What can you say about Train to Busan that hasn’t already been said? When everyone tells you it’s a fantastic thrill-ride you try to go into the screening with lowered expectations just in case everyone is delusional and you come away disappointed.
No need to fear. It’s pretty much non-stop entertainment from start to finish, with many of the conventions of disaster movies observed. You don’t mind the stock characters one bit: that’s all part of what you expect from the genre. And the gradual transformation of the central character from a selfish, grasping solipsist to someone who is prepared to make sacrifices for others adds body to the body count.
Anton Bitel beforehand invited us to think of the zombie army, and the train itself, as symbolising capitalism run out of control. Mind you, he also claimed that hardened horror fans had been known to cry at the end of the movie, and I find that hard to imagine. I’m a simple fellow and just enjoyed the ride, which at times had me on the edge of my seat and marvelling at the speed at which a pregnant woman can run when pursued by the hungry half-dead.
I’m looking forward to seeing the prequel, the animated Seoul Station, at the LKFF in November. Thanks to the KCC for giving us such an entertaining final teaser for the festival.
Yeon Sang-ho (연상호) Train to Busan (부산행, 2016)