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 $87.5 million[2]

Train to Busan (Hangul부산행; RRBusanhaeng) is a 2016 South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller[3] film directed by Yeon Sang-ho and starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok.[4] The film takes place in a train to Busan, as a zombie apocalypse suddenly breaks in the country and compromises the safety of the passengers.

The film premiered in the Midnight Screenings section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival on 13 May.[5][6][7][8] 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.[9][10] 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. As part of her birthday the next day, she wishes for her father to take her to Busan to see her mother. Although reluctant at first due to his work, he changes his mind after his mother shows him a video of Soo-an's solo recital of "Aloha ʻOe" that he had skipped; his daughter did not complete her performance. On the way to the station, they nearly crash into a line of speeding fire trucks, ambulance and a police car, and notice a burning building in the distance. They board the KTX in Seoul. Others on the same train include tough working-class husband Sang-hwa and his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong; a high school baseball team; rich but selfish COO Yon-suk; elderly sisters In-gil and Jong-gil; and a frightened homeless man who knew of the situation before all of the other passengers.

As the train departs, a convulsing young woman boards the train with a bite wound on her leg. The woman becomes a zombie and attacks a train attendant, quickly spreading infection across the train. Seok-woo receives a call from his co-worker to warn him that "violent riots" have erupted in Korea. Baseball player Yong-guk, his love interest Jin-hee, and several passengers manage to escape to the upper compartments. Sang-hwa tries to barricade the door, but then realizes the zombies do not know how to open it, and merely charged at sight of humans. Seong-kyeong uses water and newspaper to cover up the windows, which tricks the zombies into thinking they are not there. News broadcasts report zombie outbreaks throughout the country. The conductor alerts everyone over the intercom that the train will not go to Cheonan, but will stop at Daejeon Station, as he was informed that the city has been placed under the military quarantine. He also informs that all passengers who arrive at Daejeon will be quarantined. Seok-woo calls his co-worker to tell him to pick him and Su-an up so they won't be quarantined. The train stops at Daejeon, and the rest of the passengers head to the main exit, while Seok-woo, Soo-an, and the homeless man head to hallway. However, all of the surviving passengers discover the soldiers (including the riot control police stationed there) have all been infected. In the ensuing chaos, the group ends up separated from each other. Soo-an, Seong-kyeong, In-gil, and the homeless man head to the lower compartments, and they barricade themselves in the bathroom. The conductor 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 the train as it departs the station.

Discovering that the surviving passengers are still trapped in the lower compartments with hordes of zombies still there, Seok-woo, Sang-hwa, and Yong-guk fight their way to the bathroom to rescue Soo-an, In-gil, Seong-kyeong, and the homeless man. During their way, they discover that zombies cannot see the uninfected people in the dark and they only react to sounds. They use this advantage to rescue the others and together they head to the first compartments. However, at the instigation of Yon-suk, the passengers block the survivors from entering, fearing that they are infected. Unable to fight off the hordes of zombies coming in, Sang-hwa and In-gil sacrifice themselves to give the others time to force open the door and enter the car. Seok-Woo demands to know why Yon-suk blocked their way, but Yon-suk lies and says that he and his companions are infected and the remaining uninfected demand that they isolate themselves in the vestibule. They all head to the vestibule, with Jin-hee joining Yong-guk. As Yon-suk and other passengers proceed to block them in, Jong-gil looks at her zombified sister In-gil and is surprised at what she had done to herself. Angry at Yon-suk and unable to accept her fate, Jong-gil opens up the door, allowing the hordes of zombies to enter and infect the rest of the surviving passengers in the car.

The conductor receives a call from Busan to warn that the city has managed to fight off the zombie infection. A blocked track at the East Daegu train station forces the survivors to stop and search for another train. In the process, Seok-woo, Seong-kyeong, 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 the bathroom, manages to escape by pushing the attendant into the zombies. Entering the train where Yong-guk and Jin-hee are hiding, Yon-suk slams Jin-hee out of the way in a panic to reach the other door, where she is bitten by a zombie. Heartbroken, Yong-guk stays with Jin-hee and is bitten when she turns. The train conductor starts a locomotive on another track but is killed by zombies while trying to aid Yon-suk. The homeless man sacrifices himself to let Soo-an and Seong-kyeong escape with Seok-woo onto the running train. They encounter an infected Yon-suk in the engine room. Yon-suk turns and Seek-Woo fends him off but is bitten in the hand before he manages to throw him from the train. He puts Soo-an and Seong-kyeong inside the engine room, instructs Seong-kyeong on how to control the engine and shares his last words with his daughter before moving outside. As he zombifies, he remembers of the first time he held his daughter in his arms, and throws himself off the locomotive with a smile.

The train is soon stopped by a blockade, forcing Soo-an and Seong-kyeong to 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. Right before the trigger is pulled, the soldiers faintly hear Soo-an tearfully singing "Aloha 'Oe". Realizing they're survivors, reinforcements are sent out to help them.


