When the seemingly low-key, out of competition entry, Train to Busan (Bu San Haeng), from South Korea made its debut in May at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, no one expected how epidemic its impact would be on the global stage. Like a fast-spreading virus outbreak, praise for and delight over the film swept over audiences and movie critics around the world as the film began its international distribution journey.
“The undead are born again… A first-rate zombie apocalypse film!” screams The Irish Times.
“A brilliant portrayal of the chaos that engulfs the world,” declares the Times of India.
“Train to Busan is the highest-grossing Korean film in Hong Kong box office history!” announces the South China Morning Post.
“It’s a view of flesh-eating Armageddon from the first class windows of a speeding train, “ describes FILMINK Australia.
“Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan is the best fast-zombie picture since the Dawn of the Dead remake. It’s also an awful lot of fun!” claims NOW Toronto.
“Train to Busan terrifies… there’s a shifting and pervading feeling of inescapable phobias merging with every zombie attack,” says the Inquirer.net.
“The action scenes are incredible – straight out of a video game – and there’s palpable tension in every scene. This is the film World War Z could have been,” claims StarBurst Magazine, the world’s largest magazine of cult entertainment.
“In the manner of the most enjoyable horror pictures, every time you think things can’t get worse… they do,” warns theMiami Herald.
“Really, the result is first class throughout,” says Entertainment Weekly.
“95% on the Tomatometer.” – RottenTomatoes.com
Photo from Well Go USA Entertainment
Asian Content and Talents On the Rise
Come November 4, Tuesday, filmgoers and horror-thriller-suspense fans in the U.S. will get the chance to watch in top select theaters the movie that Sony and Fox in Hollywood and Gaumont, Canal Plus and EuropaCorp in Europe are reportedly engaged in a bidding war for to remake the film. This is made possible by the first-time collaboration ofWell Go USA Entertainment, TFC@theMovies and Myx TV.
As of October 23, Box Office Mojo has reported box office gross of about US$88 million worldwide for Train to Busan. Rumors of a sequel are already ongoing.
When it premiered at Cannes, highly impressed moviegoers immediately said that Train to Busan is much more than just zombies on a train. Many pointed out that it was a social and political commentary on the contagious greed that pervades modern society versus the kindness of a few remaining souls in humanity. This is among the reasons why the movie connected so well with a large international audience.
As Emily Browne of MoviePilot.com wrote: “This is especially poignant after S. Korea faced a national tragedy in 2014, when 300 teenagers drowned after a ferry overturned in the sea. Investigators discovered that the ferry had been overloaded by its corporate owners to save money, while the captain and crew escaped to safety. Initially the media reported that everyone survived the disaster, because the government told them to. This dark moment in Korea’s recent history heavily influenced the movie’s plot, and inserted depth into the done-to-death zombie genre.”
Also praised was the acting of the cast. Train to Busan not only caught the attention of mainstream Hollywood as a film but it also cast a spotlight on its actors and their performances. Now, it was reported that some of the cast members have received proposals and casting calls from major Hollywood studios.
But the biggest kudos have to go to its director, Yeon Sang-Ho, who also wrote Train to Busan. At a time when South Korean TV and genre cinema are as vibrant as ever, one can count by one hand how many have ventured into zombie movies. Considering that Yeon Sang-Ho’s background is animated films, his first daring attempt at live action film viaTrain to Busan is not only an Asian cinematic and box office triumph but a testament to shining Asian talent with exceptional directorial and writing skills and an ambitious, courageous, socially conscious vision for the industry.
If audiences are looking for a Halloween film that is the real deal, with all the chills and thrills, and literally, the wildest, scariest ride with a soul at the theaters starting November 4, their strongest bet this year — hands down -– is Train to Busan… speeding towards a theater near you.
For the theater list, visit www.tfc-usa.com/ttb