Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Film Review: "Train to Busan" ("부산행") (2016).


"Life-or-death survival begins" in Train to Busan (부산행). This South Korean zombie film directed by Yeon Sang-ho, and written by Park Joo-suk. The film follows a group of terrified passengers fighting their way through a countrywide 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.

By late April 2015, Gong Yoo, Kim Su-an, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, Choi Woo-shik, Sohee, and Kim Eui-sung were cast in a harrowing zombie thriller written by Park Joo-suk, and with Yeon Sang-ho as director. At the same time, principal photography commenced, and wrapped in late August. Filming took place throughout South Korea.

The film stars Gong Yoo, Kim Su-an, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, Choi Woo-shik, Sohee, and Kim Eui-sung. Thanks to the cast, the film succeeds on its unfriendly characters, sustained discomfort and, above all, an unforgiving diagnosis of the moral misery of a society that perhaps was already living its well-deserved Apocalypse inside. The film is a superb piece of work which blurs lines between Them and Us in complex ways, breathing new life into the undead in the process. It deserves a wide audience.

While not exactly as intriguing and powerful as his previous films, the film still offers visuals and a narrative in perpetual, gripping motion. The film leaves us with a solid but less compelling work in his growing filmography that satisfies neither as art or entertainment. The film infuses new life into the worn out zombie movie genre with blood-pumping thrills and an incisive Korean point of view which separates it from the crowd. Yeon Sang-ho's third feature is no less fierce and violent as his The King of Pigs and The Fake, and wholeheartedly artistic at the same time. Yeong Sang-ho directs a film where the key word (apart from zombies ) is cruelty, as is the main sentiment that permeates the animation. Through its multileveled, filled with social comments presentation, he manages to present a unique entry in the genre. Closer to suspense than to terror offering a meritorious outcome that delves deeper into moral ambiguity and portrays a crude social retrospective of class division. At times it is oppressively morose, but it has a nice dusting of social realism to go with the violence, and reaches an agreeably nasty conclusion. A more than decent film that knows how to support itself in this kind of topics to come up with a solid story. Although the technical quality doesn't reach the precision of Hollywood, it's a completely enjoyable audiovisual piece. Like all the best horror films, the grisly events unfolding onscreen are merely a cypher through which the filmmaker can address prominent social issues. The film's social advocacy and regional specificity, as well as its effective staging, make it a worthy entry into the zombie canon. The film delves into the darkened recesses of human nature, unflinchingly laying bare the results of our basest instincts.

Simon says Train to Busan (부산행) receives:

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