Taking a break from the Big Apple to spend some quality time with my family in Florida. To celebrate my homecoming, my brother introduced me to Train to Busan, a fantastic South Korean zombie thriller—and even if you think that this particular sub-genre belongs in a permanent grave, director Yeon Sang-ho’s effort is still worth seeing, thanks to its claustrophobic setting, creative set pieces, and compelling characters.
The protagonist, a cutthroat fund manager, finds himself trapped on the titular train with his young, neglected daughter in the midst of an undead uprising. While he initially reacts to the situation with the same cold ruthlessness that has brought him financial success, the kindness of strangers eventually inspires him to reevaluate his selfish attitude. His character arc—especially the gradual evolution of his relationship with his little girl—actually moved me to tears several times; I can’t remember the last horror movie I saw that provoked such a raw emotional response.
[Originally written April 12, 2017.]