Train To Busan (부산행) is South Korean zombie-apocalypse-theme movie that set a record as the first Korean film of 2016 to break the audience record with over 10 million theatergoers. Consider a popular genre worldwide for many media (movie, drama series, game, comic, novel, etc.), zombie apocalypse story lines kinda predictable; try to survive from flesh / brain eaters. Despite of that, why does Train To Busan catch a lot of attention? What makes it different?
From personal experience to watch Korean disaster and monster theme movie; such as The Host, Flu, Tidal Wave, The Tower; most of them have similar main characters; a problematic parent with a young rebellious child(about 8-10 years old) and supportive elderly characters. Family characters somehow can be related to the audience, mostly typical Korean/Asian family; busy working parent, grandparent takes care of their children. Additional fast pace disaster event, it developed a lot of sacrificed acts; somebody has to die. The Korean movie considers good at tear-jerking scene and Train To Busan make the dramatic act in urgent situation. For me, the scene of gangster husband’s sacrifice and elderly sister’s resigned smile, the farewell scene between the brawling child and infected father, and ending scene of the child sing Aloha ‘Oe to survive (which still give me shiver). I cannot help or argue to hold back tears.
Action stunts in this movie look legit; the choreography of moving zombies, fighting scene and especially escape scene. This movie’s zombie, they can run, move faster and more violent than the usual zombie from another movie. In a few scenes, those zombies thrown themselves out of the 2nd storey window, hit their head to the glass, and being dragged to the train. They cannot think straight as humanly anymore, but they are moving fleshes with one goal; they just want to bite humans. Seriously, they did not look eat human, most of those human turn into zombie almost right away. Although some feel the exaggeration for dramatic momentum, which is okay, the timeline logic of infected zombie seems “real”; the spreading virus affects to some people within seconds, some others need about 5 minutes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Compared to a western horror movie that has powerful jump scares and incredible sound effects, Asian horror movie focuses on experiences and extra details on their stunts. One thing that’s quite noticeable, Train to Busan has a similar concept with World War Z in term of a zombie apocalypse. Fast infected reaction, sensitive to sound, violence flesh and some scenes almost exactly the same, ex: attack preparation scene. There’s no official confirmation if two of these movies related or not, but some fans speculate that the virus was originated from South Korea before it flew to America where World War Z happen.
Overall I enjoyed the thrill and the storyline of Train to Busan. Might as well watch Seoul Train, a prequel of Train to Busan, when it available here.