“Train to Busan” | Movie Review

train-to-busan-2016-1Grade (B)

A solid vision to the zombie genre from director Sang-ho Yeon.

“TRAIN TO BUSAN” is a South Korean zombie-movie written and directed by Sang-ho Yeon. The story follows a group of passengers aboard a train from Seoul to Busan as a zombie outbreak sweeps across the country. Now I knew nothing of this movie before watching but the trailer looked interesting, I enjoy zombie action, so I figured I would give it a chance.

After watching; I’m glad I did because this was a surprisingly entertaining film that was very well shot, created many tense and suspenseful situations, had many strong performance, as well as an extremely effect design to the zombies. These weren’t your slow moving “The Walking Dead” zombies, the were your more frenetic, fast moving ones like “World War Z” only in my opinion done way better.

The zombies were the best aspect of this film. It is vital to a zombie movie that it does its zombies right, and this movie absolutely does. The actors playing the zombies were excellent and they absolutely pull off some creepy and intense scenes. How the writing designs their behavioral patterns enabled some compelling scenarios throughout the movie and it can easily lure your attention.

As for the story, well it was relatively non-existent in regards to backdrops that set things up. A rather common family dynamic is created between a father and daughter; one we have seen before and doesn’t try too hard to explain the ‘why’ of things. The focus of the story-line was the passengers on the train and their fight to survive, and while it was lacking some situational development, it certainly was not lacking in entertainment.


Things get going quickly and the film holds a great pace keeping you on edge as the group dwindles and the remaining survivors try to fend off these fast-moving waves of zombies. There was some enjoyable character dynamics and solid dialogue between them that built enough substance to care about the characters, and it was much more engaging than simple guilty pleasure zombie-killing.

The setting of a train was a fun choice, it created a very contained film that when mixed with these quick moving zombies give an uneasy claustrophobic feel and it was effective in keeping me on edge throughout. The special-effects and cinematography were very crisp and well done, there were a lot of visually engaging scenes that were successful in building intrigue.

This movie may not have had the massive budget like that of “World War Z” but it did have a much more polished look to it, stronger performances, and a more intimidating vision to their zombies, and in the end this was a much better film. The story does get a little contrived and tries too hard for the dramatics in the third-act but it doesn’t change the fact this is a worthy film to all zombie fans.

Time: 118 min