Train to Busan

Train to Busan (Korean부산행; Hanja釜山行; RRBusanhaeng; lit. To Busan) is a 2016 South Korean action horror film[4] directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, Ma Dong-seok, Kim Su-an, Choi Woo-shik, Ahn So-hee and Kim Eui-sung.[5] The film mostly takes place on a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks out in the country and threatens the safety of the passengers.

Train to Busan
Train to Busan.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Revised RomanizationBusanhaeng
Directed byYeon Sang-ho
Written byPark Joo-suk
Produced by
  • Lee Dong-ha
CinematographyLee Hyung-deok
Edited byYang Jin-mo
Music byJang Young-gyu
Distributed byNext Entertainment World
Release dates
  • 13 May 2016 (2016-05-13) (Cannes)
  • 20 July 2016 (2016-07-20) (South Korea)
Running time
118 minutes[1]
CountrySouth Korea
Budget$8.5 million[2]
Box office$98.5 million[3]

The film premiered in the Midnight Screenings section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on 13 May.[6][7][8][9] On 7 August, the film set a record as the first Korean film of 2016 to break the audience record of over 10 million theatergoers.[10][11] The film serves as a reunion for Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi, who both starred in the 2011 film The Crucible. A sequel, Peninsula, was released in South Korea on July 15, 2020.


Fund manager Seok-woo is a cynical workaholic and divorced father of his daughter Su-an, who wants to spend her birthday with her mother in Busan. Seok-woo sees a video of Su-an attempting to sing "Aloha ʻOe" at her singing recital and succumbing to stage fright as a result of his absence. Overcome with guilt, he decides to grant Su-An's birthday wish. The next day, they board the KTX 101 at Seoul Station, en route to Busan. Other passengers include Sang-hwa and his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong, COO Yon-suk, a high school baseball team including Yong-guk and his cheerleader girlfriend Jin-hee, elderly sisters In-gil and Jong-gil, train attendant Ki-chul, and a traumatized homeless stowaway hiding in the bathroom. As the train departs, an ill young woman runs onto the train unnoticed. She turns into a zombie and attacks a train attendant, who also turns. The infection spreads rapidly throughout the train.

The group escapes to another car and locks the doors. Internet reports and phone calls make it known that an epidemic is spreading southward across the country. After the train stops at Daejeon Station, the surviving passengers find the city overrun by zombies and hastily retreat back to the train, splitting up into different train cars in the ensuing chaos. Seok-woo learns by phone that his company is indirectly involved in the disaster. The military establishes a quarantine zone near Busan, to which the engineer sets a course. Seok-woo, Sang-hwa and Yong-guk - who have become separated from their loved ones - fight their way to where Su-an and Seong-kyeong are hiding with In-gil and the homeless man. Once regrouped, they struggle through the zombie horde to the front train car - where the rest of the passengers are sheltered. At the prompting of Yon-suk and Ki-chul, the passengers prevent the survivors from entering, fearing that they are infected. Sang-hwa sacrifices himself to give the others time to force open the door and enter the car, but In-gil is killed. Yon-suk and the passengers demand that the survivors isolate themselves in the front vestibule. However, Jong-gil – disgusted at the passengers and despairing for the loss of her sister – deliberately opens the other door and allows the zombies to enter and kill the rest of the car's passengers. Yon-suk and Ki-chul escape by hiding in the bathroom.

A blocked track at the East Daegu train station forces the survivors to stop and search for another train. Yon-suk escapes after pushing Ki-chul into the zombies, then later does the same with Jin-hee when they run into each other on the tracks. Heartbroken, Yong-guk stays with Jin-hee until she turns and kills him. The train conductor starts a locomotive on another track, but is also thrown to the zombies while trying to save an injured Yon-suk. A flaming locomotive derails and traps the remaining survivors, but Seok-woo finds a way out. The rest of the group is trapped again by falling debris. The homeless man sacrifices himself to buy time for Seok-woo to clear the debris and Su-an and Seong-kyeong to escape onto the new locomotive. After fighting off zombies hanging onto the locomotive, they encounter Yon-suk, who is on the verge of turning into a zombie and is begging for help, having been bitten when the conductor saved him. Seok-woo manages to throw him off, but is bitten. He puts Su-an and Seong-kyeong inside the engine room, teaches Seong-kyeong how to operate the train, and says goodbye to his daughter before throwing himself off the locomotive. Due to another train blockage, Su-an and Seong-kyeong are forced to stop the train at a tunnel just prior to Busan. The two exit the train and continue following the tracks on foot through the tunnel. Snipers are stationed on the other side of the tunnel and are prepared to shoot at what they believe to be zombies, but they lower their weapons when they hear Su-an singing "Aloha ʻOe".


