No one ever expected that Koreans can make a critically acclaimed, zombie-themed movie... until Train to Busan premiered in theaters. The Yeon Sang Ho-directed movie, which made its debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, has since become a viral sensation, spanning memes, jokes, and receiving much praise (a 93% rating from Rotten Tomatoes is pretty much enough proof). "It is the drama of human relationships and interactions that rises above the horrific and thrilling carnage," movie critic Fred Hawson said in his review.
What made this film a phenomenal hit, earning more than $100 million worldwide? The film best showcased the ability of Koreans to create a compelling zombie-themed movie a la World War Z, while retaining some of the elements their film sensibilities are best known for, which include melodrama.
Korean actor Gong Yoo, the movie’s lead star, has already expressed his thoughts about a Train to Busan sequel and we might just be getting one, but meanwhile, here are six other similar movies you should check out for that zombie and feels combo:
1. Parasyte: Part 1
Substituting zombies for parasitic organisms, this Japanese sci-fi/horror movie puts front and center an innocent and shy guy (along with a friendly parasite) to save other human beings from being consumed by parasitic aliens aimed to eliminate the human race.
2. The Sand
Who would have expected that things can go really, really wrong after a night of partying by the beach? After discovering that there hides a mysterious and deadly organism underneath this beach's shore, a group of teenagers try to help one other (some sacrificing their lives in the process) in order to eliminate the said monster in a bid for survival.
3. This is The End
This has a similar storyline with The Sand, except that this is packed with a star-studded cast consisting of James Franco, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Rihanna, Seth Rogen, among others. With an apocalyptic, biblical-based, end-of-the-world storyline, the gang would go through all ways and means in order to deserve a spot in heaven.
4. Patayin sa Shokot si Remington
While it's technically not a zombie-themed movie, it combined elements of a typical zombie apocalypse movie with LGBT themes, making up for a movie that's not just funny, but also socially relevant.
5. SARS Wars
Inspired by the SARS scare of the early 2000s, this horror-comedy movie from Thailand explores the fictional scenario of an unknown SARS (short for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) strain, with "superheroes" showcasing their moves a la Kill Bill in eradicating the virus.
One of the more prominent zombie-themed movies in the US (next to World War Z, which Train to Busan is often compared to), it focuses on how strangers can actually work hand in hand during a zombie apocalypse. Instead of people fighting for survival, Zombieland features four individuals, all from different backgrounds, who team up to find a place free of zombies.
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Banner photograph screengrabbed from the "Train to Busan" official trailer