MIFF 2016: Seoul Station (2016)

Director: Yeon Sang-ho

Set 24 hours before the events of Train to Busan this is the story of the initial zombie outbreak and the people who try to survive it. Being a prequel you already know the ending is not going to be good, but you have to keep watching to see how long the people will survive for.

This film was made concurrently with Train to Busan but released after it. I wouldn’t say it was necessary to watch this movie before the other movie but it does give a back story to the initial outbreak and how it managed to spread so far.

The initial infected person is a homeless person and his brother has a lot of trouble getting treatment for him as people just seemed annoyed by him. When he finally does get help it is too late and the body is missing when they go back to get it.

A young woman and her boyfriend living in a cheap hotel have a break up over the boyfriend pimping her out to make the rent. Angry Dad finds her ad online and is on the trail. The woman storms off and turns off her phone.

The zombies attacking the train station is confused with homeless people making too much noise by authorities. The young woman gets caught up in the fleeing homeless and ends up stranded in the holding cell of a local police station surrounded by zombies.

Angry dad and the boyfriend go back to the hotel, only to be attacked by zombies and have to escape via the roof. Angry dad manages to bully the boyfriend into doing what they need to get out and back to the car.

Things get progressively worse as the night goes on and even the arrival of the authorities does not help as they completely misread the situation and even are responsible for a large amount of survivors being killed by not letting them escape.

It is a downer ending but as good as it can be in the circumstances. Someone turns out to have been lying all along just to get people to do what he wants. There was an audible “Nooooooooooo!” in the screening I saw it at when it was revealed what was going to happen to one of the main characters.

It is a very unique animation style, almost reminding me of roto scoping in some places. This is not a kid’s film as it is very violent with a lot of zombies biting people and violence.

I would recommend this film if you have already seen Train to Busan and want to see a further extension of the story.

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