Skip to main content

Train to Busan prequel SEOUL STATION review



The animated prequel to the surprise hit TRAIN TO BUSAN and the latest from director Yeon Sang-ho, SEOUL STATION establishes a franchise of films that continually turns the modern zombie movie on its head. While the tradition of social commentary in Zombie films has been around since their inception the sheer volume of undead films/shows/books/comics... has lead to fatigue and its hard to care about the message any of these properties might be exploring. I heard great things about TTB right from the get go but I had no interest. I was done with the genre and needed a break. Kind of like SKA in the mid 90's. I loved it in small doses because it felt special, but once it was everywhere, I needed to pump the breaks. Eventually, I gave into everyone's recommendations and watched TTB. I was floored. I'm fairly certain it was the first time a zombie film made me cry.

Continuing in a visual style director Yeon Sang-ho established in THE FAKE and THE KING OF PIGS, SEOUL STATION tells a separate story that takes place at the same time as TTB. While the film is described as a prequel, it feels more like a parallel, let's say it's a parallelquel.

A man sleeping in Seoul Station becomes a catalyst for the pandemonium in downtown Seoul; a zombie apocalypse. The rapidly spreading infection propels an authentic family drama, drawing mordant parallels to real-world social horrors.

The thing that makes both TTB and SEOUL STATION work is the amount of time Sang-ho spends on character work. He allows his characters to breathe. Most horror films are more concerned with scares and gags than emotion and empathy. The simple truth is when you are allowed to emotionally invest in the characters on screen, you care when the horrors of the film reveal themselves. The true mark of a great horror film, in my estimation, is if the film works without the horror. SEOUL STATION could easily remove the zombie angle and it would be an interesting "family" drama about regret and redemption.

If you have trepidation going in, that this is a cynical cash grab like the animated straight to VOD RESIDENT EVIL films, don't worry. You are in the hands of a competent filmmaker who chose to tell this story, this way. I would love to see further films set in this universe as  Sang-ho has breathed new life into this undead genre. I have to admit I kind of hate myself for ending this on such a stupid pun.



Order the film on iTunes here.



Seoul Station - Trailer from FilmRise on Vimeo.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

THE True Bromance Film Podcast - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Episode 208 - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

We like to keep up with the latest and greatest in the film universe so for this episode we're dialing up Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. In a world where superhero films saturate the market, can an animated feature distinguish itself from the pack?

MOVIES DISCUSSED THIS WEEK:

A Fistful of Dollars, The Favourite, Skyscraper, The Meg, RBG, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Searching, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse


NO ALTERNATIVE review

Depression is often marked by sadness, despair, and hopelessness. The sense that things will not get better is something most of us pass through at different points in our lives. But depression is something more than that. It’s not just a temporary feeling, it’s a debilitating emotional state that you can’t simply pull yourself out of. The angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration that come along with depression can isolate individuals suffering from this condition and push them deeper into their own thoughts. Everyone needs to be heard and sometimes those who can’t express themselves in traditional forms find their voice in art.
Edvard Munch wrestled with agoraphobia and frequently had hallucinations, one of which inspired THE SCREAM, a painting so iconic that even the most casual art enthusiast is familiar with the piece.  Sylvia Plath took a more direct approach with THE BELL JAR and laid out the details of her depression with brutal honesty. Briana Dickerson a white suburba…

Film Threat Presents launches at Comic Con with The Theta Girl

33 years after its premiere as the rogue, iconoclastic fanzine championing indie film, Film Threat is back. First as a website, FilmThreat.com, relaunched last year, and now as a distribution label, catering to the same demographic that loved the disruptive magazine so much during its print run between 1985 and 1997.

The first release, scheduled for September 18th, is the micro-budget indie horror film THE THETA GIRL.

THE THETA GIRL, a feature film produced by first-time filmmakers David Axe and Christopher Bickel, has been currently ravaging the film festival circuit and building a dedicated fanbase.

"I'm proud to screen for you the trailer for THE THETA GIRL, a film that warped my mind," said Film Threat's Chris Gore at his FUTURE INDIES YOU MUST SEE panel at San Diego Comic-Con. He went on, "This is the first film that we are releasing under our new 'Film Threat Presents' label. I think you can tell from this teaser, it's the type of film you wo…