Requested Reviews: Train to Busan

The intent of this site was always about inclusion. I wanted this space to feel like a place where people can come together to talk about the common interest that is dominating pop culture at the moment, nerdy things. So I thought a great way to do it was to start a series of reviews requested by you all. The first is a film that has been recommended to me quite a few times (since my love of zombies has been made all too clear over this year of blogging), Train to Busan. And I have to say, I am so completely blown away by this film that I am extremely excited to see what else you all have in store for me.

This film started with some information that is lacking in other zombie movies. The inclusion of animals being turned to zombies is something that I’ve always thought about. The only true example I could come up with on the top of my head are the hell hounds from Resident Evil. In every other zombie film I’ve seen, they usually take the route of Dawn of the Dead or I Am Legend where the animals somehow contain an immunity to the disease. Although plausible, I always wondered why the disease that reanimated dead flesh didn’t affect all the varying kinds of flesh, so for the opening of Train to Busan to have a deer be hit by a car and then turned to a zombie was just the coolest thing ever.

Train to Busan also differed from other horror films in that there was a beautiful story line amidst the zombie chaos (which was not to mention, the most well acted horror film I’ve seen). The tension between father and daughter was built early on. The father was a business man with no time for his daughter and the driving force between the separation from his wife. Then to witness the evolving trust and closeness form during this trauma made the ending all the more heart wrenching. In fact, all the characters in this film were incredibly well developed. This movie has become the blueprint for how to flesh out characters while in a high stress situation.

I also loved the subtlety of the change from person to zombie. For most of these people, the only thing that differentiated them from the zombies was the blue tinted veins and white eyes. This made it all the more frightening that these zombies were able to run. Ever since I was a child and watched 28 Days Later, there was nothing more horrific to me than the concept of a running zombie. I was not crazy about the film World War Z but the fact that the zombies were so fast moving and able to create a wave of flesh eating monsters was my absolute favorite part. There is a scene similar to that in this film and it definitely qualifies as one of my favorites of the film. I couldn’t possibly imagine being trapped in a small space like a train and seeing zombies frantically tumbling over themselves, effectively creating a wall, trying to get to me.

I haven’t given foreign horror films much of a chance after being thoroughly traumatized watching the Japanese version of The Grudge, but I have to admit the mistake in that. Because if I would have stuck to my guns I would have missed out on this incredible journey that is Train to Busan. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend checking out this hidden Netflix gem!

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