It’s no surprise by now that Asia knows how to make good horror movies. From The Host to Ju-On: The Grudge, Asian filmmakers have been terrifying us for years. In Yeon Sang-Ho’s Train to Busan, Sang-Ho combines adventure with horror to breathe new life into the horror genre. While the movie’s quality isn’t consistent throughout, most of the movie will give you some good frights and emotional investment.
A zombie horror movie is only as good as it’s characters, and Train to Busan’s, for the most part, are well fleshed out. The story focuses on a dad and his kid as they go to Busan to visit his ex wife. Sok-Woo, the father, is an interesting lead for a zombie movie, because he’s not really a cool guy. He’s a workaholic that’s been emasculated by his divorce, and while he’s not the best father, we can see that he loves his daughter. So when the carnage begins and the father is called to action, it’s a great release. The cast of side characters are also creative and fun. They’re not super fleshed out, but we get enough character development to root for their survival.
Also, the zombies? Terrifying. Sang-Ho ditches the shambling zombies of the Walking Dead to give us super fast zombies that can dig into the skins of humans in seconds. And with the SFX, their inhumane bodies and movies make them scary as hell.
One of my favorite parts of this movie is the setting. Since the movie takes place in a train, you always get the sense of claustrophobia that’s shared by the characters, especially since they’re in such close proximity to the zombies. I also very much enjoyed that the movie took play during daytime. The bright setting coupled with the nightmarish action makes this movie stand out from other zombie movies. A few times, the movie feels more like an action-adventure movie, which doesn’t really bother me since during these times the movie is still very fun to watch. There’s just also times where the movie falls on zombie movie cliches, and the first two acts are a lot better than the second.
If you’re looking for a new zombie movie to experience, Train to Busan has it covered. With a great cast and awesome special effects, it’s everything a zombie lover would love.