Zombie movies have been a huge part of the horror genre for a long time, but the last decade has seen more undead TV and movies than ever before. The huge success of The Walking Dead brought flesh-eating zombies into the mainstream, but with zombies seemingly everywhere, it’s been increasingly difficult for filmmakers to find something interesting and new to do with the undead.
But that’s not to say there aren’t still inventive and successful zombie films being made, and 2016’s Train to Busan is one of the best recent examples. It was directed by South Korean filmmaker Yeon Sang-ho, and was a massive hit in his homeland, where it became the highest-grossing film of 2016. It currently stands as the 14th most successful South Korean movie of all time, and in the US, it was released to rave reviews and can now be found on Netflix.
Train to Busan’s basic set-up is familiar–a biological leak from a factory causes an infection that turns people into running, snarling, flesh-eating zombies. As the title suggests, the action is set almost entirely on a high-speed train, allowing Sang-ho to create some exciting, scary, and inventive horror sequences. The relentless pace and thrilling action were matched by an impressive level of characterization, with the cast of characters you actually care about and some moments of genuine emotional power.
An animated prequel titled Seoul Station was released in 2017, and later this year, the much-anticipated live-action sequel Peninsula arrives. From the trailers released so far, it looks like this follow-up will expand the scope of the first movie, and we can expect it to be every bit as exciting, gory, and action-packed as its predecessor. So while we wait for Peninsula to arrive, you can watch the original Train to Busan on Netflix, and check out our ranking of the movie’s wildest, scariest, and craziest scenes.
12. The first victim
The first zombie attack happens off-screen, but the build-up to it is masterful. A seemingly ill woman has boarded the train, and as the attendant attempts to get her radio to work, the woman stands up at an alarming angle behind her. Breakfast time!
11. Attendant attack
Next time we see the attendant–literally two minutes later–she’s become a blood-crazed zombie. The first proper attack is sudden and scary, as the attendant chows down on her colleague in the next carriage. We see just how quickly victims become infected and transform into savage creatures.
10. Jong-gil has enough
Jong-gil, devastated by the loss of her sister, has had enough of the in-fighting and selfish behavior of her fellow passengers. She lets the zombies in to massacre the entire carriage, and Sang-ho captures the carnage with a stylish slow-motion tracking shot through the mayhem.
9. Flaming locomotive
As the train sits stationary at East Daegu station, a flaming, out-of-control locomotive suddenly appears around the bend, speeding towards it. It’s one of the most striking shots in the movie.
8. Through the window
As the passengers race back to board the train at Daejeon station, a group of zombies on a bridge above the train crash through the window, landing on the roof of the train and tumbling off onto the platform to attack again.
7. Farewell to Yong-Suk
Yong-Suk is Train to Busan’s human villain. The selfish businessman eventually gets his comeuppance as he is attacked by zombies as he races towards the new train at East Daegu station, leaving a helpful conductor to die in the process. Yong-Suk’s refusal to accept that he is infected adds a darkly comic touch to his final scene.
6. On the rack
This incredibly tense sequence sees the heroes continue their journey through the train by using the darkness provided by a tunnel and the luggage racks above the seats to slowly move down the carriage without being seen by zombies.
5. Never let go
As Su-an and Seong-kyeong race away from East Daegu station on a locomotive, dozens of zombies chase them up the tracks. The creatures grab onto the train, then to each other, as they are pulled along, forming a huge, writhing, snarling mass.
4. Sang-hwa’s last stand
As well as delivering wild zombie action, Train to Busan packs an emotional punch. The scene in which Sang-hwa sacrifices himself by holding off a swarm of zombies to allow his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong to escape is an extremely powerful moment.
3. Falling zombies
One of the most memorable shots in the movie comes from some viral footage that one character watches on his phone, showing the spread of the zombie virus throughout South Korea. A group of skateboarding kids look up to see helicopters flying overhead, with dozens of zombies clinging onto them. The undead fall to the ground, then jump up and start chasing the unlucky skaters.
2. Through the carriage
Seok-woo, Sang-hwa, and Yong-guk make the brave decision to fight their way down the train to get back to their loved ones. They have no weapons beyond a single baseball bat, so strap up their arms to protect them from bites and head into the zombie-packed carriage. What follows is an exhilarating scene as the trio punch and kick their way down the aisle.
1. Escalator mayhem
While the vast majority of Train to Busan is set onboard the train, the movie’s most exciting sequence takes place in Daejeon station. The passengers disembark from the train and head into the eerily quiet station. The tension builds to the moment where the main characters descend on an escalator, only to see dozens of infected and ravenous soldiers at the bottom, who start heading towards them in a terrifying, snarling group.
Source: Game Spot Mashup