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Trivia / Goofs
Summary / Analysis
Times of India
Seok Woo (Yoo Gong) tries to balance his demanding job while dealing with his young daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim), who prefers to be with Woo’s estranged wife instead. Giving in to a request for her birthday, the duo head out to meet Soo-an’s mother in Busan. But a stray passenger manages to stumble aboard, spreading chaos and mayhem as a rabid virus turns the helpless commuters into zombies, leaving Seok Woo and Soo-an to fend for their lives.
Modern zombie movies are usually associated with mindless gore, bucket loads of CGI and tedious scare tactics that can be spotted a mile away by the average horror fan. Rarely would one expect to find themselves immersed in a gripping tale of human relationships and a character study on how people react to dire circumstances.
The setup appears to be standard fare with the protagonist Seok Woo, trying to connect with his young daughter Soo-an, as his career doesn’t permit much time for family. When the two of them set off for Busan, it's only a matter of time before the seemingly innocuous train ride turns into a matter of life and death. However, South Korean writer and director Sang-ho Yeon uses the claustrophobic setting of the train to his advantage, turning it into a riveting nightmare. Even when the story briefly steps off the tracks, the action continues to be gripping. This is largely due to the narrative extending beyond the two main characters, as the secondary characters tell their own individual stories, even taking precedence at crucial moments. This compels the audience to be emotionally invested in them, and their fates have a significant impact on the overall plot.
Resorting to mostly practical effects helps maintain a degree of realism that serves the movie well and yet, the inevitable violence isn't nauseating. Combined with cinematography that Hollywood should learn from (no shaky camerawork here), the plot deftly moves past some genre tropes by posing moral questions on what distinguishes humans from animals. Director Sang-ho Yeon coaxes restrained performances from the talented cast which allows the eventual melodramatic climax to hit home without being too hard to digest. This combination makes ‘Train to Busan ’a thoroughly enjoyable, and occasionally thought-provoking experience, making it a must-watch for horror fans!
Ahn So-hee who play the character Jin-hee is an ex-member of the famous K-POP group Wonder Girls.
Train to Busan became the first South Korean film to cross the $1 million mark at the Singapore box office.
Yeon Sang-ho made an animation film 'Seoul station' which is the prequel to 'Train to Busan'. The events in Seoul station take place one day prior to the events in 'Train to Busan.'
Seok-woo, a fund manager by profession, isnât able to spend quality time with his daughter, Su-an. On the eve of her birthday he plans to visit his separated wife in Busan to make it up to Su-an. Their co-passengers on board the Korean High-speed rail from Seoul to Busan include people from different walks of life â a CEO, a husband and pregnant wife, a group of high school kids, a couple of elderly sisters and a homeless man.
The train departs and the journey starts with the arrival of a woman who doesnât seem normal at the first glance. With a bite wound on her leg, she definitely seems infected by the zombies. Immediately this woman turns into a zombie too. Seeing her, a passing female attendant tries to help her but the woman attacks her too. Soon this zombie infection starts spreading over to the other travellers. The first infected of the lot being the baseball team. But two of the baseball players, Yong-guk, his girlfriend Jin-hee along with two other students save themselves by speeding towards a front car. Before long, the news broadcast about the zombies spreads far and wide throughout the cities in Korea.
The next stop for the train is Daejeon, a town placed under military confinement, but it seems deserted by the looks of it. When the passengers try to get off the train, they realise the military personnel have been turned into zombies too. With no other option left, the passengers go back to boarding the infected train, but the zombies attack them there. Seong-kyeong, In-gil and the homeless man try to stay safe into a bathroom with Su-an. Looking at the dire situation, the conductor swiftly restarts the train to head to Busan.
Seok-Woo takes Sang-hwa and Yong-guk with him to find his daughter who is missing from her seat in the train. But he is chased by a group of passengers who are infected. Yon-suk and other survivors had locked the car door behind them to prevent the zombies from entering.
Seok-Woo and Sang-hwa try hard to keep them away while Yong-guk tries to break the locked door to stay safe. Meanwhile, Sang-hwa is infected and before he turns into a zombie completely, he gives his wifeâs responsibility to Seok-Woo. One of the two sisetrs, In-gil sacrifices herself and turns into a zombie to buy more time for fellow passengers. However this completely upsets Jong-gil. Seok-woo thinks Yon-suk is responsible for Sang-hwa and In-gil's deaths because he refused them entry. But Yon-suk insists Seok-woo was affected by the blood splattered over his clothes.
Just then, Jong-gil sees In-gil as a zombie, blames fellow passengers for being selfish and angrily opens the door for the infected ones to enter and kill the passengers. But Yon-suk and an attendant are saved as they take shelter in one of the restrooms. Seok-woo learns that Busan is safe with a call from his employee. But he learns that one of their projects is responsible for the outbreak. There is an unexpected halt for the train as the rail track is blocked at East Daegu station. They find another train to escape but are attacked immediately. Yon-Suk throws the attendant and Jin-hee towards the zombies to avoid their attack.
Jin-hee is completely infected by now and bites Yong-suk who was actually trying to comfort her. After a huge ordeal, Yon-suk is saved from the zombies as the conductor finds and activates a locomotive on another track. By then Yon-suk is also infected and leaves the conductor to be consumed. While Seok-woo, Su-an and Seong-kyeong successfully board the locomotive, the homeless man sacrifices his life to save other passengers. But they see Yon-suk turning into a zombie and Seok-woo tries to fight but he also gets bitten and throws Yon-suk off the train. Seok-woo pleads Seong-kyeong to take care of his daughter and commits suicide by falling off the train to prevent others from getting bitten by him.
Finally, there are two survivors at the end of the blocked tunnel who walk through it and are spotted by soldiers. The soldiers question if they are survivors or zombies as the vision isnât too clear. But just when they are about to fire, they hear Su-an singing. She continues to sing while they both are rescued from this unforgettable journey on the train to Busan.