“Train to Busan” remains one of my top zombie films of all time. When I was told there was a prequel, I was hesitant. Most prequels are terrible when involved with horror movies because they ruin what was scary about the first movie by putting a face to the monster and just generally being terrible. It’s even worse when a prequel says that it’ll answer how the event of the first film started, in some cases that’s good but others, like with zombie movies, it just ruins the mystery.
I think the last zombie film or series I saw that explained how the plague started was Night of the Living Dead but in some of those instances the explanation was actually more hilarious than terrifying. “Seoul Station” is not one of those movies, in fact it barely explained shit.
“Seoul Station” was released less than a month after “Train to Busan” and serves as a prequel to it. The events of “Seoul Station” take place exactly one day before “Train to Busan” and follow the same exact premise: a father- daughter storyline but this story line is much, much darker. The director still includes the lesson that the greatest monsters aren’t the ones we think but really other humans. “Seoul Station” is animated which is what Yeon Sang-ho did before jumping into live action films.
“Seoul Station” centers around Suk-gyu on his search for his ‘daughter’ Hye-sun on the night zombies start pouring from Seoul Station. Hyu-sun, having run away from her former life in a brothel and having just broken up with her boyfriend who tries to pimp her for money, finds herself caught up in the chaos erupting around her. Meanwhile Suk-gyu, Hye-sun’s ‘father’ sees an online advertisement about her and finds her boyfriend Ki-woong and makes him help find her. All three of them are caught up in the events happening around them.
This movie wasn’t one of my favorites but I do love that Yeon Sang-ho, like in “Train to Busan,” shows how society treats those they view as below them. Many of the people shown in this movie running for their lives and the unfortunate first victims of the zombie apocalypse are the homeless who are shunned or chased away when they beg for help from station workers or even the police. In one instance a man trying to help his brother who is gravely injured and begs people to help him, many of them either brushing him off and demanding he leave or helping him very reluctantly.
The police are no help because they refuse to listen to anyone and believe this is just a riot. In one instance, they’ve set up a barricade and shoot at anyone trying to get over it with water hoses or even bullets, not caring that on the other end of that barricade the hoard of zombies is tearing down another barricade to get to them.
The movie is a slow build and we don’t see the first sign of a zombie until 20 minutes in. What we do see are pretty base characters and a limited plot. I was hoping for more from this movie but was disappointed. It was a basic zombie movie that was a bit of a good watch but that’s it. Compared to “Train to Busan” it was as I said pretty basic. The twist near the end was terrible, in the gut-wrenching way. I wouldn’t worry about watching this to prepare yourself for “Train to Busan” as it has nothing to do really with that cast of characters or plot really. They may take place in the same universe and timeline but have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
This film wasn’t a favorite and won’t be on my rewatch list, I give it a two out of five running zombies for a bit of effort.