The Great Wall of Horror: Train to Busan (2016)


In this installment of The Great Wall of Horror, I check out the 2016 South Korean release of Train to Busan and its resurgence in the news.

Thanks for returning to The Great Wall of Horror. Last time we explored the slapstick Hong Kong horror movie, Spooky Spooky and saw what happened when ghosts haunt the shores and swamps of a rural village on the island.

Now, on this trip, we are trekking down to South Korea for a film that shambled its way back into the news front-lines in the past few days. I’m talking about the incomparable 2016 release, Train to Busan.

I am the first to admit, I’m a little bit addicted to Korean dramas. While I love Japanese and Chinese dramas as well, I love the formula and production value of Korean dramas, so the face of Gong Yoo is extremely familiar to me. He is the protagonist in one of the most popular romantic comedy kdramas of all time, Coffee Prince. So, imagine how excited I was to see that handsome hunk of man in the lead of a zombie flick. Also imagine that it wasn’t as pleasant as Coffee Prince.

Image courtesy of Next Entertainment World/ Well Go Entertainment

Train to Busan was directed by Yeon Sang-Ho and written by Yeon and Park Joo-Suk. It stars the previously mention Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-Mi, Ma Dong-Seok, Kim Su-An, Kim Eui-Sung and Choi Woo-Sik.

It follows the story of work obsessed father (Gong) who is taking his daughter (Su-An) to her mother in Busan. They have to take a super fast train from Seoul to Busan (uh oh, there’s the title) but at the start of their journey, a zombie virus breaks out and he fights to save his and his daughter’s life and get her to the safe zone in Busan.

When I first saw this movie, my only knowledge of Korean entertainment was the goofy and silly dramas I had watched in the past, so when I saw Train to Busan, it was a punch in the gut. I didn’t anticipate the seriousness, the amazing effects, the no holds barred storyline and the fast pace of this movie.

Image courtesy of Next Entertainment World/ Well Go Entertainment

It was so intense, devastating and truly scary. It affected me so much, I haven’t been able to watch it again since. There’s only one other movie that bothered me that much and it was Adam Green’s Frozen (f*%&#ing wolves, man). And can we take a minute to appreciate the acting skills of Su-An?? That little girl deserves an Oscar for her performance in this movie.

Do I recommend this movie given how disturbing and heartbreaking it is? Hell yes, I do. That just means that Train to Busan did its job. Its success spawned a just as terrifying animated prequel, Seoul Station available to watch on Shudder, and according to AllKPop, Yeon has confirmed he is returning for a Train to Busan sequel that is set to start filming in 2019 and will show the rest of the Korean Peninsula affected by the zombie virus. While no cast has been established yet for Train to Busan 2, I can’t help but be excited for what comes next.

Next. The Great Wall of Horror: Spooky Spooky (1988). dark

What movie do you think I should cover next on The Great Wall of Horror? Let me know in the comments!