IMDb Rating: 6.3/10
TV-MA | 1h 38min | Action, Drama | 08 Sept 2020 (New Zealand) | Movie
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90% Fresh (Critics), 64% Fresh (Audiences)
Director: Il Cho
Writer: Il Cho, Matt Naylor
Stars: Ah-In Yoo, Shin-Hye Park, Hyun-Wook Lee
Movie Tagline: “If you ever left me I’d tear my heart out and never put it back “
IMDb summary: The rapid spread of an unknown infection has left an entire city in ungovernable chaos, but one survivor remains alive in isolation. It is his story.
There has been a list of zombie flicks and movies about pandemics a mile long. So any film entering this genre of horror needs to set the bar fairly high to be better than average. And we think #Alive makes the cut.
#Alive isn’t the first film to feature a “sole survivor” plot, but it has its own edge that delivers a refreshing change of pace. Carried by “Burning” actor Ahl-In Yoo, #Alive follows the days after an infection breaks out in South Korea that turns everyone into blood-thirsty “zombies” although technically they’re not undead. The rest of the film focuses on “sole survivor” Joon-Woo’s plight as he tries desperately to survive the hordes of infected citizens.
While the first part of the film is shot mostly inside Joon-Woo’s apartment, the pace of the film changes drastically and becomes a lot more action-focused once Joon-woo gets hungry enough to leave the apartment. And it’s one of the best parts of the film.
It’s hard for a film in this genre to stand on its own merit without “copying” other movies that have gone before. #Alive doesn’t pretend to be a unique experience, and has a lot in common with several other “zombie” horrors such as French flick “The Night Eats the World”.
While there is nothing wrong with a film borrowing its plot from other movies, the film has to bring something entirely unique to the table, otherwise it’s just another horror heading for mediocrity. Thankfully, #Alive has that unique something such as using drones to distract the infected trying to climb a wall.
Using technology works really well and gives #Alive an edge of realism that wasn’t at all expected. Even the poster shows the principal character Joon-woo hanging over the railing of his apartment with a selfie stick.
The special effects are incredible with some “zombies” looking as good as anything you’d see in The Walking Dead.
We’re sure this film won’t be for everyone, and while it’s not exactly paving the way for “zombie’ horror flicks, it was entertaining enough for us to get behind the “hero” of the film. We’ve become fans of Korean horror flicks after the amazing Train to Busan blew everyone away. And while this isn’t as good as Train to Busan, it’s good enough to get on our radar and is a solid “Saturday night at the movies” choice
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Freelance entertainment writer and reviewer. Visit my blog on https://thebrokenquill.com.