Fantasia Film Review: Train to Busan

(Source: Well Go USA/Contents Panda)

(Source: Well Go USA/Contents Panda)

All aboard the ultimate zombie movie and one of the best offerings of Fantasia this year.

There’s slow, there’s fast and then there’s high speed zombies. Guess which ones are traveling on the KTX to Busan at break-your-neck-and-bite-it speed. Get ready for an action/horror/zombie/thriller as director Yeon Sang-Ho unveils Train to Busan and revitalizes the zombie genre in a full-on high speed chase through South Korea.

Seok-woo (Yoo Gong) is a bloodsucker, I mean a funds manager that handles other people’s money. He’s also an often absent parent to his daughter, Su-an (Kim Su-an). He’s reluctant to give her daughter the birthday present she wants: visiting her mom, Seok’s ex-wife, in Busan. He’s not a nice man, something that Young Gook (Dong-seuk Ma also featured in Familyhood) and his pregnant Sung Gyeong (Yu-mi Jeong) sense right away. Soon enough they will have to form an alliance with baseball player Soo-an (Kim Soo-ahn) and cheerleader Jin-hee (Sohee) as bodies start dropping… and getting right back up!

This is a movie where once the action starts, it doesn’t stop to let you breathe for even a second. With plenty of individual stories filled with heroic sacrifice, bad-ass zombie smashing and unsubtle social commentary, direct Yeon Sang-Ho gives us a movie that seems to co-exist in the same timeline than his other Fantasia offering, Seoul Station. By contrast, this live action film moves a lot faster, so the audience better keep up.

Highs: If you want the best that Fantasia has to offer, this is the movie to watch this year. It revitalizes the zombie genre, with real life characters and personal stories you can identify with. It’s impossibleĀ to get to the end of this movie with all your senses intact.

Lows: It might just make every other zombie movie tame by comparison.

Extremely recommended for all Fantasia movie-goers and specially zombie fans. Even jaded fans who think the zombie genre has nothing to offer will be impressed.

That will do for now.

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