DVD Movie Guide @ dvdmg.com
Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main


Sang-ho Yeon
Gong Yoo, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma
Writing Credits:
Joo-Suk Park, Sang-ho Yeon

While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Korean DTS X
Korean Dolby 2.0
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Dolby 2.0
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 118 min.
Price: $24.98
Release Date: 1/17/2017

• “Behind the Scenes” Featurette
• “That’s A Wrap” Featurette
• Trailer & Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Train to Busan [Blu-Ray] (2016)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (November 10, 2020)

For a mix of action and horror, we head to Korea for 2016’s Train to Busan. We meet Seok-woo (Gong Yoo), a divorced man whose work keeps him preoccupied.

Due to his heavy schedule, Seok-woo grows estranged from his young daughter Su-an (Seok-woo). To make her happy, Seok-woo takes Su-an on a train ride from Seoul to Busan so she can see her mother.

As they make this trek, however, a virus spreads and turns masses of humans into zombies. The outbreak reaches the train and leaves Seok-woo and Su-an to fight for their lives in this enclosed space.

Perhaps unfairly, it seems difficult not to compare Busan to 2014’s Snowpiercer, partly because they offer action stories set on trains. In terms of the “unfairly” part, though, that occurs because both Snowpiercer and Busan come from Korean directors, and it feels slightly wrong to link the two just due to the nationality of the filmmakers.

That said, I doubt Sang-ho Yeon will mind too much if we compare him to an Oscar-winner like Snowpiercer’s Joon-ho Bong.

Whatever similarities we find, Busan separates from Snowpiercer due to themes and tone. Whereas Bong offered a heaping dose of social commentary with his action, Busan progresses more as a pure thriller/horror tale.

If Yeon wants to create any deeper meaning to Busan, he keeps it pretty well hidden – or I just got too wrapped up in the mayhem to think about such topics. After a fairly quick intro to our protagonists, the zombie assault begins, and we find ourselves in the thick of things, with little time to ponder much beyond how the characters will survive in such a confined space.

Of course, one may ask “why not just stop the train and evacuate?”, but Busan accounts for that potential plot hole. I won’t offer potential spoilers, but the film ensures that it finds a way to avoid that logical “out”.

This leaves the characters trapped on the train most of the time. Despite the potential monotony due to the limited sets, Busan manages to develop the material in clever ways.

In many ways, Busan reminds me of disaster movies more than horror, mainly via the way it develops its characters. Ala flicks such as The Poseidon Adventure, we find disparate folks who need to overcome animosity and band together for the greater good.

While Busan finds nothing especially new in these themes, it still utilizes the clichés in a manner that makes them work. As I mentioned, Busan doesn’t worry about deeper meaning or social importance – it just wants to give us a rollicking jolt to the senses, with a little emotion connected to the father/daughter relationship as well.

And in that regard, it succeeds. A lively, action-packed, tense tale, Busan becomes a fun ride.

The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Train to Busan appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This wasn’t a flawless presentation but it looked good.

For the most part, sharpness satisfied. A couple of wider shots suffered from a minor decline in delineation, but the majority of the film seemed accurate and concise. No issues with jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and I saw no edge haloes or source flaws.

Colors went down the stylized path, with a trend toward teal and amber. These seemed perfectly satisfactory given the visual choices.

Blacks appeared rich and taut, while low-light shots displayed nice clarity and smoothness. Overall, I remained pleased with the image.

Similar thoughts greeted the involving DTS X. Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1, violent scenes brought the most active information, as those used zombie terror and other elements of mayhem to create a vivid sense of the material.

Music also created a good presence, as the score filled the speakers to the film’s advantage. All of these factors formed a lively soundscape.

Audio quality worked well, too. Music was dynamic and full, while effects appeared accurate and dynamic.

Speech seemed distinctive and concise, without edginess or other issues. The soundtrack added to the movie’s effectiveness.

Two featurettes appear, and Behind the Scenes runs 13 minutes, one second. It provides raw footage from the set and becomes a fun “fly on the wall” reel.

That’s a Wrap goes for four minutes, 35 seconds and offers more production video combined with a few comments from director Sang-ho Yeon and actor Gong Yoo. It's a decent view of the shoot.

The disc opens with ads for Operation Mekong, The Tunnel, The Wailing and Phantasm. We also get a trailer for Busan.

With its claustrophobic setting, Train to Busan manages a good twist on the standard zombie flick. It packs plenty of lively action and becomes a worthwhile entry in the genre. The Blu-ray offers strong picture and audio along with minor bonus materials. Busan turns into an effective mix of scares and thrills.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 1
1 3:
View Averages for all rated titles.

Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main