Train to Busan was a blessed release. Not only was it one of the best action films of 2016 it also breathed life into the stale genre of zombie movies. Yeon Sang-ho’s film pitched the apocalypse against the background of societal decay. The Korean director, responsible for The King of Pigs and The Fake, returns to familiar anime territory for Seoul Station. It acts as a prequel for Train to Busan but explores different themes.
When a homeless man collapses outside Seoul station his younger brother desperately tries to get him help. However, no one wants to aid a vagrant and he dies. Suk-gyu (Seung-ryong Ryu) is desperately trying to find his daughter Hye-Sun (Shim Eun-kyung). He tracks her down only to discover that she’s been prostituting herself and has run-away from her boyfriend. Then the man comes back to life, which throws another spanner in the works.
Seoul Station seeks to highlight the hypocrisy of the middle-classes in Korean society. Yeon focuses on the lowest rung. On those who have fallen between the cracks. And on the people who, despite being in positions of social responsibility, actively choose to turn their back on them. It’s also a zombie film, so don’t expect 90 minutes of social realism. Albeit, don’t necessarily take the premise on face value. Seoul Station makes a perfect companion piece to Train to Busan. A powerful social drama wrapped up in the zombie apocalypse.
Seoul Station is released on Blu-ray and DVD by Studiocanal on Monday.