Train to Busan

Train to Busan ★★★½

”I'll take you to mom no matter what.”

The image of a slow-moving putrid corpse gruesomely pursuing a human is an image that’s deeply rooted in popular culture. There’s a guideline to what zombies should look and act like and the truth is that most filmmakers follow those inherited concepts. Thus, I believe it would be fair to state that post-apocalyptic zombie features have grown old and bland. However, to prove me wrong, we have Train to Busan, a film that immediately stands out amidst a sea of other living dead outputs because of how many rules it breaks. What’s perhaps even more surprising is to see this typically American sub-genre flourish to such impressive results in South-Korea.

In this day and age, where zombies are so heavily fixed within America’s cultural DNA (it’s literally everywhere: comics, television, cinema, video-games) it’s refreshing to see the genre burgeon in a different culture – one that’s going to add a different vision and shake the patterned guidelines. Produced within a restrained budget of 9 million dollars, it’s nearly unbelievably to see how much vivid and lifelike Yeon Sang-Ho’s breakthrough is compared to western higher budgeted features. Expertly crafted and choreographed, exhibiting world-class make-up and fine enactments from its performers, Sang-Ho’s simplistic high-concept Train to Busan puts most of this summer’s American blockbusters to shame.