Train To Busan (Korean: 부산행; Hanja: 釜山行; RR: Busanhaeng; lit. To Busan) is a 2016 South Korean action horror film 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. The film mostly takes place on a KTX from Seoul to Busan as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks out in the country and threatens the safety of the passengers.
|Train To Busan|
|Directed by||Yeon Sang-ho|
|Written by||Park Joo-suk|
|Produced by||Lee Dong-ha|
|Edited by||Yang Jin-mo|
|Music by||Jang Young-gyu|
|Distributed by||Next Entertainment World|
|Box office||$98.5 million|
The film premiered in the Midnight Screenings section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on 13 May. 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.
The movie successfully launched a titular film series, with an animated prequel film in 2016 and a standalone sequel in 2020. Another installment and an American-produced adaptation are also in development.
Fund manager Seok-woo is a cynical workaholic and divorced father. His estranged daughter Su-an wants to spend her birthday with her mom 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 player Yong-guk and his cheerleader girlfriend Jin-hee, elderly sisters In-gil and Jong-gil, and a traumatized homeless stowaway hiding in the bathroom. Before the train departs, an ill 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. When the train stops at Daejeon Station, the survivors 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 conductor 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 train attendant 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, Ki-chul and the passengers demand that the survivors isolate themselves in the front vestibule. However, Jong-gil – disgusted at the passengers and despairing about 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 Station forces the survivors to stop and search for another train. Yon-suk escapes after pushing Ki-chul into the zombies. A flaming locomotive derails, separating the group and trapping Seok-woo, Su-an, Seong-kyeong and the homeless man underneath a carriage filled with zombies. Meanwhile, Yon-suk runs into Jin-hee and Yong-guk, pushing the former into a zombie in his attempts to escape. Heartbroken, Yong-guk stays with Jin-hee until she turns and kills him. The conductor starts a locomotive on another track but is also thrown to the zombies while trying to save an injured Yon-suk. Seok-woo finds a way out from under the carriage, but the escape route is shortly afterward blocked by falling debris. The homeless man sacrifices himself to buy time for Seok-woo to clear the debris, and he, Su-an and Seong-kyeong manage 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. 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. In his final moments before he turns, he reminisces the moment of Su-an's birth, 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", in tribute to her late father.
- 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
- Sohee 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
- Woo Do im as Min-ji
- Cha Chung-hwa as Middle aged woman
- Kim Joo-hun as Baseball coach
- Han Ji-eun as Woman wearing headphones
The film is based on an original story created by Park Joo-suk. The 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. The film was filmed in various stations from Daejeon, Cheonan and East Daegu. The water deer in the movie was created using real videos of water deer and 3D modelling. 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. 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.
Box office edit
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.
It became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In South Korea, it recorded more than 11 million moviegoers and was the highest grossing film of the year.
Critical response edit
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." 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."
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." At The New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis selected the film as her "Critic's Pick" and took notice of its subtle class warfare.
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." 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."
In 2016, British filmmaker Edgar Wright, director of zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead, highly applauded the film, personally recommending it on Twitter and calling it the "best zombie movie I've seen in forever."
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipient(s)||Result||Ref(s)|
|Asian Film Awards||21 March 2017||Best Actor||Gong Yoo||Nominated|||
|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|||
|Best Supporting Actor||Kim Eui-sung||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|||
|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|||
|Best Actor||Gong Yoo||Nominated|
|Korean Association of Film Critics Awards||24 November 2016||Technical Award||Train to Busan||Won|||
|Saturn Awards||28 June 2017||Best Horror Film||Nominated|||
|Baeksang Arts Awards||3 May 2017||Best Film||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Kim Eui-sung||Won|
|Best New Director||Yeon Sang-ho||Won|
|Chunsa Film Awards||May 24, 2017||Technical Award||Kwak Tae-yong||Won|||
|Special Audience Award
for Best Film
|Train to Busan||Won|
Home media edit
American distributor Well Go USA released DVD and Blu-ray versions of Train to Busan on 17 January 2017. 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.
In the United Kingdom, it was 2017's fourth best-selling foreign language film on home video (below Operation Chromite, Your Name, and Guardians). 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).
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.
American remake edit
In 2016, Gaumont acquired the rights for the English-language remake of the film from Next Entertainment World. 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 for France and South 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. 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. However, in July 2022, Warner Bros. removed the film off the release schedule with Evil Dead Rise, another New Line Cinema film, taking its original release date.
See also edit
- Trip Ubusan: The Lolas vs. Zombies: Filipino comedy movie whose name is inspired by this film's
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