Korean Horror Movie 'Peninsula' Review

If you’re into Korean movies you would’ve been very excited to watch the sequel to the iconic 2016 movie Train to Busan.

Warning: Contain spoilers for ‘Train to Busan’ and ‘Peninsula’.

 

Peninsula is the journey of a soldier who travels back to the South Korean peninsula, four years after it is almost wiped out by a deadly zombie virus. He is on a heist organized by a gang back in Hong Kong and is met with other pivotal characters: a mom, her two daughters and an old man who have survived the outbreak for this long and a mob of frantic soldiers who have been left behind.

While Train to Busan was the onset of the zombie attack, Peninsula is the alarming aftermath.

 

In traditional zombie cinema fashion, the movie begins with a morbid scene of a desolate cityscape and of course, we’re met with a bunch of human eating, bone-breaking, dead people. If someone were to watch both movies without knowing they were related, the only common thread would be the zombies.

What is fascinating about Train to Busan is its ability to make us scream, while simultaneously making us cry our eyeballs off. It introduced us to a band of incredible characters, who we are deeply invested in, hoping for a happy ending. Peninsula switches up the pace and doesn’t allow us time to figure who’s who by the time the zombies have taken over. If someone wanted to create a hybrid of ‘Fast and Furious’ and ‘World War Z’, this is what it would look like.

Cinematically this movie appears more like a chase film. The movie takes a socio-political turn this time around to show us how a deadly virus may be less dangerous than the human mind. While in comparison with it’s predecessor it’s dry in terms of emotion, it has it’s moments still, due to its action-packed chase sequences and body- bending, gore-filled zombies. Sprinkled with a few jump scares at the right moments to bring your attention back to the somewhat confusing plotline. The intentions of this movie are clear, but the approach falls short for me personally. I am a sucker for a good uproarious thriller with melodramatic endings that makes you ponder your existence. Peninsula wasn’t that. The zombies still appear as real and gut-wrenching as part one in addition to driving sequences that make you feel like you’re watching an extended clip of the last of us (yes, the video game). If you appreciate a survival-of-the-fittest action thriller then peninsula is one you will approve of.

Overall Peninsula is a one time watch if you are in it for the thrill in the over-worked zombie genre. I’d give this movie 2.5 stars out of 5.