Busanhaeng [Train to Busan] (2016)

Busanhaeng
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Writer: Sang-ho Yeon, Joo-Suk Park
Cast: Yoo Gong, Soo-an Kim, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Woo-sik Choi, Sohee, Eui-sung Kim
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 23.9.2016
[Review by cornholio.]

Plot:
Seok-Woo (Yoo Gong) is busy with work and he doesn’t really have time for his daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim). After he gets her the wrong birthday present, she wants to go home to her mother who is divorced from Seok-Woo and lives in Busan. Seok-Woo is less than happy about that idea, but finally gives in and boards the train from Seoul to Busan with Soo-an the next day. But even as they make their way to the train station, something seems to be off. It’s only after the train has left, though, and the passengers find themselves trapped with  zombies, that they realize how off things really are.

Train to Busan is one hell of a (zombie) film: emotional, funny and scary, it really works on pretty much every level while being absolutely entertaining.

Train to Busan would only work half as well if it wasn’t populated by so many absolutely wonderful characters. I related to every one I was supposed to relate to and I liked them all. That meant that I got hit pretty hard by several deaths – which is just as it should be. I was so emotional, I even believed when the movie starts to give us the worst possible outcome, before backtracking – a trope I usually see a mile coming.

But at the same time, the film knows when to take a breather from the heavy stuff and when to be funny. Rarely have I seen such a good mix between fun and emotional moments – both get their fair share, even if there’s probably more to laugh about than to cry about.

Additionally the action sequences were pretty damn amazing and I liked the zombie lore the film established, including the zombie hordes that pretty much explode out of buildings and which are definitely enough of a threat to be scary (which, for me, is not always the case with zombies).

The film ends with a morality bit that was unnecessary for me, even if it was rather sweet. But that’s pretty much the worst thing I can say about the entire film, so I would say that is absolutely a resounding win for everybody involved.

Summarizing: even if you usually don’t like zombie films, you should definitely see Train to Busan.

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