A morbid critique on the horrifying ways humanity can turn on itself.
Seoul Station succeeds on its unfriendly characters, sustained discomfort and, above all, an unforgiving diagnosis of the moral misery of a society that perhaps was already living its well-deserved Apocalypse inside. A dark portrait of the society’s cruelty, and a dark portrait of the society’s cruelty. Seoul Station infuses new life into the worn out zombie movie genre with blood-pumping thrills and an incisive Korean point of view which separates it from the crowd, and a must-see prequel, however you’ll find more context and invest much more with characters in Direcotr Yeon Sang-ho’s live action film, Train to Busan. Yeon Sang-ho’s third feature is no less fierce and violent as his The King of Pigs and The Fake efforts, and wholeheartedly artistic at the same time.
Offers visuals and a narrative in perpetual, gripping motion.
Ryu Seung-ryong as Suk-gyu
Shim Eun-kyung as Hye-Sun
Lee Joon as Ki-woong
A narrative device rich in digressions with solvent action scenes.
A homeless man walks around the Seoul Station area with a bloody wound on his neck until he reaches Seoul Station and lays down. A fellow squatter sits next to him, notices the blood and tries to get help, but the injured man is no longer alive when he returns. The other homeless goes to the police to report his fellow’s death; the officers follow him, but the man is gone. The squatter goes to search for the old man and finds him as a zombie, who attacks him.
Hye-sun, who ran away from her former life in a brothel, now lives with her boyfriend, Ki-woong, who intends to pimp Hye-sun out again due to money problems. After a fight about this, the two separate and are caught in the chaos bursting out of Seoul Station. Hye-sun escapes with a few survivors into a police station, where they are trapped by a group of zombies within a jail cell, along with a policeman bitten by a zombie. Meanwhile, Hye-sun’s father, Suk-gyu, interrogates Ki-woong for his daughter’s location. The two go to Hye-sun’s home, only to find that the landlady had become a zombie. Sun-gyu and Ki-woong both hide in the bathroom after another zombie attacks them, escape through the bathroom window and climb to the roof. Sun-gyu devises a plan with Ki-woong to get the zombies’ attention, while he goes down to get the car. They drive away in shock, but focus on finding to Hye-sun.
At the police station, the bitten officer calls for backup before succumbing to his infection, reanimating and biting another survivor in the cell. Help arrives and draws the infected away, allowing Hye-sun and an old man to escape the cell and get into an ambulance. The ambulance crew seems oblivious to what is happening to the infected. Hye-sun calls Ki-woong that she is heading to the hospital and to meet her there. The old man panics when he realizes they are en route to the hospital, where many reports of bite wounds appear to be coming in. He attempts to take the wheel from the driver and causes the vehicle to crash. Hye-sun and the old man flee through the subway tunnels. Meanwhile, Suk-gyu and Ki-woong make their way to the hospital, but discover that the zombies have already taken over the place. They barely escape before continuing their search.
Outside Hoehyeon Station, Ki-woong calls Hye-sun, but their conversation alerts the nearby infected. A group of people call them to a makeshift barricade while fighting off the infected. The two are saved, only to realize they were placed in a quarantine by riot police, who mistakingly believe the crisis to be an insurrection. Suk-gyu and Ki-woong try to persuade the police to let them through, but are refused. The survivors slowly succumb to growing numbers of infected people. After a speech on his poor position in society, the old man tries to lead a revolt. He is quickly killed by gunfire, throwing the crowd into a panic as the infected charge in and overrun the barricade. Hye-Sun is able to escape, but is scratched on her foot by a zombie.
Hye-sun makes her way into an empty showroom and notifies Ki-woong of her location before falling asleep. When Ki-woong and Hye-sun are reunited, she reveals that Suk-gyu is not her father but rather her previous pimp. Suk-gyu has been searching for her because she has yet to pay him back the money she borrowed. As an argument erupts, Suk-gyu becomes violent and attacks Ki-woong. Ki-woong tries to attack Suk-gyu with a knife but gets killed himself. Hye-sun tries to flee, but Suk-gyu subdues her. As he prepares to rape her, she dies. Suk-gyu frantically applies CPR, but then he spots the scratch on Hye-sun’s foot and realizes that she is infected. As Hye-sun reanimates and kills Suk-gyu, the camera zooms past a dead Ki-woong and the infected overrunning the quarantine.
Release date: August 17, 2016 (South Korea)
Director: Yeon Sang-ho
Music by: Jang Young-gyu
Box office: $2,021,735