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Train to Busan (Hangul부산행; RRBusanhaeng) is a 2016 South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller film[4][5][6][7][8] directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok.[9] The film 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
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 $87–99 million[2][3]

The film premiered in the Midnight Screenings section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on 13 May.[10][11][12][13] 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.[14][15] 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 Yeon, was released less than a month later.



Seok-woo, a divorced fund manager, is a workaholic and absentee father to his young daughter Su-an. For her birthday the next day, she wishes for her father to take her to Busan to see her mother. They board the KTX 101 at Seoul Station. Others on the same train include the tough working-class husband Sang-hwa and his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong, a high school baseball team, the rich and egotistical COO Yong-suk, elderly sisters In-gil and Jon-gil, and a homeless man experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

As the train departs, a convulsing young woman boards the train with a bite wound on her leg. She soon turns into a zombie and attacks a train attendant, who then turns into a zombie. The virus quickly spreads throughout the train. Baseball player Yong-guk, a girl named Jin-hee, who has a crush on him, and several passengers escape to another car. News broadcasts report zombie outbreaks (reported as riots) nationwide and Cheonan-Asan station was attacked by zombies so they passed it. After the train stops at Daejeon station, the surviving passengers find the city and station also 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, however, the passengers block 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, and the others follow his lead. When Jong-gil deliberately opens the door to the zombies to be with her zombified sister In-gil due to Yon-suk and the other passengers not wanting the newcomers be with them in the train car, the zombies kill the rest of the passengers, leaving Seok-woo, Su-an, Seong-kyeong, Yong-guk, Jin-hee and the homeless man safe, as they are in the vestibule. 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 pushing the train attendant to be killed by the zombies, 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 while 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 himself bitten. He puts Su-an and Seong-kyeong inside the engine room and shares his last words with 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 she had wanted to perform for her father at the beginning of the film, and now sings it to honor his sacrifice.


  • 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 Su-an, Seok-woo's young daughter who wants to go to Busan to see her mother
  • Ma Dong-seok as Sang-hwa, a tough, working-class man
  • 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 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
  • 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.[3] It became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia,[16] Hong Kong,[17] and Singapore.[18] It recorded more than 11 million movie goers in South Korea.[19]

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."[20] 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."[21] 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."[22] At The New York Times, Jeannette Catsoulis selected the film her "Critic's Pick" and took notice of its subtle class warfare.[23] 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."[24]

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."[25]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Asian Film Awards March 21, 2017 Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated [26]
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 [28]
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 [31]
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 [34]
Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards November 24, 2016 Technical Award Train to Busan Won [35]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Horror Film Nominated [36]
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 [39]
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.[40] 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.


Variety said in December 2016 that Gaumont would remake Train to Busan in English.[41] On September 25, 2018, Deadline reports James Wan will be producing the remake with Gary Dauberman writing the script.[42]


  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. ^ "Review: Train to Busan". 23 August 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  6. ^ "Daum영화 <부산행>". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  7. ^ "Train to Busan (Korean Movie - 2016) - 부산행". HanCinema. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  8. ^ Tallerico, Brian. "Train to Busan Movie Review & Film Summary (2016) - Roger Ebert". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  9. ^ Kay, Jeremy (9 June 2016). "Well Go USA Entertainment boards 'Train To Busan'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  11. ^ "'Train to Busan' to screen at Cannes". The Korea Times.
  12. ^ "Zombies fail to impress in 'Train to Busan'". 19 July 2016.
  13. ^ Chen, Heather (3 August 2016). "Train to Busan: Zombie film takes S Korea by storm". BBC News. Retrieved 22 August 2016.
  14. ^ notclaira (2016-08-07). ""Train To Busan" Is The First Korean Film Of 2016 To Break This Audience Record". Soompi. Retrieved 2016-08-07.
  15. ^ Byun, Hee-won. "Korean Movies Prove Box-Office Gold". The Chosun Ilbo. Chosun Media. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  16. ^ Begum, Mumtaj. "'Train to Busan' speeds away to box-office record". The Star. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
  17. ^ Chu, Karen. "South Korean Zombie Hit 'Train to Busan' Becomes Highest-Grossing Asian Film in Hong Kong". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Zombie Movie 'Train to Busan' Passes 11 Million-Viewer Mark". The Chosun Ilbo. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-12-04.
  20. ^ "Train to Busan (Bu-san-haeng)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Train to Busan Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  22. ^ Collis, Clark (24 August 2016). "Train to Busan: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  23. ^ Catsoulis, Jeanette (21 July 2016). "Review: All Aboard 'Train to Busan' for Zombie and Class Warfare". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2016.
  24. ^ @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. ^ 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.
  26. ^ "South Korean cinema leads nominees at Asian Film Awards". Yahoo!. January 11, 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  27. ^ Frater, Patrick (January 11, 2017). "'Handmaiden,' 'Bovary,' 'Train' Lead Asian Film Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  28. ^ "Hollywood Local Productions Dominate Nominations for South Korea's Blue Dragon Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-11-19.
  29. ^ "박소담 연기한지 3년만 여우조연상 "솔직히 부담돼" 눈물 펑펑 - 스포츠투데이 - TV보다 재밌다". Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  30. ^ "[제37회 청룡영화상] '곡성' 쿠니무라 준 "한국영화의 힘 알게 됐다" 남우조연상 수상 (2016 청룡영화제) - 스타서울TV". 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  31. ^ Kil, Sonia (7 October 2016). "Busan: Bu-il Awards Provide Counterpoint to Festival". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  32. ^ "Winners Of 25th Buil Film Awards Revealed". Soompi. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-10.
  33. ^ "2016 Buil Film Awards". Dramabeans. 7 October 2016. Retrieved 11 October 2016.
  34. ^ "Never mind Oscar, here's the 2017 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Nominees Ballot!". FANGORIA®. Retrieved 14 February 2017.
  35. ^ Endrino, Jorge (24 November 2016). "36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards". Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  36. ^ McNary, Dave (2 March 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  37. ^ "공유·박보검·남궁민·한석규...백상예술대상 男TV연기상 4파전". 7 April 2017.
  38. ^ "'Guardian,' 'The Handmaiden' win big at Baeksang Awards". Korea Herald. 4 May 2017.
  39. ^ "'2017 춘사영화상' 나홍진, 최우수감독상...하정우·손예진 남녀주연상". SE Daily. 25 May 2017.
  40. ^ "Train to Busan (2016): Releases". AllMovie. Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  41. ^ Kil, Sonia; Keslassy, Elsa. "'Train to Busan' English-Language Remake Rights Go to Gaumont". Variety.
  42. ^ Fleming, Jr, Mike (September 25, 2018). "Five Studios Trying To Catch 'Train To Busan' Remake; Gary Dauberman Scripting, James Wan Producing Zombie Thriller". Deadline.

External linksEdit