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Train to Busan [XDBX Film Club 10]

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Train to Busan

Train to Busan

About

  • Released


  • Rating


    7.7
  • Genre


    • Action
    • Horror
    • Thriller

Overview

Martial law is declared when a mysterious viral outbreak pushes Korea into a state of emergency. Those on an express train to Busan, a city that has successfully fended off the viral outbreak, must fight for their own survival…


Trailer

Credits

  • Gong Yoo
    Gong Yoo
    Seok Woo
  • Ma Dong-seok
    Ma Dong-seok
    Sang Hwa
  • Jung Yu-mi
    Jung Yu-mi
    Sung Gyeong
  • Choi Woo-shik
    Choi Woo-shik
    Yeong Gook
  • Ahn So-hee
    Ahn So-hee
    Jin Hee
  • Kim Soo-an
    Kim Soo-an
    Soo Ahn
This page uses the themoviedb.org API.
LimeGreenLegend

The concluding half of our Halloween Horror double bill was nominated by @Spinnaker1981, who chose the 2016 South Korean zombie thriller, Train to Busan.

Image result for train to busan poster

The first live action film directed by Yeon Sang-ho, after the animated films The King of Pigs and The Fake, Train to Busan is a classic zombie apocalypse thriller with a twist.  What if you were on a train when the world ends?  This is another selection I haven't seen, but Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) said of the film "best zombie movie I've seen in forever."  That's a man who knows his zombies.  

Train to Busan stars Gong Yoo as a workaholic father who, for her birthday, takes his daughter on the train to Busan to see her mother.  But just as the train departs a woman with a bite on her leg boards, and starts acting strangely...

zombie GIF

mind the gap

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Con

@Spinnaker1981 i believe you mentioned that you may have a hard time having access to this film. If you have any problems, please send me a private message and we will figure something out. Horror On, baby!!

zombie GIF

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Fido_le_muet

I'm sure I'm gonna like this ! 

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Con
49 minutes ago, Fido_le_muet said:

I'm sure I'm gonna like this ! 

Cannot wait for the discussion as I gave it a 5/5... back in July 2018, I made sure it was a spoiler free review since I was hoping to discuss it with someone but no one watched it, but now I get my wish!!!! I will get to post a full review!! So cool. 

Edited by Con
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SINISTER120

Train to Busan is available on Amazon, You Tube, VUDU, NETFLIX,  iTunes and Google Play.

This is supposed to be a wonderful movie that very few have not liked. 94% on RT is impressive for a Zombie flick.

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Spinnaker1981
Posted (edited)
On 9/29/2019 at 4:40 PM, Con said:

@Spinnaker1981 i believe you mentioned that you may have a hard time having access to this film. If you have any problems, please send me a private message and we will figure something out. Horror On, baby!!

zombie GIF

I have it on my pc. Thank you anyway... 😅

 

Can´t wait for your reviews...

Edited by Spinnaker1981
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Con

[Here is my original SPOILER FREE review of it from 2018. I removed some of the images from the original review as I want you all to experience those images in the film. I left some  that I felt wouldn't spoil too much. I will be re-watching it and will post a spoiler full review elaborating on why I felt it deserved a 5/5.]

Train to Busan (2016)

huL3jnh.jpg

The Awesome: Zombie breakout on a bullet-train where you have no where to escape!!! Really great cinematography. Great atmosphere from start to finish. You see things happening in the background hinting at trouble on the horizon. You are put right there with the characters. The close quarters of the train make for tension in every scene. It has direction like Shaun of the Dead but with serious undertones. Movie really made me immerse to the story as the characters are rich and the little girl really sold her story the most. Realistic story telling and diverse characters really made it feel like their decisions all made sense. Trying to guess who is going to die next and how, really kept me glued to the screen.

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The Good: One of the advantages audiences like me enjoy when watching foreign films is that we usually don't know the actors the way they are known in their countries. So it helps the realism when we look at the screen and not see Brad Pitt fighting zombies. The zombies are fantastic in look and dynamism and how we learn their strengths and weaknesses through actual story telling and not exposition-dialogue. I Love the character arcs and how they make you despise some of the characters and then feel for them which conflicted me internally. Even minor characters have substance even if we meet them for a few seconds. Really great zombies in every facet, make-up, to acting, and stunts by the zombies were superb. Really can't predict what is going to happen from station to station or who would turn on whom. The underlying theme of looking out for others and not just yourself really enhances the film. 

The Bad: Subtitles will prevent some folks from watching this and that is too bad. In the third act, one scene gets kind of Hollywood and I didn't think it needed that particular element as the situation was already tense. Certain times I felt the pile of zombies would be too greater a force to restrain than is shown but it's only exaggerated a few times. The cause of the outbreak is never explained and made worse when we learn who was involved, and it lets you down when you never hear more about it. Some of the drama scenes (crying scenes) come across to sappy for me but I hear that is an element of Korean cinema. The third act has a scene that I felt didn't need but never hurts the payoff, it just gets a bit predictable and unrealistic, but it's brief.

The Ugly: Nothing. Even things like some minor dodgy CGI and some extended sappy moments were never enough to ruin the experience. 