  • Gong Yoo as Seok-woo, a fund manager whose wife left him because of his selfishness.
  • Jung Yu-mi as Seong-kyeong, Sang-hwa's pregnant wife
  • Ma Dong-seok as Yoon Sang-hwa, husband of Seong-kyeong
  • Kim Su-an as Su-an, daughter of Seok-woo who wants to see her mom in Busan for her birthday.
  • Choi Woo-shik as Min Yong-guk, a high school baseball player
  • Ahn So-hee as Kim Jin-hee, Yong-guk's girlfriend
  • Kim Eui-sung as Yon-suk, a business executive
  • Choi Gwi-hwa as a homeless man
  • Jang Hyuk-jin as Ki-chul, a train attendant
  • Park Myung-sin as Jong-gil, In-gil's younger sister
  • Ye Soo-jung as In-gil, the older sister of Jong-gil
  • Jeong Seok-yong as the captain of the KTX
  • Han Seong-soo as the KTX train Team Leader
  • Kim Chang-hwan as Deputy Kim Jin-mo
  • Shim Eun-kyung as a runaway girl
  • Lee Joo-shil as Seok-woo's mother and Su-an's grandmother


The film team tried to reference the movements of the zombies in the game 7 Days to Die and the movements of the dolls from Ghost in the Shell, and also reviewed the movements from the nurses in Silent Hill.[12] The film was filmed in various stations from Daejeon, Cheonan and East Daegu.[12] The water deer in the movie was created using real videos of water deer and 3D modelling.[12] The scenery that is seen outside the train in the film was shot with an LED plate rear screen technique behind the set and by focusing on the characters.[12] The blood vessels of the zombies were drawn with an airbrush. The zombies were styled differently depending on the progress of the infection of zombies.[12]


Box officeEdit

Train to Busan grossed $80.5 million in South Korea, $2.2 million in the United States and Canada, and $15.8 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $98.5 million.[3]

It became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia,[13] Hong Kong,[14] and Singapore.[15] In South Korea, it recorded more than 11 million moviegoers[16] and was the highest grossing film of the year.[17]

Critical responseEdit

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 94% of 118 critics have given the film a positive review, with an average rating of 7.60/10. The website's critics consensus states: "Train to Busan delivers a thrillingly unique — and purely entertaining — take on the zombie genre, with fully realized characters and plenty of social commentary to underscore the bursts of skillfully staged action."[18] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating to reviews, assigned the film an average score of 72 out of 100, based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[19]

Clark Collis of Entertainment Weekly wrote that the film "borrows heavily from World War Z in its depiction of the fast-moving undead masses while also boasting an emotional core the Brad Pitt-starring extravaganza often lacked," adding that "the result is first-class throughout."[20] At The New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis selected the film as her "Critic's Pick" and took notice of its subtle class warfare.[21]

In a negative review, David Ehrlich of IndieWire comments that "as the characters whittle away into archetypes (and start making senseless decisions), the spectacle also sheds its unique personality."[22] Kevin Jagernauth of The Playlist wrote: "[Train to Busan] doesn’t add anything significant to the zombie genre, nor has anything perceptive to say about humanity in the face of crisis. Sure, it lacks brains, and that’s the easy quip to make, but what Train To Busan truly needs, and disappointingly lacks, is heart."[23]

