A common sin of horror films is poorly-developed characters. This film does not commit that sin. The characters in this film are excellent. Although they all seem to fit into a clear archetype, they all defy the norms of the archetype at least once, and that is refreshing. In addition, none of the archetypes feel particularly forced, which is great. The characters are so likable and so well-developed that the film had me close to tears in two parts, and although I did not cry, I very rarely get that close. The film is also extremely intense from about ten minutes into the film until the last shot. It is definitely one of the most intense/scary films that I have ever seen.
The cinematography and editing of the film really add to the already good writing. During the intense scenes, there are shaky (but not too shaky) shots and rapid editing to keep the pace moving along. In the heavy, emotionally-driven shots, the shots last longer and have a more lulling motion, with the score slowing down to a nearly contrapuntal mood. I think that it was a brilliant way to tell the story of the film in a visual way. I think that the visul effects for the zombies were also very impressive. They went simple, with hazy eyes and translucent skin rather than extravagant CGI, and it is still just as impressive. The transformations are also used effectively for emotional effect.
Surprisingly, I loved "Train to Busan". It was an extremely intense, well-made horror film with great characters. If you are a fan of horror and don't mind subtitles, definitely check it out.
Train to Busan
Big Tuna's Rating: A+
How Did I Watch It?: Digital rental.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.