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Final Verdict....5/5.... I enjoyed this because I take a train probably once a month and I always play terrorism scenarios or what would I do if something went wrong, but now I will think about a zombie outbreak and what would I do, whose life would I feel is worthy of me putting my own life at risk for, would it be a child, an elderly person, the guy that gave me a dirty look? This film was well paced, visually entertaining and very well acted; as the final minutes really conflicted me and my investment in the characters really pays off. A film that in someone else's hands would have probably gone straight to video. But the storytelling and visuals are excellent and elevate this from just being a movie about zombies on a train. The film gets better with every additional viewing and you catch things you totally miss during the first viewing.

Edited by Con
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Fido_le_muet

L

O

V

E

D

 

I

T

!!

 

Seriously ! One of the best zombie film of all times ! I had a blast and I wasn't even watching in ideal conditions ! 

Like often, I watched it while eating my lunch (yes I can enjoy my meal while watching tons of hemoglobine on screen but trust me I'm not weird). I watched a korean version with english subs but my subs file was kinda crap so I didn't have subs for the first 20 minutes and a couple times in the middle of the film. I probably missed a few tidbits of dialogue but I don't think they're hugely necessary in zombie movies. 

It starts slowly, we meet a delivery guy who's having a bad day. He has to go through a checkpoint cause there is an unexplained event ahead and hazmat guys need to decontamine his truck or something. Then he hits a deer, killing it. He goes on and the camera pans back to the animal... which comes back to life. We know it's a zombified deer from the hollow eyes and the way his body was shaking and creaking. The camera focus on the deer's eye and cuts. That's it, we're not supposed to know more. 

Then we cut t our main character, a workaholic guy in Seoul, divorced, who has a cute adorable daughter and lives at his mom's (I think). Immediately, that guy doesn't seem very nice. He seems to care only about his job and it's clear that his daughter would like to spend more time with her daddy. The girl is sad. She doesn't even feel like singing at school. In short, she's depressed. By the way, is it just me or do asian people look way more sad than other people ? Everytime that little girl was sad or crying I wanted to cry with her. Much more effective than caucasian actors. Or maybe she's just a very talented young actress ? Anyway, little girl is sad because her daddy is never home, she doesn't see her mom either cause she lives on the other side of the country. She has enough so she asks daddy to take her to Busan to visit her mom so she can spend time with her parents. And daddy accepts ! So off they go to the train station! Train trip, yoohoo ! What could go wrong. Zombie outbreak in a confined space :D 

All is fine, little girl is happy, they board the train. We get a bit of background context from screens throughout which show that something is definitely off. People gatherings, small riots... Just when the train is about to leave, an injured woman enters it. Uh oh, shit's about the hit the fan. The woman is clearly sick with something. She has a bad case of flu or has food poisoning because she doesn't look so good. We know she's gonna be our first human zombie pretty soon so the question I'm asking myself at this moment is : what kind of zombie ? 

There are two kinds of zombies

  • slow zombies, like in the classic zombie movies from George Romero or Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland or the Walking Dead show. This kind feel less scary because they are too slow and it's their numbers that make them dangerous. Numbers or confined spaces. So they could work in this movie cause there is nowhere to go and not much weapons to find. 
  • fast zombies, as seen in 28 Days/Weeks Later, World War Z or the Dawn of the Dead remake. They are usually more agressive and much scarier because they can run ! 

So which is it gonna be ? Our sick woman attracts the attention of a nearby attendant who rushes to help her. So we know that she's our first victim and after the sick girl dies and comes back alive seconds later, she attacks the attendant in the next wagon. She bites the attendant in the neck in a profusion of blood, classic zombie style and HOLY SHIT SHE IS FAST !!!! She jumps around the carriage with the soon to be dead victim in a surprisingly violent scene. Since the beginning of the film, we watch the korean people with their calmness, discipline, discretion... like we know asian people are in countries like Japan. So this level of violence and gore was kinda unexpected but welcomed as it contrast a lot with the korean society and their WOOOOOOOOOW THEY TURN FAST !!!! The attendant comes back to life IN SECONDS ! And she immediately starts to attack the people in the wagon. It's CHAOS !!! 

A minute later there are already a dozen zombies. People rush to the other side of the train to save their life and unaware people start watching scared voyagers go through their own wagon, not knowing what's up. But they soon know what's up cause these zombies are fast !!! They are fucking scary ! There's blood everywhere, people dying left and right. I love it :D 

Our main character is still kind of an asshole. after running for a bit with his adorable daughter to escape imminent death, he kinda locks a door in front of a couple with a pregnant woman, before finally opening it. The guy isn't happy with him and call him out on that. Later, they arrive at the next train station and decide to stop to seek refuge cause apparently there is a shelter in the main square. Our 'hero', following a tip from one of his acquaintance decides to ditch everyone else to go to another place where they won't be quarantined. Of course his plan quickly goes south when they discover that zombies are everywhere !!! Everyone rushes back to the train, and the pregnant woman's husband still waits for him when he is held back by a zombie. 

