Melvin Benson’s review published on Letterboxd:
I have slept on this movie for YEARS. I was recommended it by a coworker back in, like, 2017. Heard from so many people that they loved it. Wanted to check it out, but I got that weird hipster feeling you get where you don't want to watch something everyone's watched, and I just couldn't shake it. It wasn't even like I was trying to spite anyone, or that I'm typically like that (trust me, I'm not!). It was just trapped in that weird space where I believed it was great, but didn't want to watch it.
But, I did it. I watched it. It's spooky season, after all! My wife and I love zombie flicks (we met each other playing a zombie game online together!), and a guest for the podcast chose this film to cover, so I bit the bullet and loved it!
There is just so much to unpack here - which I definitely don't have time for - and it's great to see how the zombie genre can still be used to discuss aspects of humanity such as consumerism, capitalism, identity politics, human value, oh and just how cool zombies are as a narrative construct! It's just so good. So good!
So, look, if you haven't done it yet, if you haven't watched Train to Busan because you got into that hipster vibe like I did, break out of it and watch it already! It's haunting, thrilling, terrifying, and deeply moving. You will fall in love with this film, and that closing shot will break you!
I guess I'll unpack one thought:
Following the themes of climbing not only the corporate ladder, but 'moving up' in the world, as the film is always about moving forward (not just the train, but also moving through different train cabs), I couldn't help but think this films beautiful imagery emphasized how wonderful the start of things were.
In the beginning we get our mantra of "Finishing things you start", and yet the film puts forth this idea of how much is started at the expense of 'finishing' others. Or, how we often miss out on the beauty at the beginning by fighting to move forward to the end. Basically, Train to Busan felt very much like a chasing or searching for heaven kind of movie.
And yet, I couldn't help but think to myself, during one particular scene, that the film was saying, "Heaven is like a newborn baby."