If Japanese Horror has become its own potent little subgenre over the past couple of decades, with offerings such as RINGU and THE GRUDGE among the most prominent, then Korean Horror must be viewed as a smaller, less potent subgenre, and less potent only because it is smaller and thus the cinematic nightmare-inducing poisons of the mind it bequeaths must needs be a weakened strain. With offerings such as the monster film THE HOST, I SAW THE DEVIL, and the incomparable OLDBOY, though, it is gaining toxicity rapidly and may soon become the larger and more virulent of the two. (Note that we are talking about films produced in SOUTH Korea, here. NORTH Korea doesn’t make any movies outside of propaganda films telling the populace how wonderful their dictator is.)
The (South) Korean zombie flick TRAIN TO BUSAN is getting all kinds of positive buzz. It was a standout at Cannes and was a big hit both critically and financially in its home country. As is almost guaranteed when a foreign film, especially a genre film, delivers the goods monetarily and in terms of quality, there is gong to be an American remake. This could be big news for us western world Zombie fans. Might TRAIN TO BUSAN be one of those rare instances wherein the remake is superior to the original, as was the case with THE RING? Or will we end up with another OLDBOY—the Spike Lee remake, that is, which doesn’t hold a candle to the original? We’ll have to wait to find out.