Not everyone makes it back of course and like in every zombie movie, the cast dies one by one. They are pretty forgetable characters and we only care about the 'hero', his kid, the pregnant woman and her husband. Now that they are 'safe' back in the train, things calm down for a bit. 'Hero' gets a call from his mother but she's calling to say goodbye before we hear her being killed by zombies. This was hard to watch, I felt really bad for the guy. 

Afterwards, the cast gets overrun by zombies and funny husband guy gets bit by a zombie while holding a door. He decides to sacrifice himself to save everyone one else (temporarily of course). It's always tough to see characters you like being killed off, especially when they have loved ones watching as they die. I can't help but put myself in their shoes. The pregnant woman must be devastated but she still finds the strenght to escape with 'hero'. Personnaly I think I would just freeze and be killed by the swarm of zombies... But I guess you never know until it happens :D 

On a side note, I laughed when the young baseball player calls his girlfriend who's in another wagon and cries like a little girl. I don't know why but he seemed ridiculous, calling his GF in a moment like this. Still I can relate and if it was me in his position, I'd probably have a similar reaction if I heard my loved one over the phone thinking she would most likely be dead. 

Then our small group of survivors regroup with a larger one in another wagon but they are not happy to see them, thinking they're infected. They go out of their way to block the door, preventing them to enter, without thinking twice about killing them in the process. Of course they make it in the carriage and that scene shows how quick people turn against each other in dire situation like this. It's scary cause I think it would most likely be what happens if a devastating event were to happen. The larger group, led by a huge asshole, some CEO of whatever company (the train company maybe ?) tell our heroes to GTFO and leave them alone so that's what they do. Unforunately for them, they are immediately overrun and they all die. All except the huge asshole and a train attendant. Soon enough, the huge asshole pushes the attendant into the zombies to create a diversion and escape the train who has now stopped because the tracks are blocked. Our heroes and the conductor manage to escape as well. The conductor finds another train to keep going but he goes to help the huge asshole who sprained his ankle. But of course when the conductor arrives to help him, that turd once again uses him to escape the zombies and the conductor is killed. 

'Hero', pregnant woman and adorable girl manage to board the new train as well. Before that, baseball player and his GF died when the huge asshole, brought a zombie with him who bit the girl's leg. A devastated baseball player kinda let himself be killed by his quickly resurrected girlfriend. Bummer. 

Now we reach the climax. 'hero' enters the locomotive and finds the huge asshole infected ! He only has seconds before turning into a zombie and a fight erupts between the two. 'Hero' sends him off the train but he is bitten during the fight and slowly starts to turn. Follows the saddest scene I've seen in a long time. He locks up his daughter and the pregnant woman in the locomotive, says goodbye to his daughter, knowing he'll never see her again and leaves. Honestly, the screams of that little girl were horrible. They carried so much pain and despair that I felt really bad and it was really painful to watch. The crying and the creaming. Very intense. 'Hero' goes to the end of the train and realises that he missed all the most important stuff in life. Focused on his work, he didn't see his daughter grow up. He lost all this time and can never get it back. This is mixed with flashback to the daughter's birth, when she was just a few days old, in the arms of her daddy. These were the good times, the perfect times but he lost them because he was too obsessed with his job. Finally, just before turning, he jumps off the train, killing himself. That ending got me teary eyed. I didn't expect a zombie movie to make me feel this way. But Train to Busan, being an awesome action flick, also makes you think about this stuff, the priceless moments in life. I think it can also be interpretated as a critic of the korean/japanese relation to work. The way these societies see work as the most important thing there is. People being focused almost exclusively on their job, to the detriment of their family lives. Maybe there's something there. At least that how I interpret it. 

Anyway, I'm gonna finish here by saying that I had a blast during these 2 hours. Definitely on my top 5 best zombie films of all time. The confined setting made for some tense moments. The cast was great, I could easily relate with them and that adorable girl was the cutest and very talented. A couple drops of humor that landed perfectly, not too much, just what's needed to keep me on the edge of my seat. Kudos to the makeup artists. Those zombies were scary as hell. One thing I disliked was a couple times, there were swarms of zombie that looked like the waves of zombies in World War Z. and that is ridiculous. Doesn't work at all. It's just lame. But all the rest was pretty much perfect ! 

Thank you Korea ! 

9.5/10 !

 

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Con
2 hours ago, Fido_le_muet said:

Thank you Korea ! 9.5/10 !

Hell yeah!! Cant wait to break down your review with you. 

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Con

@Fido_le_muet I didn’t see you mention the ending. You end your review with Sok-Woo’s death. How did you feel about the ending? Z

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Fido_le_muet
Just now, Con said:

@Fido_le_muet I didn’t see you mention the ending. You end your review with Sok-Woo’s death. How did you feel about the ending? Z

I didn't think much about the ending. I mean the two survivors are a pregnant woman and the most adorable kid ever. They are pretty safe. They weren't gonna kill them. The movie is not that bleak. I did think the two girls would have been very very scared when they saw people running toward them in the dark of the tunnel. They must have thought they were zombies lol. 


 

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Spinnaker1981

You know, I thought the exact same thing! When they see them running they will be scared as hell! 

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