with not much time for his daughter, Soo-ahn, are boarding the KTX, a fast train that shall bring them from Seoul to Busan. But during their journey, the apocalypse begins, and most of the earth's population become flesh craving zombies. While the KTX is shooting towards Busan, the passenger's fight for their families and lives against the zombies - and each other.Written by
This lively South Korean zombie flick arrives in Oz with a limited release, which is a pity as it's a riotous adventure filled to the brim with action, gore and damn interesting story beats. Like all good films within this subgenre, the narrative is rife with metaphors about modern day issues (parent-child connections, corporate greed, human interaction, etc) but it also provides a compelling survival plot when taken at face value. The core relationship between Yoo Gong's self-centred businessman and his quiet, emotionally-neglected 9-year-old daughter (Soo-an Kim – a tour de force) is riveting as it gets put through the wringer, never feeling anything less than authentic. There are spurts of melodrama, however, that induce the odd unintentional chuckle, whilst a select few from the supporting cast play up their stereotypes – love-struck school girl, despicable scaremonger, muttering homeless man – a little too much. Sang-ho Yeon directs with unabashed gusto, pumping up tension and thrills though a string of adrenaline-pumping set pieces, an amazing train-station sequence that turns from hopeful to deadly being a particular high point. The undead are suitably grotesque and enjoyably expendable, their physical movements a mix between the 28 Days Later mode of rapid flesh-eaters and the herky-jerky twitches of J-horror ghosts, although the rules for how quickly someone becomes "infected" seems to vary depending on plot requirement. It doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the zombie genre, but with a bunch of exhilarating set pieces and a willingness to kill off anyone at anytime, Train to Busan certainly adds a whole lot of spark.
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