#ALIVE: Movie Review

#Alive was shown on Korean cinemas and earned a good blockbuster take after the pandemic struck. However, because most cinemas remain closed in several parts of the world, it reached a global market through Netflix streaming. It was good decision on the part of the production team because it would have been a waste if the movie did not get the attention it deserved.

Synopsis: A virus spreads across the densely populated areas in Korea which turns people into zombies. Jun Woo (Yoo Ah In) is a happy go lucky gamer who was minding his own business when it all happened. After spending 20 days in isolation, he decides to end it but he discovers that a girl from the next building (Park Shin Hye) was also alive. They join forces to survive.

I must say that a lot of people can relate with #Alive because of the isolation brought on by the pandemic, especially with the countries like the Philippines where an extended lockdown period is enforced. As Jun Woo slowly rations his supplies, and struggles with desperation and hunger, people will remember the early days of the pandemic where there was panic about supplies, transport and the like.

A lot can also relate to Jun Woo’s desperation as he watches people get infected. Yet he is helpless to do anything about the situation. Its frustrating to see him in survival mode though. He didnt stock up on water when it was still available. He didn’t eat his perishables before he rationed his instant food. He wasn’t being very smart and survived only on sheer luck.

Soo Bin was the opposite. She seemed like she knew how to survive. They should have explored her backstory more because her actions implied that there was a deeper trauma at play instead of just what she shared.

As for the zombies and the crazies, there were a few close calls but the pair of them made it to the action part of the movie.

I would say though that the film was less of a zombie movie than it was a mental health movie. It was a slow burn with only flashes of action here and there. While at first it was exciting, three fourths of the movie was spent showcasing Jun Woo’s state of mind. It tackled the stages of depression and isolation and how one finds hope in social interaction. The ending was a bit cliche though. At some points, I felt cheated after being sold on a fast paced zombie film with lots of blood and gore.

One thing I could say. If there ever was a zombie apocalypse, I would want to be in Korea. It took 15 days to lose water and another five before the power supply gave out. If you knew what to do with it, you could survive for much much longer. Its a doomsday preppers dream for sure.

All in all, #Alive started out pretty good but the intensity waned as the movie progressed. It was a good film but it failed to commit to the horror idea. As a result, it became a conversation about mental health and social media. Go figure.

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