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Train to Busan (Korean부산행; RRBusanhaeng, Hanja:釜山行) is a 2016 South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller film[5][6][7][8][9] directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok.[10] The film mostly takes place on a train to Busan, as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks out in the country and compromises the safety of the passengers.

Train to Busan
Train to Busan.jpg
Korean film poster
Revised RomanizationBusanhaeng
Directed byYeon Sang-ho
Produced byLee Dong-ha
Written byPark Joo-suk
Music byJang Young-gyu
CinematographyLee Hyung-deok
Edited byYang Jin-mo
Distributed byNext Entertainment World
Release date
  • 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$87.5 – 98.4 million[3][4]

The film premiered in the Midnight Screenings section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on 13 May.[11][12][13][14] 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.[15][16] The film serves as a reunion for Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi, who both starred in the 2011 film The Crucible.


Seok-woo, a divorced fund manager, is a workaholic and absentee father to his young daughter Su-an. For her birthday, she asks her father to take her to Busan to see her mother. The next day they board the KTX 101 at Seoul Station. Other passengers include Sang-hwa and his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong, a high school baseball team, the rich and egotistical COO Yon-suk, elderly sisters In-gil and Jon-gil, and a traumatised homeless man.

As the train departs, a convulsing young woman boards the train with a bite wound on her leg. She turns into a zombie and attacks a train attendant, who also turns. The virus quickly spreads throughout the train as they attack other passengers. Baseball player Yong-guk, cheerleader Jin-hee, who has a crush on him, and several passengers escape to another car and lock the doors. News broadcasts report zombie outbreaks (reported as riots) nationwide. After the train stops at Daejeon station, the surviving passengers find the city and station overrun, and they hastily retreat back to the train, splitting up into different train cars in the chaos. The conductor restarts the train to head to Busan, where a quarantine zone has reportedly been established.

Seok-woo, Sang-hwa and Yong-guk fight their way to where Su-an, In-gil, Seong-kyeong and the homeless man are hiding. Together, they struggle through the zombie horde to the front train car, where the other passengers are sheltered. At the instigation of Yon-suk, the passengers prevent the survivors from entering, fearing that they are infected. Sang-hwa and In-gil sacrifice themselves to give the others time to force open the door and enter the car. Yon-suk demands that the newcomers isolate themselves in the vestibule. When Jong-gil deliberately opens the door to the zombies to be with her zombified sister In-gil, the zombies kill the rest of the passengers, leaving Seok-woo, Su-an, Seong-kyeong, Yong-guk, Jin-hee and the homeless man safe. Yon-suk and the train attendant escape the onslaught by hiding in the bathroom.

A blocked track at East Daegu train station forces the survivors to stop and search for another train. In the process, Seok-woo, Seong-kyeong, Su-an, and the homeless man are separated from Yong-guk and Jin-hee. Yon-suk escapes after using the train attendant as a distraction, and then does the same with Jin-hee. Heartbroken, Yong-guk stays with Jin-hee and is soon bitten by her. The train conductor starts a locomotive on another track but, is also killed by zombies whilst trying to save Yon-suk. The homeless man sacrifices himself to let Su-an and Seong-kyeong escape with Seok-woo into the train the conductor had activated. They encounter Yon-suk in the motorman's cab, on the verge of turning into a zombie, having been bitten when the train conductor saved him. Seok-woo fights him off, but is bitten in the process. He puts Su-an and Seong-kyeong inside the engine room and says goodbye to his daughter before moving outside. As he zombifies, he thinks of the first time he held his daughter in his arms and throws himself off the locomotive with a smile.

Su-an and Seong-kyeong get off at Busan and begin walking through a train tunnel. On the other side of the tunnel are soldiers stationed to defend the perimeter against zombies. Unable to see the new arrivals clearly, the soldiers at the checkpoint are instructed to shoot them. However, the soldiers then hear singing, which makes them realize the newcomers are human. Su-an tearfully sings the song "Aloha ʻOe" she had wanted to perform for her father at the beginning of the film.


