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Seoul Station (DVD) (Korea Version)
Yeon Sang Ho (Director) | Lee Joon | Shim Eun Kyung | Kim Jae Rok
Seoul Station (DVD) (Korea Version)
People are scarier than zombies
December 8, 2016 Picked By Sanwei See all this editor's picks
With Train to Busan, arthouse animation darling Yeon Sang Ho proved resoundingly that not only is he perfectly capable of directing mainstream and live-action cinema, he's almost too good at hitting all the required action and emotional notes for commercial success. Meanwhile, Seoul Station, the animated companion piece to Train to Busan, still bears all the bleak, incisive markers that make it seem so unlikely that Yeon could be a ten-million-admissions blockbuster director.

Made before Train to Busan but released after, Seoul Station depicts the beginning of the zombie virus outbreak. While Train is bright, glossy and attractive even as it's hurling full speed into gory zombie apocalypse, Seoul Station continues the tone and aesthetic of Yeon's The King of Pigs and Fake – that being dark, stark and unpleasant.

The film's ground zero is Seoul Station where an infected homeless man left for dead transforms into a zombie and triggers the epidemic. Wandering the streets nearby is a runaway teenage prostitute who just had a fight with her no-good boyfriend. The girl's father rolls into town in search of her, and locates the boyfriend as the zombie virus spreads rapidly. The girl, the sniveling boyfriend and the commanding father then race through the city fighting for survival and trying to find each other. As a zombie horror, Seoul Station unleashes the expected undead mob and gruesome violence, but it reserves the most chilling horrors for when the protagonists finally find the safe zone and each other.

Like in The King of Pigs and Fake, Yeon presents a searingly critical vision of society and humanity in Seoul Station, using brutish violence and grim caricatures to expose the worst retrogressions of people and institutions. And in this deeply unsettling animated apocalypse, there's no Gong Yoo to save the day, no goodness to redeem. Train to Busan and Seoul Station may be about the same zombie outbreak, but the latter is far more horrifying.






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