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Train to Busan (Hangul부산행; RRBusanhaeng) is a 2016 South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller film[4] directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok.[5] The film takes place on a train to Busan, as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks in the country and compromises the safety of the passengers.

Train to Busan
Train to Busan.jpg
Korean film poster
Hangul 부산
Hanja 釜山
Revised Romanization Busanhaeng
Directed by Yeon Sang-ho
Produced by Lee Dong-ha
Written by Park Joo-suk
Music by Jang Young-gyu
Cinematography Lee Hyung-deok
Edited by Yang Jin-mo
Distributed by Next Entertainment World
Release date
  • 13 May 2016 (2016-05-13) (Cannes)
  • 20 July 2016 (2016-07-20) (South Korea)
Running time
118 minutes[1]
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Box office $99 million[2][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.

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



Seok-woo is a fund manager, workaholic, and divorced single father to his young daughter, Soo-an. For her birthday, she asks him to take her to Busan to see her mother. His work makes him hesitant but his mind is changed when his mother gives him a video of Soo-an's solo recital of "Aloha ʻOe"; his daughter did not complete her performance, knowing he was not present. On the way to the station, they encounter a speeding convoy of fire trucks, ambulances and police cars, and pass by a burning building. They board the KTX in Seoul. Others on the same train include tough, surly working-class husband Sang-hwa and his pregnant wife Sung-kyung; a high school baseball team; rich and selfish COO Yon-suk; elderly sisters In-gil and Jong-gil; and a traumatized homeless man who has witnessed a zombie attack.

As the train departs, a convulsing, ill young woman boards with a bite wound on her leg. She becomes a zombie and attacks a train attendant, quickly spreading infection in the train. Seok-woo receives a call from his co-worker warning him that "violent riots" have erupted in Korea. Cheerleader Jin-hee, her crush baseball player Yong-guk, and several passengers manage to escape to an uninfected car. Sang-hwa tries to barricade the door, then realizes the zombies can't open it and merely charge at the sight of humans. Sung-kyung uses water and newspaper to cover up the windows, which tricks the zombies into thinking the uninfected passengers are not there. News broadcasts report zombie outbreaks throughout the country. The locomotive engineer alerts everyone over the intercom that the train will not go to Cheonan, but will stop at Daejeon Station, where all passengers will be quarantined. Seok-woo calls his co-worker to arrange that he and his daughter not be quarantined. When the train stops at Daejeon, the rest of the passengers head to the main exit, but Seok-woo, Soo-an, and the homeless man head to a different hall. However, the passengers discover all soldiers and police in the station have been infected. In the ensuing chaos, the group is separated. Soo-an, Sung-kyung, In-gil, and the homeless man reach a car in the center of the train and barricade themselves in a bathroom. The locomotive engineer restarts the train to head to Busan, where a successful quarantine zone has reportedly been established. Seok-woo, Sang-hwa, and Yong-guk barely manage to board one of the rear cars as the train departs the station.

Learning that Soo-an, In-gil, Sung-kyung, and the homeless man are trapped in a car in front of them, Seok-woo, Sang-hwa, and Yong-guk fight their way through zombies to rescue them. Along the way, they discover that zombies cannot see uninfected people in the dark and only react to sounds. They use this advantage to rescue the others and together head to the front cars. However, at the instigation of Yon-suk, the passengers there block the survivors from entering, fearing that they are infected. Unable to fight off a horde of zombies, Sang-hwa sacrifices himself to give the others time to force open the door and enter the car, but In-gil doesn't make it. Yon-suk claims the newcomers are infected, so the other passengers force them to isolate themselves in the forward vestibule, where Jin-hee joins her now boyfriend Yong-guk. As Yon-suk and other passengers seal them in, Jong-gil looks at her zombified sister In-gil. Angry at Yon-suk's and the other passengers' cowardice and cruelty and unable to accept her fate, Jong-gil opens the door, allowing the horde of zombies to enter and infect all of the surviving passengers in the main compartment of the car.

Seok-woo receives a call from his coworker, who informs him that Busan has fought off the zombies. However, Seok-woo also learns that it was his company that helped fund a project that caused the outbreak. After the phone call, the train suddenly slows to a stop. A blocked track at Dongdaegu Station forces the survivors to stop and search for another train. A runaway train crashes into the infected train, trapping the four remaining survivors. In the process, Seok-woo, Sung-kyung, Soo-an, and the homeless man are separated from Yong-guk and Jin-hee. Yon-suk, who survived with a train attendant by hiding in a bathroom, manages to escape by pushing the attendant into the zombies. Entering the train where Yong-guk and Jin-hee are hiding, Yon-suk throws Jin-hee into the path of a zombie, and she is bitten by a zombie. Heartbroken, Yong-guk stays with Jin-hee and is bitten when she turns. The locomotive engineer starts a locomotive moving on another track but is killed by zombies (in part by being pushed by Yon-suk) while trying to aid Yon-suk, who boards the locomotive. The homeless man sacrifices himself so that Soo-an and Seong-kyeong can escape with Seok-woo and reach the locomotive. Entering its cab, they encounter an infected Yon-suk, who attacks Seok-Woo, biting his hand before Seok-woo throws him from the vehicle. He puts Soo-an and Seong-kyeong inside the engine room, shows Seong-kyeong how to brake the engine and to not let his daughter see him zombify, says goodbye to his daughter, and goes outside. As he zombifies, he remembers the first time he held his daughter, then throws himself from the locomotive.

Nearing Busan, Soo-an and Seong-kyeong are forced to halt at a blockade and walk through a tunnel. On the other side, soldiers are stationed at a checkpoint to defend the perimeter against zombies. Unable to see Soo-an and Seong-kyeong clearly in dark, the soldiers are instructed by their commander to shoot them both. Just before the trigger can be pulled, the soldiers faintly hear Soo-an tearfully singing "Aloha 'Oe". Realizing they're survivors, the soldiers rush out to accompany them in.


