Train to Busan (2016)
One of the better known Korean horror flicks, zombie drama Train to Busan made international waves when it premiered in 2016, and for good reason. The action horror was the most exciting and emotionally engaging the zombie drama had been in a long time—World War Z wishes it could be this movie. The zombies in the film are properly scary: a rabid force of nature. Those infected turn fast, and don’t get any slower in their changed form, making for a literal race to presumed safety for the characters who happened to be on this train.
Train to Busan follows fund manager and dead beat dad Seo Seok-woo (Squid Game‘s Gong Yoo!) as he and his daughter try to escape the zombie apocalypse on a high-speed bullet train bound for Busan from Seoul. Busan, the second-largest city in Korea, has cultural significance, as it was one of only two cities (along with Daegu) not captured by the North Korean army within the first three months of the Korean war. Because of this, refugees fled to the city, which also served as a temporary capital of the Republic of Korea. Here, Busan serves a similar purpose, as the peninsula is overrun by the zombie infection, from north to south.
Train to Busan would spur a not-as-good standalone sequel, Peninsula, but fans of the original film have Hellbound—a supernatural horror series from Train to Busan writer-director Yeon Sang-ho, out on Netflix in November—to look forward to. In the meantime, if you’re a fan of the zombie genre and haven’t seen Train to Busan, don’t walk, run (because these zombies are very fast) to a nearby streaming service. – KB
The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019)
An excellent choice for those of you who like your gory movies wayyyy more action-packed, Lee Won-tae’s The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil has the skills (and thrills) to pay the bills.
The critically acclaimed film tells the story of three men whose lives are set on a collision course after two of them become obsessed with eliminating the third – a twisted serial killer already responsible for a handful of local slayings. Gangster Jang Dong-soo (Eternals star Ma Dong-seok) has already had a brutal run-in with the killer that has been dismissed as a rival gang attack, but he’s quickly convinced by rookie cop Jung Tae-suk (Kim Mu-yeol) that he’s just the latest in a long line of intended victims.
The duo agree to team up and combine their efforts to hunt down the murderer, but it’s a partnership that keeps violently disintegrating because they’re both so determined to stick to their own plans of attack: the gangster wants to destroy the killer with his bare hands, while the cop just wants to lock him up and get a promotion.
The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat as allegiances sway, but if there’s one thing you’ll be all-in on, it’s that the vicious Devil of the piece must be stopped one way or another. – KH
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