Back to some Halloween-y horror now, and this time we head all the way east to South Korea. As you’re probably aware by now, my girlfriend and I are big fans of Korean cinema, so we were super excited to hear that there would be a new Korean horror released in the year of the ‘Rona.
#Alive is the feature film directorial debut of Il Cho, starring Burning‘s supremely talented Yoo Ah-in. In a world now ravaged by zombies in post-apocalyptic Gunsan (why not – this is 2020 after all), Oh Joon-wo sits in his apartment peacefully unaware of what’s going on outside. When he finally realises that there’s no way he can leave his home, he recruits the help of a stranger on a balcony opposite his. The pair of them then team up in an attempt to reach some sort of refuge.
Man, Korea really knows how to do a zombie movie, huh? Whilst this does not have Train To Busan levels of greatness, it’s a fresh take on an overplayed post-apocalyptic trope.
Yoo Ah-in has the right amount of charisma to carry the weight of this movie on his shoulders; he’s so charming and goofy that rooting for him is inevitable. And what an actor he is. He’s proving himself to be one of Korea’s biggest upcoming stars, that’s for sure.
As expected, the special effects make up is on point. Less expected however – at least from me – was the brilliant soundtrack. There’s a mixture of original music composition and popular Korean music here that really works to suck you in. And don’t worry if you’re not a fan of subtitles: there’s very little dialogue in this anyway, and the director really works to show you the story using imagery rather than words.
Furthermore, movies like this always seem to have a disappointing ending. To be honest, I believe that #Alive chose the best way to end things, and it may not be exactly how you were expecting.
Sure, there are parts to this that are less exciting than others, but the film starts high octane and ends in the same way. Some critics have been, well, critical of this, but it’s pure entertainment if you ask me.
#Alive is available to stream on Netflix in the UK.
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