I’m not one to normally watch animated horror films, which honestly is probably something I should change soon, but when the announcement for the prequel to Train to Busan, Seoul Station was released, I knew I had to check it out. I loved Train to Busan (oddly enough, I never did get around to reviewing it on here. Let’s change that! Awesome movie, cool zombies, great acting, for the most part, and hard hitting ending. Buy!) and I wish I could say the same for Seoul Station. Yeon Sang-ho, who directed Train to Busan, returns, but something doesn’t quite feel right with this animated zombie tale. For one thing, being a prequel, it should focus on what started the zombie outbreak, but that doesn’t happen. Instead, we get your cliche citizens on the run from zombies, the government declaring Marshall Law and the army not caring for civilians.
A man sleeping in Seoul Station becomes a catalyst for the pandemonium in downtown Seoul; a zombie apocalypse. The rapidly spreading infection propels an authentic family drama, drawing mordant parallels to real-world social horrors.
Seoul Station tries to have its story related to the social injustices that society, unfortunately, puts upon people who are poor and homeless, and at times it does work. However, because this is a zombie story first, I want there to be a lot of gore and zombie action, and there are just too many periods of nothing happening. We follow people as they have random scenes of running away, but most of the gore with zombies happens off screen, which to many will seem criminal when talking about an animated film. The amount of gore this movie could have had was limited only by the imagination of the artist.
Speaking of the art, Seoul Station has a tendency to reuse of a lot animation, especially when it comes to the zombie horde. Thankfully it’s only noticeable at certain times. Otherwise, the rest of the film looks pretty damn awesome. The same can’t be said for the voice acting, as more often than not, it borders on mumbling and a lot of it is hard to understand (of course, I don’t speak Korean so I wouldn’t have understood it anyway; thank god for English subtitles.)
I know Seoul Station is trying to tell a certain story, but all I wanted when I started the film up was a prequel to Train to Busan that explained a bit more of the zombie outbreak and gave me a ton of gory zombie gore. Instead, I got a drama light on zombie gore and lacking anything related to explaining the outbreak.
Nevertheless, fans of Train to Busan will still want to check out Seoul Station. It’s currently available on iTunes for a measly $12.99. Give it a watch and see what you think. You might like it more than I did.