  • Gong Yoo as Seok-woo, a fund manager obsessed with his work
  • Kim Su-an as Su-an, Seok-woo's young daughter who wants to go to Busan to see her mother
  • Jung Yu-mi as Seong-kyeong, Sang-hwa's pregnant wife
  • Ma Dong-seok as Sang-hwa, a tough, working-class man
  • Choi Woo-shik as Yong-guk, a young baseball player
  • Sohee as Jin-hee, Yong-guk's close friend, and cheerleader
  • Kim Eui-sung as Yon-suk, a rich COO
  • Choi Gwi-hwa as a homeless man
  • Jung Suk-yong as Captain of KTX
  • Ye Soo-jung as In-gil
  • Park Myung-sin as Jong-gil
  • Jang Hyuk-jin as Ki-chul, a train attendant
  • Kim Chang-hwan as Kim Jin-mo
  • Kim Yool-ho as Man in suit (cameo)
  • Shim Eun-kyung as Runaway Girl (cameo)


Box officeEdit

Train to Busan grossed $93.1 million worldwide.[4] It became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia,[17] Hong Kong,[18] and Singapore.[19] It recorded more than 11 million moviegoers in South Korea.[20]

Critical responseEdit

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 95% rating based on 87 critics, and an average rating of 7.6/10. The website's critical 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."[21] Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, gives the film an average score of 72 based on 15 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[22] 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."[23] At The New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis selected the film as her "Critic's Pick" and took notice of its subtle class warfare.[24] Filmmaker Edgar Wright, who directed the BAFTA nominated zombie-comedy Shaun of the Dead, was a big fan of the film. Wright recommended the film in a tweet and called it the "best zombie movie I've seen in forever."[25]

In contrast, the negative reviews have described the film as "Snowpiercer with zombies." 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."[26]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Asian Film Awards March 21, 2017 Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated [27]
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 November 25, 2016 Best Film Train to Busan Nominated [29]
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 October 7, 2016 Best Film Train to Busan Nominated [32]
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 [35]
Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards November 24, 2016 Technical Award Train to Busan Won [36]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Horror Film Nominated [37]
Baeksang Arts Awards May 3, 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 [40]
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.[41] FNC Add Culture released the Korean DVD and Blu-ray versions on 22 February 2017. It is also available on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video streaming.


An animated prequel, Seoul Station, also directed by Yeon, was released less than a month later.

Remake and sequelEdit

Variety said in December 2016 that Gaumont would remake Train to Busan in English.[42] On September 25, 2018, Deadline reports James Wan will be producing the remake with Gary Dauberman writing the script.[43]

South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho is working on a sequel to Train to Busan with the Korean title Bando.[44]


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  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. ^ "Busanhaeng (2016) – Financial Information".
  4. ^ a b "Train to Busan". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Train to Busan (2016) – Box Office Mojo".
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  7. ^ "Daum영화 <부산행>". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  8. ^ "Train to Busan (Korean Movie - 2016) - 부산행". HanCinema. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
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  28. ^ Frater, Patrick (11 January 2017). "'Handmaiden,' 'Bovary,' 'Train' Lead Asian Film Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 11 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Hollywood Local Productions Dominate Nominations for South Korea's Blue Dragon Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  30. ^ "박소담 연기한지 3년만 여우조연상 "솔직히 부담돼" 눈물 펑펑 - 스포츠투데이 - TV보다 재밌다". Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  31. ^ "[제37회 청룡영화상] '곡성' 쿠니무라 준 "한국영화의 힘 알게 됐다" 남우조연상 수상 (2016 청룡영화제) - 스타서울TV". 25 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
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  35. ^ "Never mind Oscar, here's the 2017 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Nominees Ballot!". FANGORIA®. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
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External linksEdit