  • Gong Yoo as Seok-woo, a fund manager obsessed with his work
  • Jung Yu-mi as Seong-kyeong, Sang-hwa's pregnant wife
  • Kim Su-an as Soo-an, Seok-woo's young daughter who wants to go to Busan to see her mother
  • Ma Dong-seok as Sang-hwa, a tough man who is a professional wrestler
  • Choi Woo-shik as Yong-guk, a young baseball player
  • Ahn So-hee as Jin-hee, Yong-guk's close friend
  • Kim Eui-sung as Yon-suk, a rich CEO
  • 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
  • Kim Chang-hwan as Kim Jin-mo
  • Shim Eun-kyung as Runaway Girl


Box officeEdit

Train to Busan grossed $87.5 million worldwide.[3] It became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia ($4.84 million),[12] Hong Kong ($8.52 million),[13] and Singapore ($3.1 million).[14] It recorded more than 11 million movie goers in South Korea.[15]

Critical responseEdit

The film has received positive reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a 96% approval rating based on 78 collected reviews, with an average rating of 7.6 out of 10. The site's 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".[16] 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".[17] 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."[18] The film received a coveted "The New York Times Critics' Pick" badge, with reviewer Jeannette Catsoulis taking notice of the film's subtle class warfare.[19]

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."[20]

Filmmmaker 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."[21]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Asian Film Awards March 21, 2017 Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated [22]
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 [24]
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 [27]
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 [30]
Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards 24 November 2016 Technical Award Train to Busan Won [31]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Horror Film Nominated [32]
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
Cannes Film Festival 11 May 2016 Best Foreign Film Train to Busan Won [35]
Best Horror/Thriller 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.[36] FNC Add Culture released the Korean DVD and Blu-ray versions on 22 February.[37][third-party source needed]


Variety said in December 2016 that Gaumont would remake Train to Busan in English.[38]


  1. ^ "Train to Busan (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "Busanhaeng (2016) – Financial Information". 
  3. ^ a b "Train to Busan". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  4. ^ "Train to Busan (2016) – Box Office Mojo". 
  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. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "'Train to Busan' to screen at Cannes". The Korea Times. 
  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 (2016-08-07). ""Train To Busan" Is The First Korean Film Of 2016 To Break This Audience Record". Soompi. Retrieved 2016-08-07. 
  11. ^ Byun, Hee-won. "Korean Movies Prove Box-Office Gold". The Chosun Ilbo. Chosun Media. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Begum, Mumtaj. "'Train to Busan' speeds away to box-office record". The Star. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  13. ^ Chu, Karen. "South Korean Zombie Hit 'Train to Busan' Becomes Highest-Grossing Asian Film in Hong Kong". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Zombie Movie 'Train to Busan' Passes 11 Million-Viewer Mark". The Chosun Ilbo. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  16. ^ "Train to Busan (Bu-san-haeng)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "Train to Busan Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  18. ^ Collis, Clark. "Train to Busan: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly, Inc. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  19. ^ Jeannette, Catsoulis. "Review: All Aboard 'Train to Busan' for Zombie and Class Warfare". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  20. ^ Ehrlich, David. "'Train To Busan' Review: This Electric Korean Zombie Movie Goes Off The Rails". IndieWire. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  21. ^ Wright, Edgar. "Best zombie movie I've seen in forever. A total crowd pleaser. Highly recommend. Go see 'Train To Busan'". Twitter. Retrieved 30 August 2017. 
  22. ^ "South Korean cinema leads nominees at Asian Film Awards". Yahoo!. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  23. ^ Frater, Patrick (11 January 2017). "'Handmaiden,' 'Bovary,' 'Train' Lead Asian Film Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  24. ^ "Hollywood Local Productions Dominate Nominations for South Korea's Blue Dragon Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
  25. ^ "박소담 연기한지 3년만 여우조연상 "솔직히 부담돼" 눈물 펑펑 - 스포츠투데이 - TV보다 재밌다". Retrieved 2016-11-25. 
  26. ^ "[제37회 청룡영화상] '곡성' 쿠니무라 준 "한국영화의 힘 알게 됐다" 남우조연상 수상 (2016 청룡영화제) - 스타서울TV". 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2016-11-25. 
  27. ^ Kil, Sonia (7 October 2016). "Busan: Bu-il Awards Provide Counterpoint to Festival". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  28. ^ "Winners Of 25th Buil Film Awards Revealed". Soompi. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  29. ^ "2016 Buil Film Awards". Dramabeans. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016. 
  30. ^ "Never mind Oscar, here's the 2017 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Nominees Ballot!". FANGORIA®. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  31. ^ Endrino, Jorge (24 November 2016). "36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards". Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  32. ^ McNary, Dave (2 March 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
  33. ^ "공유·박보검·남궁민·한석규…백상예술대상 男TV연기상 4파전". 7 April 2017. 
  34. ^ "'Guardian,' 'The Handmaiden' win big at Baeksang Awards". Korea Herald. 4 May 2017. 
  35. ^ "'2017 춘사영화상' 나홍진, 최우수감독상…하정우·손예진 남녀주연상". SE Daily. 25 May 2017. 
  36. ^ "Train to Busan (2016): Releases". AllMovie. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  37. ^ 2월 22일(수) <#부산행> 일반판 Blu-ray 출시 !!. FNC Add Culture via Facebook.
  38. ^ Kil, Sonia; Keslassy, Elsa. "'Train to Busan' English-Language Remake Rights Go to Gaumont". Variety. 

External linksEdit