Train to Busan

May 20, 2017 at 11:54 am | Posted in 2017 | 1 Comment
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◊ ◊ ◊ ½

Over the past two decades, South Korea has developed an incredibly rich (and undervalued) history of film. Across a variety of genres, Korean filmmakers have been producing fantastic works, including “The Host,” “The Handmaiden,” “Mother,” and “Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring.” I would add “Train to Busan” to that collection. Like “The Host,” it stakes a claim firmly within the Horror genre. In this case, we follow a group of people trying to survive the zombie apocalypse while on a train hurling toward rural South Korea. The confined space is used to maximum effect as panicked survivors have to fend for themselves against increasing numbers of zombies as they outbreak spreads from car to car. And these are not the lumbering, clumsy zombies of classic film; rather, we get screaming, maniacal, sprinting zombies, which only adds to the fun. And this film is definitely fun. It does everything a good zombie movie should do and it does it well. We have heroes and villains, a claustrophobic space, a goal that everyone is striving toward, and tons of violence, gore and close calls. In some ways, this film mimics the structure of another Korean film, “Snowpiercer,” though I much prefer this one. It relies less on visual spectacle and more on a taut and well constructed story. Substance over style. Like many Korean films, it sometimes strays from common American tropes, which means you cannot always predict how things are going to end up and that certainly adds to the fun. “Train to Busan” was, from start to finish, a thoroughly entertaining ride.

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  1. I liked it 🙂 I remember yelling at the screen at one point because I wanted the old blowhard to die already. And the end was nice, too 🙂


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