Yeon Sang-ho’s TRAIN TO BUSAN
Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald
As we saw with Henry Hobson’s Maggie, it is possible to make a good zombie movie. While Maggie was serious drama, Train to Busan is a nonstop horror-thriller with undertones of social commentary punctuated by tragedy.
The story follows a workaholic and neglectful dad as he reluctantly takes his young daughter by train from Seoul to Busan to visit his estranged wife. Along the way Korea is hit by a zombie plague. Once a zombie gets on the train the uninfected are soon fleeing in terror from car to car to escape the ever-increasing ravenous horde. Meanwhile the train’s engineer is shunted from station to station as the countryside erupts into mass infestation and chaos.
Who will survive? Will we get to Busan? What will we find if we get there?
That's the outline. What's on display is incredibly well produced as, nonstop, we're exposed to ravenous rampaging hordes in the confines of the rapidly moving train. As with all good disaster flicks characters are exposed as good or bad, selfish or sacrificing, or brave or cowardly. The neglectful dad proceeds along his own character arc as he desperately tries to protect his daughter.
The action sequences, special effects, and stunts are excellent. The zombies themselves are something to behold as, instead of shambling slowly and fitfully, they rampage, flail about, and chow down on their victims with superhuman speed and ferocity.
One thing is certain: it sometimes pays to travel with a baseball bat when traveling by train! Recommended!