If you’re in need of a quick zombie movie fix this Sunday afternoon (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), can I recommend #ALIVE, a South Korean movie which is available now on Netflix. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but I liked it quite a lot.
As a grisly virus rampages a city, a lone man stays locked inside his apartment, digitally cut off from seeking help and desperate to find a way out.
Here’s a very long trailer (actually the first five minutes of the film):
Like I said, this is nothing you haven’t seen done a hundred times before, but #ALIVE is well made, fast-paced, and enjoyable. The two leads, Ah-In Yoo as Oh Joon-woo and Shin-Hye Park as Kim Yoo-bin, deliver decent performances and make the most of the material. The film reminded me a lot of THE NIGHT EATS THE WORLD in terms of the overall set-up and feel, though it has only a fraction of the depth and impact of NIGHT.
If you’re here for bloody zombie action, though, you’ll be satisfied with #ALIVE. The undead (or infected or whatever) are gory and freaky enough and appear in large enough numbers to add some real excitement and tension to the action scenes.
I was particularly pleased to see one of my favourite zombie tropes at play here (slight spoilers ahead): the traumatised survivor who can’t bring themselves to let go of their obviously deceased family member. I’ve always found that to be a particularly unsettling plot twist, and long-time readers will remember the character of poor old Philip Evans from the first AUTUMN novel. Philip was one of the few highlights of the 2009 AUTUMN movie, not least because the role was played by the incredible DAVID CARRADINE in his final screen performance. No matter what you thought about the rest of the film, Carradine’s five minutes are worth the price of admission alone. Behind the scenes pic below.
Back to #ALIVE, and I don’t have much more to say other than if you’re in the mood for a well put together, relatively straightforward zombie flick, it’s well worth your time. Right now we can all identify with the themes of isolation and living through a pandemic. #ALIVE steers well away from the doom and gloom of reality and delivers an exciting and surprisingly positive and uplifting tale.
#ALIVE is currently streaming on Netflix worldwide.