Thursday, 23 February 2017

Train to Busan (2015)

“Bloody Brilliant”

It is as well. One of the best films of last year in any genre gets a welcome Blu-ray and DVD release from Studio Canal.

Seok-Woo (Yoo Gong) is accompanying his young daughter Soo-an (Soo-an Kim) on the train from Seoul to Busan to visit his ex-wife. Unknown to any of the travellers when they board, a bit of a toxic waste leak at a chemical plant has led to a zombie outbreak of the ‘running very fast’ variety, and one of the infected is on the train. Soon there are lots and lots of infected on the train and as it turns out city after city is being affected the few remaining survivors have to hold out until they get to Busan. If they ever do

So many good things have been said about TRAIN TO BUSAN by so many reviewers that it’s difficult to know what to add, suffice to say that Hollywood could learn a few lessons in character building and development from this one. Then they might realise that when the non-stop action and razor-sharp editing kicks in you actually end up with a thrilling, edge-of-the-seat movie experience rather than a hollow effects extravaganza.

What else? Well, great horror films that take place entirely in daylight are a rare commodity in themselves, but this is one (I can think of TREMORS but not many others). There are some tiny bits in a tunnel but there’s no night in this picture. You’ll miss the music on first viewing because the pacing and the acting will sweep you away but it’s actually nicely effective. 

Extras on Studio Canal’s disc include a sneak peek at SEOUL STATION, the anime prequel to TRAIN TO BUSAN. It’s such a short clip of what is presumably the start of the film you’d think they could have given us a little more, but it certainly whets the appetite. You also get a trailer and making of.

The press release that comes with TRAIN TO BUSAN is filled with quotes like ‘The Best Film of the Year’, ‘Exhilarating’, ‘Will Keep You Gasping For Breath Until the End of the Line’ and ‘A Genre-Transcending Masterpiece’. It’s all true. TRAIN TO BUSAN isn’t just a great horror picture it’s a great film that will enthral you, thrill you and (by the end) move you. If you watch one film this year it should be this. 

Yeon Sang-Ho's TRAIN TO BUSAN is out on VOD, Blu-ray and DVD on Monday 27th February 2017

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