Genre Grandeur October Finale – Train to Busan (2016) – Movie Reviews 101

For this month’s final review for Genre Grandeur – Zombie Films, here’s a review of Train to Busan (2016) by

In case you missed any of the reviews, here’s a recap:

  1.  Kill Zombie! (2012) – Darren
  2.  Doghouse (2009) – Vinnie
  3.  King of the Zombies (1940) – Quiggy
  4.  Rasputin and the Empress (1932) – Tiffany
  5.  It Stains the Sands Red (2016) – Keith
  6.  Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island (1998) – Steven
  7.  Teenage Zombies (1960) – Quiggy
  8.  Dawn of the Dead (2004) – Rob
  9.  Train to Busan (2016) – Darren

In addition, I watched and reviewed 7 movies for my companion series Genre Guesstimation.  One of them will now be considered among my favorites of the genre.

  1. World War Z (2013)
  2. Dead Snow (2009)
  3. *Frankenstein (1931)
  4. Pontypool (2008)
  5. Re-Animator (1985)
  6. The Serpent and The Rainbow (1988)
  7. 28 Weeks Later (2007)

Thanks again to Darren of Movie Reviews 101 for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Debbie at Moon in Gemini. and it is Movies About Musicians

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of Nov by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Debbie!

Let’s see what Darren thought of this movie:


Director: Sang-ho Yeon

Writer: Joo-Suk Park, Sang-ho Yeon (Screenplay)

Starring: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma, Su-an Kim, Eui-sung Kim, Woo0sik Choi, Sohee


Plot: While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Tagline –
Life-or-death survival begins

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Simply Brilliant


Story: Train to Busan starts when single minded divorced businessman Seok-woo (Gong) lets down his daughter once again after putting work first, Soo-an (Kim) wants to go home to her mother leaving Seok-woo no choice but to escort her from Seoul to Busan by train.

On the train he waits for what should be a routine journey, until a late passenger arrives, on that has been bitten, soon the train get overrun by zombies, with Seok-woo needing to work with Sang-hwa (Ma) who is with his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong (Jung) and the rest of the passengers to survive the journey.


Thoughts on Train to Busan


Characters – Seok-woo has put his career before his family and it has cost him, he has lost his wife and his daughter feels distant from him, wanting to be with her mother, in a reluctant acceptance of his personal failures he is transporting his daughter to his ex-wife’s home in Busan. He starts this film being very selfish, only looking out for his daughter to whom he doesn’t give his full attention to, over the course of the film he will go on an arc that will show him just how important working with others can be. Sang-hwa is the next stand out character, he is a tough guy who is waiting for his wife to give birth, well on route with her, he will not let anybody put her in danger including Seok-woo, he must learn to trust other people if they are to make it out alive, he will kick, punch and batter any zombie that gets in his way. Seong-kyeong is the pregnant wife that is trying to show Sang the human side to his strength, pushing him to help the other passengers in need. She gives them hope in the unlikely situation. Soo-an is the daughter that doesn’t want to be with her father anymore, she is put through the zombie outbreak seeing her father battle to save her even though she turns to Seong for comfort on the journey. A mention must go to the character Yon-Suk who will do anything to survive and doesn’t care how many people he sacrifices for his own survival, he easily becomes the best villain in any zombie.

PerformancesYoo Gong gives a brilliant performance in the leading role, we see so much emotion through his eyes as the emotions he goes through to save his daughter become clear. Dong-Seok Ma is easily the performer you want to see most because of how brutal he is when it comes to dealing with the zombies. Yu-mi jung and Su-an Kim are great in their roles, though they never deal with the combat.

StoryThe story follows one man who has accepted the fact that he has let his daughter down and is travelling with her to take her to her mother’s when they find themselves in the middle of a zombie outbreak with the train taking them across the country in hope of finding safety. The zombie genre has been done plenty of times and when it comes to the story it is always difficult to make anything that stands out over the unlikely hero needing to find safety usually meeting people along the way who help them get to their destination, this story does follow this, but where this one does standout in its own way, is by making it have supporting characters we can root for and even hate depending on who we are talking about. Each character seems to go on their own arc through the event showing us just what people will go through when it becomes a life or death situation.

Action/HorrorThe action in this film is running from the zombies, fighting the zombies each hit is filled with the brutality, each chase will leave you on edge about who will survive. The horror in the film is knowing that the next stop that anyone will have could be their last, never knowing if the next station is overrun or not.

SettingsThe film takes place on a train, well the title could tell you all that, by confining the action to the train we see how the passengers who are not infected must go through the ones that are for safety which only adds to the tension created through the film.

Special EffectsThe special effects in the film are brilliant for the most part, the pure scale of certain zombie scenes are breath taking, then you add in the window bursting moments which will be ones you will become shocked to see the number pouring through the newly created hole.

Scene of the Movie –
Travelling through the train.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The opening scene seems out of place.

Final Thoughts This is easily one of the best if not the best zombie film you will ever see, it keeps you on the edge of your seat and creation emotional investment towards the characters in the film.


Overall: Must Watch

Rating 10/10




Movie Reviews 101

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