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Charlie Fenton

Alive: Film Review

Perhaps a global pandemic is the perfect time to watch Korea’s latest exhilarating horror thriller.

The Netflix Originals director, II Cho, takes a simple idea and runs with it at rocket speed, mixing zombies and claustrophobia into a film that taps into the deepest fears that people all around the world have recently experienced, an impending sense of doom and total, utter isolation.  Whether he meant to or not, the principle themes strike chords with what it is to be a human living in 2020, but instead of silent human transmissions passing on the infection, the zombies in this tense, gruesome thriller it pass it on through their bite and they certainly aren’t silent.

The plot is fairly simple. After a long night spent gaming, Oh Joon-woo wakes late finding himself home alone receiving messages from fellow gamers imploring him for help. Perplexed, he turns on the news as he looms over the edge of his balcony only to see the world he woke to today be entirely different to the one he left yesterday.

Yoo Ah-in, who most notably starred in the internationally acclaimed Korean film Burning, acts Oh Joon-woo’s typical goofy gamer teen persona brilliantly as he explores life when you are left to survive alone, helpless, fearing for your life as he remembers he is no longer in a video game with unlimited lives.

In between Joon-woo losing hope, the plot thickness as he finds out he isn’t the only human who is surviving. Yoo-bin, who is acted elegantly by Park Shin-hye, makes contact to the teenager adding another twist to the already coiled tale.

Despite the film having a low budget for its undead genre, it’s on edge nature keeps viewers clawed to their seats as they watch the story unfold, trapped in Joon-woo’s isolation as well as their own.

The captivating scenes II Cho invites us to experience, through an imaginative use of CGI, add tremendously to the sombre, thought provoking tone of the movie and that alongside some truly jaw dropping moments leave viewers in no doubt that a zombie apocalypse is something that they would want to truly experience first-hand.

Also a special mention must also be made to the extras performing as zombies as their movements and noises were truly the stuff of nightmares. 

#Alive offers all the thrills and chills that a zombie film can give and is defiantly a film you can share with your friends and family.