Train To Busan Is A Non-Stop Ride Into Zombie Hell

by : Tom Percival on : 28 Oct 2016 17:04
train-featuredtrain-featuredStudio Canal

As Halloween approaches why not sit back and relax this sinister season with a terrifying, non-stop ride into zombie hell, Train to Busan

From South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho, Train To Busan tells the story of Seok-woo (Gong Yoo), a divorced fund manager who’s trying to take his young daughter Su-an (Kim Su-an) to her mother in the city of Busan as a birthday gift.


Unfortunately for Seok-Woo his thoughtful gift is ruined when there’s an outbreak of a rather nasty zombie virus on the train, transforming the train ride into a nightmarish zombie filled commute from hell.


Train to Busan is honestly my favourite horror film this year, while it can’t compete with The Witch for sheer terror I can say in that it’s one of the most fun and scary experiences I’ve had in the cinema this year.

While zombies have become something of a tired concept in recent years Yeon Sang-ho manages to resurrect the walking dead with a wonderfully novel film that revitalises the typical zombie formula with an innovative new setting.


The horror of being caught in such a tight and confined space with hideous man eating ghouls is so visceral and is in my opinion the best use of the creatures since George A. Romero’s Day of the Dead. 


One of the most frightening aspects of the film is how believable the horror of the plague is. We only get fractured reports of what’s happening off the train and our heroes are never really sure quite what’s happening in the real world.

Yeon Sang-ho doesn’t resort to cheap jump scares either, instead he allows the awfulness of the situation to speak for itself letting the setting and the zombies do the work rather than the usual quiet, quiet, bang approach that lazier horror films use.


In many ways it reminded me of one of my favourite books (not the movie) World War Z and made the idea of an outbreak of fast moving cannibalistic corpses seem frighteningly realistic especially when we see selfishly hide their bites.


While the film nominally deals with a zombie outbreak like the best horrors Busan has a subtle underlying theme at it’s core, it’s about classicism.

One of the main survivors is Yong-Suk a wealthy business man who looks out for number one. Throughout the film he capitalises on the bravery of others to survive at one point literally throwing a train attendant into the path of zombies to survive.


Without going into spoilers or politics it’s a rather on the nose message when you write it down but during the film the events are so dramatic and exciting that it works quite well as a subtle commentary on class division.

All in all Train to Busan is a great horror that’s the perfect Halloween treat, if you can find a screening do yourself a favour and go.


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Tom Percival

More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism. Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV. He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.

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