“Unique” isn’t a word that’s often used to describe zombie movies, but “#Alive” delivers an inventive spin on the genre. This fast-paced Korean thriller is well-acted and suspenseful, with a fair share of unexpected twists and a dash of dry humor.
There’s a deadly virus spreading through the city of Seoul, and Millennial social media enthusiast Oh Joon-woo (Ah-In Yoo) becomes trapped in his family’s apartment during the outbreak. Cut off from his hobby of live streaming and coming to terms with a shortage of both food and water, he finds help from a young woman (Shin-Hye Park) who lives in the adjacent high-rise building. Facing certain doom, the pair are determined to fight their way to freedom and safety and take on an army of quick-moving, flesh-eating zombies.
The movie does a great deal with little plot, the film has only a few characters, and the action is confined to two apartments in a shared building and the courtyard in the middle. You’d think nothing exciting could come from such a simple story and setting, but that’s not the case. This film had me on the edge of my seat, rooting for our unlikely heroes to make it out alive.
Of course there’s a list of truly stupid things the characters do, but that’s part of the fun of apocalyptic stories like this. With all that’s been going on in the world and the ordered lockdowns, the film takes on an even more unsettling tone as you begin think how you’d cope if you were in a similar situation (trapped in your apartment with zombies lurking behind the door).
Writer Matt Naylor and director / co-writer Il Cho prove there are still fresh stories to tell when it comes to the walking dead. There are many original things here that I’ve not seen before in a zombie film or otherwise, making “#Alive” one of the more memorable movies of the year.
By: Louisa Moore