Interestingly, the relatable moments are in abundance, like we see the protagonist staying indoor because of the zombie-apocalypse and we all have been staying indoors because of the coronavirus lockdown for several months now.
Imagine facing a zombie apocalypse and the only solution to be safe from the deadly outbreak is going through another lockdown. Netflix’s new South Korean film, #Alive puts up a common guy with no high-end weapons or survival skills in a zombie-apocalyptic atmosphere. He can either go out, get infected, and live the life of walking dead or starve himself to death at his home.
One morning, Jon-woo (Yoo Ah-in, previously seen in the famous film, Burning) wakes up and finds out that his parents have left for work early and now he has to complete a set of instructions list. Like a regular teen, he ignores the list and starts playing PUBG. But, suddenly he gets news that people of Seoul are showing some cannibalistic behavior. He turns on the TV and tries to figure out what exactly is happening, soon a mass hysteria starts outside his apartment and the only way to survive is to stay inside.
The film never dives in detailing and explaining the sudden outbreak, we are fed with some information regarding the symptoms and that’s all, how and why it all started, no clue. But, the film never aimed to serve itself like a regular action-packed, well-detailed zombie thriller. It wanted to show how a normal guy with zero survival skills tries to survive a whole zombie apocalypse. Interestingly, the relatable moments are in abundance, like we see the protagonist staying indoor because of the zombie-apocalypse and we all have been staying indoors because of the coronavirus lockdown for several months now. So, most of the first act feels like a recap of our initial moments in the lockdown.
Performance-wise, Jon woo pulls out the role of a regular-gaming-addict teen pretty effectively. Later in the film, when out of starvation and contact, the protagonist is about to give up. His neighbor, Yoo-bin(Park Shin-Hye) who has isolated herself in a very good manner in her home across the yard enters his life as a new ray of hope. Yoo-bin’s amazing survival skills and her instinctive ruthlessness helped in making the chances of survival positive and pretty much believable.
Just when you think it’s all good then suddenly towards the end, the film reveals an unexpected situation and you realize how every house has a different story of its own and it’s not only about the situation of the two frontrunners of the film. It’s not like the zombies are ignored completely here, the prosthetics are very well-managed and CGI effects are nicely executed. Even the use of technology and social media, old and new is pretty nicely done. Overall, #Alive never dives deep in detailing or making itself a high-action packed zombie thriller but it brings new layers in a solid zombie-thriller.
Cast: Yoo Ah-in, Park Shin-Hye.
Director: Cho – II Hyung.
Verdict: Could have been more thorough but it still works as a new kind of zombie thriller.