Review by Monique Thompson
A group of terrified passengers must fight their way through a country-wide viral outbreak while trapped on a suspicion-filled, blood-drenched bullet train ride to Busan, a southern resort city that has managed to hold off the zombie hordes – or so everyone hopes.
Who would have thought a Korean zombie film (with English subtitles) would be this close to superb?!? Talk about total surprise! Train to Busan is a zombie-apocalypse film following a group of passengers aboard a (you guessed it….) train headed to (you guessed it again….) Busan. Unbeknownst to them, a zombie apocalypse is brewing and only a matter of time before someone infected boards the train and derails their entire trip.
Seok-woo, a father and businessman who’s guilty of putting work and everything else over his daughter, Su-an), decides to cave in to his daughters wish of heading to Busan to visit her mother. Su-an loves her father dearly but doesn’t deny his selfish ways towards her. Meanwhile, other groups of passengers are all headed to Busan for their own reasons but must band together if they plan on arriving safe.
Surprisingly, there’s not one dull moment through the entire film. While the opening few minutes are spent introducing the main characters Seok-woo and Su-an, the writer does a great job of making it clear what type of relationship the two have and really connects you with the two emotionally. Su-an is literally bugging her father to take her on the train, so it’s quite natural to sympathize with the daughters emotions. Once things completely go left and the zombies enter, the father’s character completely turns from selfish to heroic. Each character plays their role flawlessly and there are many times you’ll be surprised at what takes place.
What’s very different about Train To Busan is the slight twist that’s is put on the zombies. For starters, the zombies are supercharged, similar to the ones in World War Z. Once infected, the humans turn zombie almost immediately. Additionally though, the zombies only attack once they “see” humans, versus the usual smell of humans that we see in many other zombie films. While the zombies are running rabid, the desperate actors must use what they observe to their advantage while planning their escape.
Everything about Train To Busan just works, even the subtitles. In many foreign films, they can be a distraction but not this time. For any zombie lover, Train To Busan will be a win.