Best thing about zombie movies is that they get away with murder. Nothing is out of place, out of the realm of possibility. Want 300 zombies hooked and dragged on a running train and almost stopping it? Done. Zombies have no rules of functioning and no rules to follow. They just follow you.
The only variations inside established genre films following genre conventions come with the touch of their point of origin. Just take a look at the brilliant 2008 Swedish vampire-movie Let the Right One In.
So when I heard of Train to Busan, a South Korean Cannes selected zombie extravaganza, expectations rose, popcorn’s been bought. Plus, every plot set on a train ads a simple layer of nice intensity.
The bad part about expectations is that they actually work against us. With no South Korean particularity to linger on (what did I expect actually? Teenagers with facial aesthetic surgery and k-pop hystericals? Maybe.) I soon found myself daydreaming about whatnot. On the screen, the zombies did their job of following, outside it I didn’t do mine that well.
There are highlights. The film doesn’t push towards finding a cure for the madness, its origins are almost completely ignored, and (almost) all characters are rightfully and enjoyably killed. The tone is not melodramatic and there’s a fair share of enjoyable violence.