British filmmaker Edgar Wright highly applauds the film, personally recommending it on Twitter and calling it the "best zombie movie I've seen in forever."[24]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Asian Film Awards 21 March 2017 Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated [25]
Best Supporting Actor Ma Dong-seok Nominated
Best Editor Yang Jin-mo Nominated
Best Visual Effects Jung Hwang-su Nominated
Best Costume Designer Kwon Yoo-jin and Rim Seung-hee Nominated
Blue Dragon Film Awards 25 November 2016 Best Film Train to Busan Nominated [27]
Best Supporting Actor Kim Eui-sung Nominated
Ma Dong-seok Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Jung Yu-mi Nominated
Best New Director Yeon Sang-ho Nominated
Best Art Direction Lee Mok-won Nominated
Best Screenplay Park Joo-seok Nominated
Best Editing Yang Jin-mo Nominated
Best Cinematography Lee Hyeong-deok Nominated
Best Lighting Park Jeong-woo Nominated
Technical Award Kwak Tae-yong and Hwang Hyo-gyoon (special make-up) Won
Audience Choice Award for Most Popular Film Train to Busan Won
Buil Film Awards 7 October 2016 Best Film Train to Busan Nominated [30]
Best Supporting Actor Kim Eui-sung Won
Best Supporting Actress Jung Yu-mi Nominated
Best Cinematography Lee Hyeong-deok Nominated
Best Art Direction Lee Mok-won Nominated
Yu Hyun-mok Film Arts Award Yeon Sang-ho Won
Fangoria Chainsaw Awards N/A Best Foreign-Language Film Train to Busan Won [33]
Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards 24 November 2016 Technical Award Train to Busan Won [34]
Saturn Awards 28 June 2017 Best Horror Film Nominated [35]
Baeksang Arts Awards 3 May 2017 Best Film Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Kim Eui-sung Won
Ma Dong-seok Nominated
Best New Director Yeon Sang-ho Won
Chunsa Film Awards May 24, 2017 Technical Award Kwak Tae-yong Won [38]
Special Audience Award

for Best Film

Train to Busan Won

Home mediaEdit

American distributor Well Go USA released DVD and Blu-ray versions of Train to Busan on 17 January 2017.[39] FNC Add Culture released the Korean DVD and Blu-ray versions on 22 February 2017. It is also available on Rakuten Viki, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video streaming. The Indian version is a minute shorter than the original version due to a few violent zombie shots being censored.[citation needed]

In the United Kingdom, it was 2017's fourth best-selling foreign language film on home video (below Operation Chromite, Your Name, and Guardians).[40] It was later 2020's sixth best-selling foreign language film in the UK, and third best-selling Korean film (below Parasite and Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula).[41]

Animated prequel and sequelEdit


An animated prequel, Seoul Station, also directed by Yeon, was released on 18 August 2016.[42]


Peninsula, a sequel set four years after Train to Busan and also directed by Yeon, was released in South Korea on 15 July 2020, it gained mixed reviews.[43] Yeon has stated that,

"Peninsula is not a sequel to Train to Busan because it's not a continuation of the story, but it happens in the same universe."[44]

American remakeEdit

In 2016, Gaumont acquired the rights for the English-language remake of the film from Next Entertainment World.[45] In 2018, New Line Cinema, Atomic Monster and Coin Operated were announced to be the co-producing partners for the remake, with Warner Bros. Pictures distributing worldwide, except Korea. Indonesian director Timo Tjahjanto is in talks to helm the film, while Gary Dauberman adapts the screenplay and co-produces the film alongside James Wan.[46][47] In December 2021, the film's official title was revealed to be The Last Train to New York scheduled to be released April 21, 2023.[48] On July 12, 2022 Warner Bros removed the film off the release schedule[49] with Salem's Lot, another New Line Cinema film, taking its original release date.


