Review: Train to Busan

First off, I think you should know that I REALLY DISLIKE zombie films – I think zombies are ugly, disgusting, and usually despite a pretty alright cast, they almost ALWAYS have a shitty plot. As such, I actually wasn’t all that interested in watching Train to Busan when I first heard about it; I thought it was gonna be just another average zombie film, you know? But oh, was I too quick to judge.

I actually bought the cinema tickets in the end because my brother had told me that he’s heard some good reviews, and that Train to Busan was actually quite a touching thriller/action movie.

Warning: from this point onward, there may be spoilers. I always try not to spoil it, but to discuss it, there will be some things that some would consider as spoilers. Anyway…

In the beginning of the movie, we follow the story of a father and daughter, who are traveling to Busan to see her mother. Five minutes in, we already learn that the father is the typical busy working man who’s neglected his family. Seven minutes in, the first infected human on our journey, has boarded the train. Immediately, we clinging onto our seats as our other protagonists are introduced to us, and the virus starts turning the woman into a zombie. The movie become increasingly intense as the zombie starts attacking all the passengers and spreading the virus, and with the passengers having (really) nowhere to escape. Soon after, we learn that many of the cities in South Korea were also filled with zombies and armies and fear, and it was not long until we are hit with the first ‘onion’. That was pretty much the beginning of the movie, but I’ll refrain from going on in such detail to avoid spoilers. However, let me warn you: this film is like a tear-gas grenade.

The movie describes how our characters, along with the other passengers, try to avoid being attacked, whilst trying to device an escape plan and contact local authorities for a safe place to alight the train. It has one of the most bad-ass characters; one of the most despicable characters;  one of the most endearing protagonists I’ve seen in film in a while. You’ll understand what I mean when you see the film. The film delivers the message that even in a world like this where we are surrounded by monsters, it is actually the humans that are monstrous, ugly and scary. Although this is certainly not the first creative work to deliver such a message, the movie also uses the monstrosity of certain characters to accentuate the tenderness, and warmth in human relationships. Whilst portraying some horrific scenes, the movies also presents some of the cutest moments between the characters, constantly keeping the audience at the edge of their seats, and leading them onto a journey that is an emotional roller-coaster.

I also quite liked the fact that the movie does not attempt to explain what caused the virus (well, it does so only very very vaguely) , or how it can be cured. One of the most annoying things in any thriller, action, superhero or sci-fi movie is when there is a clusterfuck of a situation and just for no good reason the main character finds a way to diffuse the problem and save the world. Even worse, the main character survives the whole ordeal even though they’re supposed to have been in an explosion or something (there are so many films I can shame here, and you know it). Finally, I really liked that the film also offered us a glimpse into the transition from human to zombie – how the humanity slowly fades as the virus takes over its host.

The animated prequel of the movie is set to be out in the cinemas soon and I can’t wait to see it. And whilst the director of the movie has confirmed that there will be a sequel to the movie, the direction is unclear at this moment.

So basically: go watch Train to Busan right now if it’s out in your local cinema and you haven’t already!!!

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