Director Yeon Sang-ho tries to inject the dystopia genre into this zombie franchise but it doesn't quite work.
The sequel to 2016’s zombie action hit, Train To Busan, pulled in S$147,000 in ticket sales in a single day when it opened in cinemas yesterday (15 July).
Director Yeon Sang-ho's follow-up to the surprise zombie hit has certainly upped the ante with the undead.
Yeon Sang-ho teased that 'Peninsula' will be a much bigger zombie thriller than its 2016 predecessor.
If we're to be honest, Western horror films don't quite scare us in that sort of intimate, personal way that Asian ones do.
Hollywood has definitely perfected the art of the superhero movie (just compare “Darna” to “Wonder Woman”), but when it comes to horror, Asian films are still king. Western horror movies focus on the shock factor and the special effects, but Asian films usually hit too close to home, by presenting horrific situations in everyday contexts. If you’re tired of looking at pumpkins and witches on broomsticks for Halloween, here are 10 Asian horror films that will foster that scary Halloween mood without a single mention of “Trick or Treat!” You won’t dare to switch off your lights after watching these films, no matter how high your electricity bill is.
“The Battleship Island” is a South Korean war drama in Korean and Japanese. The film is set in World War II, and focuses on the events on Hashima Island (nicknamed Battleship Island), a Japanese island with a forced labour camp made up mostly of Koreans. “The Battleship Island” is direct and written by Ryoo Seung-wan.
After acting in 2016’s biggest Korean blockbuster “Train to Busan”, he’s taking the lead role in “Goblin” – the TV series that might be the biggest Korean drama of 2017. It is no wonder that 37-year-old Gong Yoo has become the face of his country’s – or the whole of Asia’s – movie and television entertainment industry. Gong Yoo was one of many A-list Korean actors who turned down the role, with some stating reasons such as being uncomfortable with shaving their heads, not wanting to stay abroad for a long period of time, and filming a pre-produced drama (drama productions in Korea are filmed concurrently during broadcasting). Gong Yoo contributed his singing voice to the romantic comedy “Big”, where he starred opposite Lee Min-jung and Miss A’s Suzy.
As suspected, French major Gaumont has scored a deal for English-language remake rights to South Korean zombie blockbuster <em>Train to Busan, </em>beating out big Hollywood players who were circling the project. I’m hearing the acquisition wasn't cheap – in the seven figures–, thanks to a bidding war sparked by the film's major success on its home turf: The film opened in South Korea on July 22 and generated $38.8M in its first five days of play, an all-time record at the Korean…
Secret ending? No.Running time: 92 minutes (~ 1.5 hours)“Seoul Station” is an animated Korean zombie horror movie that’s the prequel to “Train to Busan”. It sees an estranged couple struggling to make their way to safety after a zombie outbreak erupts all around them. It features the voice talents of Ryu Seung-ryong (Suk-gyu), Shim Eun-kyung (Hye-sun), and Lee Joon (Ki-woong). It is rated NC-16"Seoul Station” is a shining example of how South Korea is technically proficient in creating animated features, but completely lacks the art design and vision to execute a good story. It has all the elements required to be a good animated film, and individually the elements work (except for the art direction, which is downright ugly). Yet it’s put together in such a patchwork manner that the end product is, at best, a watchable film. It’s no “Train to Busan” and its release now feels like a desperate attempt to cash in on its far superior sequel.HighlightsSome humour elements in an otherwise bleak showIt’s odd that there are comedic moments in a zombie movie, but it works well in the context of “Seoul Station”. It comes across as dark humour, but it’s also quite obvious that this is an unintentional effect. Nevertheless, it helps to give "Seoul Station” its own character, rather than just being a film that’s related to “Train to Busan”.LetdownUgly character designsThere’s no doubting that the animation quality in “Seoul Station” is top notch. But the art director has some of the ugliest character designs ever to grace the big screen. The problem is that the characters don’t look realistic either, which is usually the reason for ugly designs. This means that we’re watching a group of unrealistic, unappealing creatures prance around avoiding zombies, which defeats the purpose of watching anime (which is to see a romanticised view of the world).Inconsistent zombie mechanics with “Train to Busan”“Train to Busan” had pretty specific rules for its zombies. They don’t attack you if they don’t see you and infections are almost immediate. “Seoul Station” has zombies which act contrary to this, which doesn’t make sense. Why watch a movie about a different species of zombie when you’re here to specifically see the “Train to Busan” zombies in action? For all intents and purposes, “Seoul Station” is just another, unrelated zombie film that also happens to take place in Korea.No scares and no tensionThe zombies are not scary, chiefly because they don’t have that awkward gait they did in “Train to Busan” and they don’t come at you like tsunamis. These were the very elements that made the zombies horrifying then, and they’re not here. Instead, we get… close-ups of zombie faces. Random insertions of meaning and symbolismThe film plays out like a regular zombie apocalypse movie until the last Act, when it suddenly turns into a social commentary about the downtrodden in society. Suddenly the characters develop intense urges to make up for their childhood losses, and random Christian imagery pops up. It’s like they completed two thirds of the animation when the director suddenly realised he needed to add some symbolism into the film, and dumped it all in at the last minute. “Seoul Station” is a huge disappointment after the masterpiece that was “Train to Busan”.Should you watch this if it’s free? Yes.Should you watch this at weekday movie ticket prices? No.Score: 2.5/5“Seoul Station” opens in cinemas:- 29 September 2016 (Singapore)- 29 September 2016 (Malaysia)Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.
If you haven’t caught “Train to Busan” (seriously, why haven’t you?), you would be still be able to guess what sort of roles the main characters will take up in the film. This is because all zombie films have the same set of character archetypes, though they may come in different shapes and forms. Once you recognise these stereotypes, you’ll never watch a zombie movie the same way again.
“Train to Busan” is a Korean apocalyptic zombie thriller about a group of survivors who find themselves in a zombie apocalypse. It stars Gong Yoo (Seok-woo), Kim Su-an (Su-an), Jung Yu-mi (Seong-kyeong), Ma Dong-seok (Sang-hwa), Choi Woo-shik (Young-guk), Ahn So-hee (Jin-hee), Kim Eui-sung (Yong-suk). Plus it’s not as if Korea is famous for its vast library of zombie films.