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Train to Busan ("Busanhaeng")

North American Premiere
  • South Korea
  • 2016
  • 118 mins
  • DCP
  • Korean
  • English (subtitles)
Official Selection: Midnight Screening, Cannes Film Festival 2016

“A tense and inventive mix of genre thrills and social anxiety” - Pierce Conran, TWITCHFILM

“Pulses with relentless locomotive momentum... the action surges ahead with exhilarating mayhem” - Maggie Lee, VARIETY

A career bureaucrat, Seok-woo (Yoo Gong) has always prioritized work over family. The result is a divorce and a daughter, Su-an (Kim Su-an), whose only birthday wish is to go see her mother in Busan. When they board the high-speed KTX train at the Seoul station, little do they know that an unprecedented crisis is afflicting the city or that a young woman with strange bruises managed to sneak aboard before departure. Barely out of the gate, the train has suddenly become the setting for a series of savage attacks that turn the crazed passengers into zombies. In order to survive this speeding nightmare on rails and protect Su-an, Seok-woo will have to join forces with a two-fisted goon (Ma Dong-seok), a power-hitting college baseball star (Choi Woo-sik), a spunky cheerleader (Ahn So-hee) and an unscrupulous businessman (Kim Eui-sang).

This exuberant spectacle is exactly what you zombie film fans have been waiting for: a big-budget production with enough innovation and classic moments to revive the genre. Receiving a standing ovation at this year’s Cannes film festival, TRAIN TO BUSAN is an uninterrupted action romp permeated with well-dosed bits of comedy and moments of tension that will mess up your breathing. Known for his dark, independent animation films, Yeon Sang-ho (THE FAKE) makes the transition to both live-action cinema and big-budget productions with remarkable ease. Yeon continues the living-dead invasion that began in his preceding opus SEOUL STATION (also at Fantasia 2016) and brings it to near-apocalyptic heights with stunning virtuosity, all while maintaining his biting critique of social inequalities. Cast-wise, Ma Dong-seok (FAMILYHOOD) proves to be the ultimate badass of his generation and the impressive Kim Su-an (COIN LOCKER GIRL) adds a deep emotional layer to this pure adrenaline rush. If TRAIN TO BUSAN caused a stir at Cannes, imagine what it’ll do at Fantasia!

— Nicolas Archambault