Inexplicably, this South Korean horror film – set on a speeding locomotive – is not called ‘Zombies on a Train’. Director Yeon Sang-ho keeps it simple as several stock characters board the high-speed express from Seoul to Busan amid some unheeded omens. There’s a scumbag hedge-fund manager and his daughter, a pair of old ladies, a pregnant woman and a high school baseball team. And finally, one sweaty teenager, obviously unwell, who jumps on at the last minute. It’s not long before her eyes go rabid, her neck cocks and her bloodlust rises.
‘Train to Busan’ does a thrilling job with its zombie effects, which owe a debt to the floodlike, spilling-over aesthetic of Brad Pitt horror ‘World War Z’. These are the fast-running variety from ‘28 Days Later’, and as they smash their faces up against windows while passengers flee screaming from car to car you can’t help but be swept up in the panic. Less effectively, the movie has some slightly obvious social comeuppances and you’ll groan at the contrivances. (There’s nothing like the end of the world to bring out both greed and empathy.) But just wait a few minutes and you’ll get to the next action sequence. As a piece of gore, ‘Train to Busan’ takes the most direct route from A to Z.