‘Train to Busan’ and Real Life

Just when you thought we’ve ran out of good movies, good zombie movies at that, along came “Train to Busan.” Hurray for quality-made Korean movies! Yeah, it’s the same zombie apocalypse plot already seen in World War Z and The Walking Dead with cliché characters trying to survive the outbreak. There’s the heroic, selfless ones, the weaklings always needing saving and protection, and the selfish prick who doesn’t care about anyone else but himself. This Korean flick, however, gave a fresh take on zombie invasion. For one, the setting took place in a train. There’s a balance of horror, action, comedy, and drama. So it’s like four movies in one. Also, it managed to be a social commentary on work life balance, kindness, and social class.

As much as movies are works of fiction, these also reflect the state of the society we live in today. Wild, rabid zombies are scary but I think the way we are transforming and becoming the undead is equally alarming. We are a slave to technology. Like hungry monsters, we can’t stop consuming and trashing the earth. We embrace this rat race lifestyle. Steve Cutts in his illustrations clearly demonstrate these. We are essentially zombies!


The antagonist in the movie reminded me of all the evil in the world. His drive to survive is admirable but does it have to be at the expense of other people? It’s that one character that you would want to turn into your personal punching bag. But we are all guilty of being selfish. After all, self-preservation apparently is a basic human instinct.

But in the midst of chaos, whether that may be war, political discord, or zombie apocalypse, there would be individuals who would look out for other people. Those who would stand for what is right. Those who choose to be kind. And those who wouldn’t let themselves be consumed by the zombie virus. It is them who would reach the destination still human.

Author: Ryan Bestre

Environmentalist. Teacher. Writer.

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