Train to Busan is a 2016 South Korean action horror movie directed by Yeon Sang- ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi and Ma Dong-Seok .The film mostly takes place on a train to Busan as a Zombie suddenly breaks out in the country and threatens the safety of the passengers.
The film premiered in the Midnight Screenings section of the 2016 Cannes film festival on 13 May. On 7 August, the film set a record as the first Korean film of 2016 to break the audience record of over 10 million theatergoers. The film serves as a reunion for Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi, who both starred in the 2011 film The Crucible. A sequel, Peninsula , was released in South Korea on July 15, 2020.
Sok-woo, a father with not much time for his daughter, Soo-ahn, are boarding the KTX, a fast train that shall bring them from Seoul to Busan. But during their journey, the apocalypse begins, and most of the earth’s population become flesh craving zombies. While the KTX is shooting towards Busan, the passenger’s fight for their families and lives against the zombies – and each other.
Train to Busan brings absolutely nothing new to the zombie genre, but it shows that lack of novelty needn’t be a handicap at all. It has everything you’d expect in a zombie film: The close calls, the mass slaughters, the long chases. A lot of it is quite beautifully shot. A crucial shot of a self-sacrificing man is shown as a shadow… a dark figure of a man who, during the course of the film, manages to turn to light. The film is full of such delicious ironies. A man who isn’t allowed entry into a train compartment by another finds the tables turned later in the film. A homeless man, viewed throughout with suspicion by the other characters, is the reason two upper-class women survive. A woman who’s expecting a child is forced by circumstances to accept another. A girl whose singing falters on account of her father’s lack of support, sings her best when he’s gone forever. Such symmetry in writing doesn’t happen accidentally.
The film is more World War Z than Zombieland. It seeks to thrill; the laughs are very few, like the scene in which a man frustrated at the zombie’s rabid need to bite, shouts, “Are you crazy?!” I wish there had been more such moments, but what it lacks for in amusement, it makes up for in depth — a selfish man, for instance, is forced to destroy himself for a greater good — and some generic albeit sapid commentary on class struggle.
From very early on, when the security try to force out a homeless man from the train, there’s a strong thread of ‘us versus them’ that permeates the film’s universe. In another scene, a father and daughter try to use connections to save themselves, but are ill at ease to learn that the homeless man joins them. If it was their own, another person of their ilk, they probably wouldn’t have been. Towards the end, it even blows over into a full-scale struggle in which the people holed up in a compartment—the comfortable people—refuse to grant entry to another group, suspecting them to be potentially dangerous. So strong is their distaste for this other that they take great pains to lock the door blocking them first before turning their attention to the zombies. So deep runs this mistrust that even zombies seem like the lesser evil. It’s rather revealing that the biggest villain, and in a film that is full of blood-thirsty zombies no less, is a rich man who leads this group against the other.