Two More Horror Movies: Extinction and Train To Busan

Inexplicably (you might think that’s irony, but I couldn’t possibly comment) watching horror movies continues to feel like a not inappropriate way to start 2017. And I got two more under my belt in the last couple of weeks.

Extinction

Misleading trailer alert! Well, slightly misleading. This is a more character-led and less action-driven movie than that trailer would suggest. For big chunks of the movie, it’s two guys and a young girl working out some of their issues in a bleak, wintry, post-apocalyptic world. But there are monsters, and they’re quite nicely conceived and designed. It didn’t blow me away or anything, but it’s a movie with its good points: some decent acting, a cool ice age-ish environment and some effective chills and creeps especially as it gets to the climax. If you like your horror with a healthy dose of character work and a focus on mood rather than all-out action, and your apocalypses kind of intimate instead of wide-screen, might be worth your time.

Train To Busan

Everyone knows East Asia is a bit of the world that knows how to do horror movies, right? Train To Busan is a nice bit of further supporting evidence for that. South Korea gets the zombie apocalypse treatment, and we see almost all of it through the eyes of a train-load of (mostly doomed, obviously) passengers who just want to stay alive long enough to reach some kind of sanctuary. There’s an array of fairly off-the-shelf characters – sports team, neglectfully work-oriented dad, daughter who wants her dad back, selfish businessman etc. – but they’re all made to bounce off each other very entertainingly and the zombie action (fast zombies, my favourite sort) is frantic and fun. And the way the movie uses the train as setting and plot device and action-architecture is great. It’s already slated for an English-language remake, which is rarely a recipe for improving on the original – so if you’re into zombie action, check out this version. I seriously doubt you’ll be disappointed.

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