  1. ^ "Train to Busan (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  2. ^ Noh, Jean (13 August 2018). "'Train To Busan' director Yeon Sang-ho working on sequel". Screen Daily. Media Business Insight Limited. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Busanhaeng (2016)". The Numbers. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  4. ^ "Train to Busan (2016) - Yeon Sang-ho". AllMovie.
  5. ^ Kay, Jeremy (9 June 2016). "Well Go USA Entertainment boards 'Train To Busan'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  6. ^ "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  7. ^ "'Train to Busan' to screen at Cannes". The Korea Times. 2 May 2016.
  8. ^ "Zombies fail to impress in 'Train to Busan'". 19 July 2016.
  9. ^ Chen, Heather (3 August 2016). "Train to Busan: Zombie film takes S Korea by storm". BBC News. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  10. ^ notclaira (7 August 2016). ""Train To Busan" Is The First Korean Film Of 2016 To Break This Audience Record". Soompi. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  11. ^ Byun, Hee-won. "Korean Movies Prove Box-Office Gold". The Chosun Ilbo. Chosun Media. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  12. ^ a b c d e "[스페셜] <부산행> 스탭들이 재구성한 영화 촬영현장". Cine 21. 27 July 2016.
  13. ^ Begum, Mumtaj. "'Train to Busan' speeds away to box-office record". The Star. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  14. ^ Chu, Karen (28 September 2016). "South Korean Zombie Hit 'Train to Busan' Becomes Highest-Grossing Asian Film in Hong Kong". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  15. ^ Wai Yee, Yip (24 August 2016). "Train To Busan is No. 1 at Singapore box office and top Korean movie to date". The Straits Times. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
  16. ^ "Zombie Movie 'Train to Busan' Passes 11 Million-Viewer Mark". The Chosun Ilbo. 19 August 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  17. ^ "South Korean Box Office For 2016". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 12 February 2021.
  18. ^ "Train to Busan (Busanhaeng) (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  19. ^ "Train to Busan Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 19 July 2020.
  20. ^ Collis, Clark (24 August 2016). "Train to Busan: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  21. ^ Catsoulis, Jeanette (21 July 2016). "Review: All Aboard 'Train to Busan' for Zombie and Class Warfare". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  22. ^ Ehrlich, David (18 July 2016). "'Train To Busan' Review: This Electric Korean Zombie Movie Goes Off The Rails". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  23. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin. "Korean Zombie Thriller 'Train To Busan' Needs More Brains [Review]". The Playlist. Spin Entertainment. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  24. ^ Wright, Edgar [@edgarwright] (4 November 2016). "Best zombie movie I've seen in forever. A total crowd pleaser. Highly recommend. Go see 'Train To Busan'" (Tweet). Retrieved 30 August 2017 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ "South Korean cinema leads nominees at Asian Film Awards". Yahoo!. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  26. ^ Frater, Patrick (11 January 2017). "'Handmaiden,' 'Bovary,' 'Train' Lead Asian Film Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  27. ^ "Hollywood Local Productions Dominate Nominations for South Korea's Blue Dragon Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  28. ^ "박소담 연기한지 3년만 여우조연상 "솔직히 부담돼" 눈물 펑펑 - 스포츠투데이 - TV보다 재밌다". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  29. ^ "[제37회 청룡영화상] '곡성' 쿠니무라 준 "한국영화의 힘 알게 됐다" 남우조연상 수상 (2016 청룡영화제) - 스타서울TV". 25 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  30. ^ Kil, Sonia (7 October 2016). "Busan: Bu-il Awards Provide Counterpoint to Festival". Variety. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  31. ^ "Winners Of 25th Buil Film Awards Revealed". Soompi. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  32. ^ "2016 Buil Film Awards". Dramabeans. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  33. ^ "Never mind Oscar, here's the 2017 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Nominees Ballot!". FANGORIA®. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  34. ^ Endrino, Jorge (24 November 2016). "36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards". Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  35. ^ McNary, Dave (2 March 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  36. ^ "공유·박보검·남궁민·한석규...백상예술대상 男TV연기상 4파전". 7 April 2017.
  37. ^ "'Guardian,' 'The Handmaiden' win big at Baeksang Awards". Korea Herald. 4 May 2017.
  38. ^ "'2017 춘사영화상' 나홍진, 최우수감독상...하정우·손예진 남녀주연상". SE Daily. 25 May 2017.
  39. ^ "Train to Busan (2016): Releases". AllMovie. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  40. ^ Statistical Yearbook 2018 (PDF). United Kingdom: British Film Institute (BFI). 2018. pp. 97–8. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  41. ^ 2021 - Film on Physical Video. United Kingdom: British Film Institute (BFI). 2021. p. 10. Retrieved 27 April 2022.
  42. ^ Conran, Pierce (7 April 2016). "YEON Sang-ho's SEOUL STATION Debuts in Belgium". KoBiz. Retrieved 7 March 2020.
  43. ^ Choi, Jin-sil (28 February 2020). "강동원 주연 '반도', 런칭 포스터 공개…'부산행' 그 후 4년". Sports Seoul via Naver (in Korean). Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  44. ^ Noh, Jean (20 February 2020). "Train To Busan' follow-up 'Peninsula' scores raft of sales (exclusive)". Screen Daily. Media Business Insight Limited. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  45. ^ "'Train to Busan' English-Language Remake Rights Go to Gaumont". 7 December 2016.
  46. ^ "James Wan to produce remake of South Korean zombie movie 'Train to Busan'". Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  47. ^ Kroll, Justin (18 February 2021). "New Line Taps Timo Tjahjanto To Direct 'Train To Busan', Its Remake Of South Korean Box Office Hit". Deadline. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  48. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (17 December 2021). "Warner Bros Dates 'Blue Beetle', 'Last Train To New York' & 'Toto' For 2023 & Beyond". Deadline. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  49. ^ King, Aidan (11 July 2022). "'The Last Train to New York': Warner Bros.' 'Train to Busan' Remake Delayed". Collider. Retrieved 12 July 2022.

External linksEdit