Taking the very simple concept of ‘zombies on a train’, this isn’t just one of the best zombie movies I’ve ever seen, it’s one of the best movies I’ve seen in recent years – period!
This South Korean movie doesn’t waste much time in setting the scene – a banker agrees to take his daughter by train to visit her mother in Busan. But as the train pulls out of the station, a zombie epidemic breaks out. And the last person to rush through the closing train doors appears to be a little bit unwell…
The epidemic quickly spreads throughout the train and those who are left must act quickly to seal off the carriages and try to work out how to make it to their loved ones who they’ve become separated from in other carriages. Like 28 days later, or World War Z, our zombies move quickly and aren’t afraid to climb all over each other in their ravenous pursuit of the living, piling themselves up against glass walls and doors in order to break through, then continuing to chase with broken, contorted limbs. In an interesting twist though, these zombies work on their sense of sight rather than smell or hearing, something which works to the advantage of the living as the train rockets through dark tunnels for minutes at a time.
As the living quickly start dwindling in numbers, we’re left with a pretty good and varied selection of characters. Among them – our hero and his young daughter, a man and his pregnant wife, a bunch of high school kids, a couple of elderly sisters and a selfish businessman who’s out for himself. After a brief stop at a supposedly safe station turns out to be overrun by hordes of zombies, the survivors barely make it back onto the train and continue on their way to Busan, rumoured to be a safe haven.
Aside from the highly enjoyable zombie action, there’s plenty of human emotion and sadness, along with some great performances from all involved. This is a highly innovative and serious enjoyable thrill ride and I cannot recommend it enough.