So now I’m halfway through the Resident Evil series reviews I thought I’d give people a break and drop a review in of something else. Having finally got round to watching the much hyped Train To Busan I thought that it seemed as good of a film to review as any. “How great this movie has been” has been all over my Twitter timeline for months now, problem is sometimes the hype is wrong, so did I think this was overhyped or does it live up to it’s lofty billing!
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writer: Sang-ho Yeon (screenplay)
The storyline is a simple but good one, Seok-woo is a deadbeat dad to Su-an. Sure he’s there for her financially but he doesn’t go to her school stuff, doesn’t know what she likes and is all about working. For her Birthday Su-an wants nothing more than to see her Mother in Busan after pestering Seok-woo he finally agrees to take her and the two head off to catch the train and so it begin!
We meet a few of the other characters that’ll make up the rest of the main cast amongst the other passengers on the train. The rich man who thinks he’s better than everyone else, Sang-hwa a big dude who hates investment bankers like Seok-woo and his heavily pregnant wife. There’s a cheerleader and a bunch of baseball players, a couple of sisters both of whom are knocking on age wise and there’s of course the strangely camp workers on the train.
As they leave Seoul, Su-an looks out of the window and catches a quick glimpse of someone being attacked and bitten by another person. However it’s not enough for her to say anything and the journey carries on. This is where the film really hits it’s pace we’re treated to several really great action set pieces and in between these there’s enough story and character development to keep us interested.
It’s not long into their journey that the zombies start to attack, Seok-woo along with Sang-hwa fight to keep the daughter and the pregnant wife alive. After a rocky start they develop a nice relationship based on mutual respect after they rescue each other. As the train progresses so does our take on the outside world, a stop at a train station results in a mass zombie attack. Seok-woo has contacts outside the train who help paint a rough picture of what’s going on.
Everything leads to a great action scene in a train yard, there’s sacrifice, loads of zombies, tense chase scenes, more fast moving zombies, the inevitable moment where someone gets their comeuppance. Not everyone we want to see make it out does and that’s what makes this film so great. Sure it’s a zombie film but there’s a somewhat scarily real feel to it all.
- The acting, every character from the emotionally deadbeat dad to the tramp that warns them everyone is dead to the young girl player the daughters acts their part brilliantly.
- To go along with the acting the make-up and sfx are spot on.
- Rather than the slap dash oh no there’s a zombie ripping someones face off introduction we’ve become accustomed to for zombie films, Train to Busan takes a slow build up approach. Taking time to show the strained poor relationship between Father and Daughter and it’s done really well.
- Every big action scene is tense and well set out. We get a running escape from a train station, crashing burning trains in a train yard. People frantically trying to escape the cramped confines of the train as they try to make their way to freedom.
- I normally love the gore of a zombie film, I love seeing someone kill a zombie in some stupid over the top way or by accident resulting in brains and blood spraying everywhere. There’s plenty of blood in this film but it’s on the clothing, the walls and bodies of the victims. The sacrifice of the usual over the top deaths results in a much more “realistic” zombie film.
- The zombies are fast moving like the 28 days films, the way the reanimate from the death is fantastic it’s twitchy and creepy to see. Then boom! They’re up and running at people, this is not the sort of zombie apocalypse you want to be caught up in!
- The ending, this could be all we ever see and although not left opened ended like a lot of films it does make me wonder if there’s more tales from this world to be told.
- There’s not really that much bad about this film, I suppose if people were really nitpicking they may say that a certain weakness the zombies have is extremely convenient for people travelling on a train.
- Is the fact not everyone you like will make it out a bad thing? Or is it just the harsh reality of what would happen in a zombie attack? I guess it depends who you are.
I’m struggling to think of a better zombie film I’ve watched in recent years, in fact I’m struggling to think of a better horror I’ve seen since we exited the 90’s. This film really is that good, I’ve explained why so now it’s up you to go watch it. It’s just under two hours long and not for one single minute did I get bored or feel it was dragging, there’s nothing I’d want cutting from this superb film!
Overall Score – 9.5/10