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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Review: #Alive

Director: Il Cho
Screenplay: Il Cho y Matt Naylor
Year: 2020

Well, another zombie movie to keep growing the mountain of movies available in this genre. On this occasion, “#Alive” makes its way from South Korea, which forces to solve the simple equation: zombies + South Korea = "Train to Busan". "Train to Busan" has become, at least for me, as the standard to compare any other zombie movie, especially if it comes from the same country, and that is a hard-to-reach standard.

Oh Joon-woo starts his day like any other, and while he participates in an online game with friends, he starts getting messages about something that is going on in the country. After identifying the situation’s apparent gravity, the young man puts on the local news station where they are reporting a sudden violent behavior and cannibalistic tendencies from citizens. By just looking out his window, he understands that the problem is much worse than he thought. 

Locked in his apartment, Oh Joon-woo starts observing these creatures’ behavior, and even while inside his apartment, he cannot avoid some close encounters. However, this whole situation catches him with little food in his apartment, which puts him in a tricky situation where his life is in danger, either if he stays in or gets out. A few days later, he notices that in the building in front of his' there is a survivor, with whom he develops a bond that improves their chances of surviving.

In a very timely manner, "#Alive" ("#Saraitda") is released on Netflix in a time where many of us live locked in the insides of our homes as a precaution for what's going on outside. This time it is a zombie infection of the likes that we have seen so many. The epidemic and the zombies’ behavior grab inspiration from other movies in the genre, but is mainly reminiscent of "Dawn of the Dead".

The plot of “#Alive” lacks originality as, in essence, it is a story about two people trying to survive an epidemic where people are turning into zombies. However, Il Cho ("No Tears for the Dead") and Matt Naylor know how to keep the viewer intrigued with their script, where they show some original ideas and manage the tension well with its fast pace. The cast, mainly composed of two actors, Ah-In Yoo ("Six Flying Dragons") and Shin-Hye Park, do a great job of portraying interesting characters and care about their outcome, that is what the movie is based upon. The zombies also look good thanks to the special effects and makeup, like the bloody eyes and the gore. 

The main accomplishment of “#Alive” is being intriguing and entertaining in an extremely worn down genre and without presenting any groundbreaking ideas. This is achieved by crafting exciting characters and a plot with plenty of tension and good rhythm. However, it is nothing more than another zombie movie that, while it is entertaining, doesn’t put anything new in a genre where there is little more to innovate upon.

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