One of the most anticipated theatrical releases of 2020 was Sang-ho Yeon’s zombie flick Peninsula, the long-awaited sequel to the superb hit of 2016 Train to Busan but these aren’t the only major South Korean horror movies of recent years, including zombie movies.
Updated July 9, 2021 by Mark Birrell: It might sound like a pretty niche topic for those not having fun, but many moviegoers around the world are often looking for a definitive list of the best South Korean zombie movies. IMDb ranks some much higher than others, but, from anthology movie segments to epic feature films, there may be more examples of South Korean zombie movies than most fans necessarily realize. But who ranks as the best of all?
ten The Zombie Neighbor (2010) – 4.8
● Available on AsianCrush
With an honorable mention awarded to American zombie, this list launches the 2010 horror comedy The zombie neighbor, a four-part anthology revolving around a highly infectious epidemic.
In 2010, a global pandemic ravaged the globe, including the capital of Seoul, South Korea. When the government declares martial law in order to quarantine its citizens and trace the source of the epidemic, several heroic civilians set out to help hide and feed the victims while searching for a vaccine. Its charms are much more economical than the most famous examples of South Korean zombie movies, as evidenced by its score on IMDb, but it’s worth mentioning for moviegoers looking to get a full perspective on the genre’s influence. on Korean cinema.
9 Peninsula (2020) – 5.5
● Available on Hoopla, DirecTV and Shudder
Despite the massive interest of moviegoers, Peninsula is much inferior to its breakout predecessor, Train to Busan. Both films are directed by Sang-ho Yeon, but this sequel did not live up to the standards set by the first film. In addition to its IMDb rating, the film currently holds an average rating of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, but has a much higher audience score on the site.
Jung Seok (Dong-Won Gang) is a former soldier who accepts the mission to lead his squadron through the wasteland of the South Korean Peninsula to get a truck full of cash before being greeted by hordes of the living dead. terrifying film series. Fans of the original will welcome the return of zombie action but, as the consensus of Rotten Tomatoes critics reads, they can be left behind by the “disappointing sense of familiarity” throughout.
8 Horror Stories (2012) – 5.7
● Available on Tubi
Another quartet of terrifying vignettes, Horror story arguably saves the scariest story for the final entry. After a home invasion story, an escaped convict story, and a warning parable about plastic surgery, the film ends with a deadly zombie assault.
Directed by Kok and Sun Kim, Ambulance on the death zone features a little girl who transforms into a zombie that foams her mouth after succumbing to an unknown infection. The little girl’s mother and the paramedic she calls confront the little monster with heartbreaking results. Zombie fans will have a blast with the final segment, but the rest of the movie might not necessarily be to their liking.
7 Book of the End of the World (2012) – 5.9
● Available on Tubi, YouTube and Pluto TV
Zombie viral pandemic receives satirical advantage in chapter of Book of the end of the world, a three-part horror omnibus from directors Kim-Jee Woon and Pil-sung Yim.
In Yim’s tale, A new and better world, a nerdy scientist throws a contaminated apple in the trash, which in turn ends up in the watering holes of local cows. The beef is contaminated and eaten by a man at a barbecue, setting off an infectious chain of violent zombification. It should be noted that popular Korean filmmakers such as Bong Joon-Ho have cameos in the movie, so this is a must-have for die-hard modern Korean movie fans, not just zombie lovers.
6 Seoul Station (2016) – 6.2
● Available on Tubi, Vudu and Prime Video
Realized by Train to Busan‘s Sang-ho Yeon and released the same year, Seoul Station is a zombie animated feature film that serves as a prequel to the live-action horror hit.
Located one day before the events described in Train to Busan, Seoul Station imagine downtown Seoul invaded by legions of zombies. Much of the plot revolves around Suk-Gyu (Ryu Seung-Ryong), a father desperately seeking his missing daughter, Hye-Sun (Shim Eun-Kyung), before the zombie pandemic. It’s an interesting chapter in the history of modern South Korean zombie movies that fans of Train to Busan absolutely need to check and take a refreshing approach to setup.
5 #Live (2020) – 6.3
● Available on Netflix
Released in South Korea on June 24, 2020, Il Cho’s action-packed zombie release #Living quickly began to turn heads and win hearts, with Netflix picking up the film fairly quickly for worldwide distribution.
The story finds a densely populated building besieged by a vicious zombie incursion born from an unknown virus and follows Oh Joon-Wo (Ah-In Yoo), a lone gamer who must crouch in his apartment and push back piles of houses. . invading zombies. The overwhelmingly positive review consensus on Rotten Tomatoes praises acting, horror and comedy, showing that Train to Busan was not unique.
4 Creeping (2018) – 6.3
● Available on Hoopla, Rakuten Viki and Hi-YAH
In Sung-Hoon Kim’s vintage zombie movie Crawling, dynastic Korea finds itself under the ruthless attack of an army of bloodthirsty ghouls. The story revolves around Lee Chung (Hun Bin), the prince of Joseon who is kidnapped by the powerful Qing family with the intention of appointing him the new crown prince. As Lee Chung trains with Kim Ja-Joon, Joseon’s Minister of War, a relentless onslaught of bloody “night demons” threatens to wipe out the entire region.
While the film was not as big a success as its ambitious scale would suggest, it remains an epic example of how South Korea gave its own twist on zombie fiction.
3 The Odd Family: Zombie on sale (2019) – 6.5
● Available on Shudder
One of the best zom-coms to come out of South Korea is The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale (sometimes simply titled Zombie for sale), directed by Lee Min-Jae, who adds a memorable degree of quirk into the mix.
The strange family revolves around the Park family as their lives are turned upside down when the elderly patriarch suffers a sudden zombie bite. When the family learns that the zombie was created due to an illegal experiment conducted by a corrupt pharmaceutical company, the Park family attempts to use the experiments for their own financial gain. With a high rating from critics, it sits above most South Korean zombie movies to rest just below the genre’s true masterpieces.
2 The Lamentations (2016) – 7.5
● Available on Tubi, Pluto TV, Crackle, Prime Video and Fubo TV
While the masterful horror / thriller of Hong-jin Na Lamentations has much more than just zombie movie influences, there’s no denying the terror evoked by the zombified and demon-possessed ghouls in the movie.
More in the vein of black cop thrillers like Se7en than a game of zombies by George A. Romero, Lamentations follows a series of supernatural events that plague a small fishing town after the arrival of a mysterious stranger. A viral disease begins to spread throughout the hamlet, believed to be the result of an evil spirit in the area. It’s up to local policeman Jong-g00 (Do-wan Kwak) to solve the mystery with the tantalizing mix of strong cultural and genre elements from the story, making for an unforgettable daring cocktail. Lamentations sits above not only most modern zombie movies, but most modern horror movies in general.
1 Train to Busan (2016) – 7.6
● Available on Tubi, Pluto TV, Crackle, Fubo TV and Hulu
According to IMDb, South Korea’s best zombie movie is Train to Busan, the overwhelming success that inspired Peninsula. In addition to its IMDb rating, the film currently holds a 94% Certified Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a Metascore of 72/100.
The film follows a father desperately trying to protect his young daughter on the titular overflow train as a zombie outbreak unfolds. The distinct characters, emotional performances and lightning-fast action made it an instant hit with moviegoers around the world and earned it very high marks on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes, where it currently sits with an impressive 94% rating. Certified Fresh.
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