  • 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, working-class man
  • Kim Eui-sung as Yon-suk, a rich CEO
  • Choi Woo-shik as Yong-guk, a young baseball player
  • Ahn So-hee as Jin-hee, Yong-guk's close friend
  • 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.[2] It became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia ($4.84 million),[11] Hong Kong ($8.52 million),[12] and Singapore ($3.1 million).[13] It recorded more than 11 million movie goers in South Korea.[14]

Critical responseEdit

The film has received generally 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".[15] 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".[16] 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."[17] 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.[18]

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."[19]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Asian Film Awards March 21, 2017 Best Actor Gong Yoo Nominated [20]
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 [22]
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 [25]
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 Pending [28]
Best Actor Gong Yoo Pending
Korean Association of Film Critics Awards November 24, 2016 Technical Award Train to Busan Won [29]
Saturn Awards June 28, 2017 Best Horror Film Pending [30]
Baeksang Arts Awards May 3, 2017 Best Film Pending
Best Supporting Actor Kim Eui-sung Pending
Ma Dong-seok Pending
Best New Director Yeon Sang-ho Pending

Home mediaEdit

American distributor Well Go USA released DVD and Blu-ray versions of Train to Busan on 17 January 2017.[32] FNC Add Culture released the Korean DVD and Blu-ray versions on 22 February.[33][third-party source needed]


Variety said in December 2016 that Gaumont would remake Train to Busan in English.[34]


  1. ^ "Train to Busan (15)". British Board of Film Classification. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b "Train to Busan". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 18 January 2017. 
  3. ^ "Train to Busan" Genre: Action Thriller
  4. ^ Kay, Jeremy (9 June 2016). "Well Go USA Entertainment boards 'Train To Busan'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 10 June 2016. 
  5. ^ "Cannes 2016: Film Festival Unveils Official Selection Lineup". Variety. Retrieved 14 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "'Train to Busan' to screen at Cannes". The Korea Times. 
  7. ^ "Zombies fail to impress in 'Train to Busan'". 19 July 2016. 
  8. ^ Chen, Heather (3 August 2016). "Train to Busan: Zombie film takes S Korea by storm". BBC News. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  9. ^ notclaira (2016-08-07). ""Train To Busan" Is The First Korean Film Of 2016 To Break This Audience Record". Soompi. Retrieved 2016-08-07. 
  10. ^ Byun, Hee-won. "Korean Movies Prove Box-Office Gold". The Chosun Ilbo. Chosun Media. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Begum, Mumtaj. "'Train to Busan' speeds away to box-office record". The Star. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Chu, Karen. "South Korean Zombie Hit 'Train to Busan' Becomes Highest-Grossing Asian Film in Hong Kong". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 1 October 2016. 
  13. ^ Wai Yee, Yip (August 24, 2016). "Train To Busan is No. 1 at Singapore box office and top Korean movie to date". The Straits Times. Retrieved October 19, 2016. 
  14. ^ "Zombie Movie 'Train to Busan' Passes 11 Million-Viewer Mark". The Chosun Ilbo. 2016-08-19. Retrieved 2016-12-04. 
  15. ^ "Train to Busan (Bu-san-haeng)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 6, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Train to Busan Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  17. ^ Collis, Clark. "Train to Busan: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly, Inc. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  18. ^ Jeannette, Catsoulis. "Review: All Aboard 'Train to Busan' for Zombie and Class Warfare". The New York Times. Retrieved 5 September 2016. 
  19. ^ Ehrlich, David. "'Train To Busan' Review: This Electric Korean Zombie Movie Goes Off The Rails". IndieWire. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 6 September 2016. 
  20. ^ "South Korean cinema leads nominees at Asian Film Awards". Yahoo!. 11 January 2017. Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  21. ^ Frater, Patrick (11 January 2017). "'Handmaiden,' 'Bovary,' 'Train' Lead Asian Film Awards Nominations". Variety. Retrieved 2017-01-11. 
  22. ^ "Hollywood Local Productions Dominate Nominations for South Korea's Blue Dragon Awards". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2016-11-19. 
  23. ^ "박소담 연기한지 3년만 여우조연상 "솔직히 부담돼" 눈물 펑펑 - 스포츠투데이 - TV보다 재밌다". Retrieved 2016-11-25. 
  24. ^ "[제37회 청룡영화상] '곡성' 쿠니무라 준 "한국영화의 힘 알게 됐다" 남우조연상 수상 (2016 청룡영화제) - 스타서울TV". 2016-11-25. Retrieved 2016-11-25. 
  25. ^ Kil, Sonia (7 October 2016). "Busan: Bu-il Awards Provide Counterpoint to Festival". Variety. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  26. ^ "Winners Of 25th Buil Film Awards Revealed". Soompi. 8 October 2016. Retrieved 2016-10-10. 
  27. ^ "2016 Buil Film Awards". Dramabeans. October 7, 2016. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  28. ^ "Never mind Oscar, here's the 2017 FANGORIA Chainsaw Awards Nominees Ballot!". FANGORIA®. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  29. ^ Endrino, Jorge (November 24, 2016). "36th Korean Association of Film Critics Awards". Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  30. ^ McNary, Dave (March 2, 2017). "Saturn Awards Nominations 2017: 'Rogue One,' 'Walking Dead' Lead". Variety. Retrieved March 3, 2017. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Train to Busan (2016): Releases". AllMovie. Retrieved 23 February 2017. 
  33. ^ 2월 22일(수) <#부산행> 일반판 Blu-ray 출시 !!. FNC Add Culture via Facebook.
  34. ^ Kil, Sonia; Keslassy, Elsa. "'Train to Busan' English-Language Remake Rights Go to Gaumont". Variety. 

External linksEdit