Here are five reasons why Train to Busan is a new horror classic.
1. It Puts a New Spin on the Zombie Genre
Train to Busan joins the ranks of Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead and [Rec] in the pantheon of classic zombie films. I love the idea of “zombies on a train” and how director Sang-ho Yeon has created an almost self contained thriller. When I first heard about the idea I thought it was brilliantly simple and I knew I needed to watch it. Words cannot describe how much I loved the experience. Horror doesn’t really excite me anymore and Train to Busan was a thrillingly original experience.
2. It Features the Best Zombies Since ’28 Days Later’
Sidenote: I know the 28 Days Later “zombies” are technically just rage infected. However, I still consider them zombies.
What I love about the zombies in Train to Busan is how consistent they are. Their rules don’t change and I love how new wrinkles are added to them throughout the film. Also, I love how their bodies twist, turn and crack as they begin their turn into an undead killing machine. They are definitely the scariest zombies since 28 Days Later.
3. The Action Set Pieces Are Terrifying
One of my favorite set pieces of 2016 involved a bunch of unsuspecting travelers coming across hundreds of ravaging zombies in a train station. It is visceral, intense and beautifully urgent. It is a massive scene that went out of its way to create a new classic moment in horror. I can’t get over the visual of terrified humans trying to escape zombies by running up an escalator that is going down.
4. You Like the Characters
My favorite character in Train to Busan is Sang Hwa (Dong-seok Ma). The dude is a good man who also happens to be a big time bruiser. The majority of my favorite moments involve Sang Hwa busting up zombies and calling out Seok Woo (Yoo Gong) for his selfishness. What makes Train to Busan so tough to watch is how totally unsparing it is. Many people you like meet a terrible end and you never really see it coming. I love how it doesn’t pull punches and plays believably (for a zombie film) in regards to an actual apocalypse.
5. Critics, Audiences and Directors Love It.
Train to Busan is a rare horror film that has united both critics and audiences. It currently has a 96% critic rating on 89% audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Also, it has a solid 7.5 score on IMDb and 72% score on Metacritic. When you combine all the scores together it averages out to a legit 83%. Horror movies rarely do so well with both critics and audiences. Also, a lot of great directors/writers are rallying behind it and tweeting their love about it. Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz), Stephen King and Mike Flanagan (Hush, Absentia) love it!