Netflix Sunday Time Dumps: Train to Busan

Netflix Sunday Time Dumps

Netflix can be a treasure trove of sometimes solid, sometimes humorously bad movies or TV shows — and this is especially true for science fiction content. With Netflix Sunday Time Dumps, I’m making it my duty to shine a light on whatever unique content I stumble across in my Netflix wanderings.

Fresh off of last week’s retro pic, The Wraith, we ditch the suped-up car of destruction and hop aboard a locomotive of death. This week’s flick: Train to Busan.

Train To Busan

Now, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick to undeath of the zombie genre. The Walking Dead has always been a mediocre excuse to put some zombie porn on primetime cable TV, and although I was genuinely interested in Fear The Walking Dead‘s first season, I have no compulsion to go back for more.

But just when I thought the last thing I needed was a train filled with more zombies, Train to Busan grabbed me by the booboos and didn’t let go until it pulled into the titular station with a massive wake of dead — and undead — left in its wake.

Train To Busan

Make no mistake, this movie is balls-to-the-wall amazing — and gruesome as fuck. Think Snowpiercer with zombies, though this description does a grave disservice because the actual movie brings so many of its own ideas to the table. The comparison is apt simply because both movies take place on moving trains that are probably better off not stopping.

Or at least it would seem so at the outset. But I digress.

Train to Busan centers around a busy business dad who is too busy with business to attend to his precocious, incredibly adorable daughter (who, by the way, has some serious acting chops despite her age). The dad decides to take her to see their mother in Busan. It was never really clear to me why she wound up with her father and not her mother considering how inattentive this guy is, but maybe I just missed that part.

Train To Busan

Along the way, the tension slowly amplifies in the background as the main cast is introduced in succession. And once the train starts and death slips aboard unnoticed, it’s only a dread-inducing amount of time before shit pops off proper.

Train to Busan excels at showing us a type of zombie far removed from the shambling, moaning type. Think 28 Days/Weeks Later but with just a pinch of Romero’s idiot zombie thrown in.

The gore is visceral and disgusting; the effects, although not seamless, are impressive. The scope of the invasion — if invasion is what you’d call this — grows more ambitious and volatile with each new wave of reanimated Korean monstrosities.

Train To Busan

Which brings me to another highlight of this film: the actual transformation and reanimation is handled really well, keeping things relatively low key. There is a haunting moment before someone goes full feral and loses all humanity. And when the transformation is complete — especially for one passenger in particular — the way the body writhes, settles, and then rises is goddamn creepy.

I could go on and on about how great Train to Busan  is, but it’s probably best to secure your boarding pass for yourself and strap in for one helluva ride. This movie shows there is still some life left in the zombie genre, though sometimes you need to take a journey to get to it.

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