One of our biggest fears in humanity is change that is out of our control, and Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later deals with that on a massive scale for lead Jim (Cillian Murphy) as he wakes from a coma in a deserted St Thomas’ Hospital, London. As he leaves the hospital, he finds the streets of London empty – something so sinister, something portraying a disaster of epic proportions. It really is very unsettling. You’re put slap bang in Jim’s shoes as you know how you would feel in his situation.
And this is where it starts. We lost George A. Romero this year – the father of the zombie movie – and boy will he be missed. This is the seminal opening of the highly influential, game-changing and much copied Night of the Living Dead and it never stops being scary – siblings Barbra (Judith O’Dea) and Johnny (Russell Streiner) are on their annual visit to their father’s grave. A strange man appears. There were zombie films before but this is where the modern zombie flick truly begins.
This one hurts. Thank you George. Thank you
You won’t have been on any zombie journey like Train to Busan; this South Korean horror film is fast-paced, with excellent character development, real emotion and some of the most friggin’ terrifying, super speedy zombies ever. This isn’t a slow ride.
Seok-woo (Gong Yoo) is a divorced fund manager who agrees to take his young daughter Soo-an (an INCREDIBLE Kim Su-an) to see her mother in Busan as her birthday wish. They board the KTX (Korea Train Express) from Seoul, just as reports of mass rioting and people getting a little bit bitey break. Soo-an even witnesses a platform guard being jumped on and tackled to the floor as the train departs. And there’s an unwanted guest onboard too.
The tension builds nicely, with plot development of the heroes to cheer on – those you want to survive – and probably the most evil, vile character you’ll be wishing to become zombie fodder. The zombie outbreak on the train is immense as passenger after passenger are attacked, and there’s some standout scenes where you’ll be kicking yourself for not seeing this movie on the big screen – the train crash/survivors running towards the new train to board and the zombies chasing after them, is one such brilliant moment.
At the heart of the film is Seok-woo and Soo-an’s relationship – he is corporate, too busy trying to make money but for the benefit of his daughter, and Soo-an is vulnerable but kindhearted and looks out for others on the train. You’ll also be cheering on pregnant Seong-kyeong (Jung Yu-mi) and her hero husband Sang-hwa (Ma Dong-seok); Sang-hwa fights the zombies with his own hands, and he’s a complete badassssss.
Throughout the action, the mild gore and the scares, we then come to a very emotional ending. We never thought we’d cry at a zombie film. Little did we know.
WATCH IT NOW. IT’S THATTTTTT GOOD.
GORE RATING: 2/5 pretty mild
Watch it for: It’s world-class and one of the finest in its genre
Watch out for: When the train attendant goes to comfort the ill young woman. OH-OH
Robert Rodriguez’s movie – essentially an exploitation zombie flick – forms part of the double feature of Grindhouse, with Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof. It’s all jolly good, gory fun with a starry cast and lots of melting bodies. Rose McGowan’s kick-ass protagonist Cherry Darling is a strong lead, as some nasty chemicals are released into a hicksville town. The locals start to transform into bloodthirsty ‘sickos’ and the survivors…well, try to survive.
A typical Rodriguez film, it’s over the top and features some really graphic – but graphic novel-like – violence. It doesn’t take itself too seriously at all and there’s some great fun to be had here. Cherry’s gun leg also needs to be seen.
MOST TERRIFYING THING ABOUT PLANET TERROR: Josh Brolin is really horrid in this
GORE RATING: 5/5
TOTAL HALLOWEEN VIEWING RATING: 10/10
Watch it for: It’s OTT, and it knows so
Watch out for: Quentin Tarantino melting