Wowing the Cannes Film Festival back in May and closing this years FrightFest, Train to Busan is a Korean zombie-epic – explosive, energizing and ultimately heart-breaking.
The movie takes a simple premise – leak at local bio-tech factory, father taking his daughter to see his ex-wife on the eponymous Train to Busan – and revs it up with non-stop action. This is The Raid meets 28 Days Later on a train, and is exactly as awesome as that sounds.
Train to Busan takes the zombie sub-genre and gives it a well needed jolt of adrenaline. Just as we thought the zombie movie was dying a slow death (see A Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse) it’s great to see something that, whilst not exactly coming up with anything new (it has fast zombies, it has a disparate group of people in peril, etc), does it with such vigour that you feel as if you’re watching all those old tropes with new eyes.
It has strong character development with genuine story arcs (only common in the best zombie flicks) and strong performances – particularly Kim Su-an as Su-an the child caught in the middle of the outbreak. But it is the action that really propels this movie into the stratosphere. The zombies are wildly acrobatic, hurling themselves through the train with abandon. The fight scenes are balletic and crunchy and the film sets up some neat moments of genuine peril – never has an old woman walking towards a train door been so tense and paid off so satisfyingly.
If Train to Busan could be summed up in one word it would be kinetic. It never stops. An absolutely stonking closing film to FrightFest 2016 and the best zombie movie in a decade (though the upcoming Girl With All The Gifts may give it a run for its money).
GS Rating: 5/5
GS Blogger: Bobby Diabolus