mon 18/11/2019

DVD/Blu-ray: Train to Busan | reviews, news & interviews

DVD/Blu-ray: Train to Busan

DVD/Blu-ray: Train to Busan

Efficiently exhilarating South Korean zombies-on-a-train shocker

Galvanised father Seok-woo (Yoo Gong) takes charge in ‘Train to Busan’

With its familiar scenario of massed zombies on the offensive against the living, South Korean blockbuster Train to Busan stands or falls on the fresh twists in brings to the table. For director Yeon Sang-ho’s first feature with live actors – previous films The Fake, King of Pigs and Seoul Station were animated – he sets the action on a high-speed train hurtling towards a zombie-free zone on which hordes of zombies are sniffing out the unafflicted. Its prequel, Seoul Station, was also a zombie film and set in the titular train station and its trains. Train to Busan, so to speak, leaves the platform and takes it into the real world. This, then, is its twist.

Train to Busan (부산행) is chock-full of everything expected: an endless tide of over-stimulated CGI zombies; unfussily portrayed characters who create the human element (a divorced, work-focussed father and his daughter – the leads – get close for the first time; a husband protecting his pregnant wife; an amoral older businessman; two elderly sisters); a (predictable) twist ending; relentless pace; terrific special effects. What it lacks, though, is the necessary sense of surprise (beyond a terrifically clunky Burger King product placement, that is). It’s a genre triumph but could have done with the light and shade of 28 Days Later or World War Z’s sense of scope. Nonetheless, the making of a US-made, English-language remake of Train to Busan had been announced.

The home cinema release of the brisk and efficiently exhilarating Train to Busan is thin on extras: a short on-set making-of is accompanied by a trailer for and clips from Seoul Station (it’s on UK home cinema release in April). A featurette on how the film was conceived, its relationship to Seoul Station and the special effects would have been welcome.

'Train to Busan' is a genre triumph but lacks the necessary sense of surprise


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £3.95 per month or £30 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take an annual subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters

Advertising feature


A compulsive, involving, emotionally stirring evening – theatre’s answer to a page-turner.
The Observer, Kate Kellaway


Direct from a sold-out season at Kiln Theatre the five star, hit play, The Son, is now playing at the Duke of York’s Theatre for a strictly limited season.



This final part of Florian Zeller’s trilogy is the most powerful of all.
The Times, Ann Treneman


Written by the internationally acclaimed Florian Zeller (The Father, The Mother), lauded by The Guardian as ‘the most exciting playwright of our time’, The Son is directed by the award-winning Michael Longhurst.


Book by 30 September and get tickets from £15*
with no booking fee.