Currently streaming on Netflix is the South Korean horror movie, #Alive. The movie – directed by Cho II-hyung – made its theatrical debut in South Korea back in June, but is now available for Netflix subscribers after the streaming service picked up the worldwide distribution rights.
#Alive tells the story of a young gamer called Oh Joon-woo, who finds himself trapped inside his apartment in the midst of a zombie outbreak. During the course of the movie he does his best to survive, but as the days tick away his situation worsens, and his plight looks pretty dire.
To say that the release of #Alive is well-timed would be an understatement. While this might be a zombie movie in appearance, in essence this is a story about someone coping with isolation and feels very reflective of the times we are living in during 2020.
In fact, some of the scenes feel as if they mirror my own experiences from earlier in the year. Not the scenes of flesh-eating zombies, but the moments in which lead character Oh Joon-woo finds himself cut off from the outside world, told to stay in doors away from people, and living on a diet of wall-to-wall news.
There is also a moment, around 30 minutes into the movie, when Oh Joon-Woo imagines his situation improving – he is surrounded by family, he is no longer alone, and he is able to embrace his loved ones. While it is quite clear this scene is complete fantasy brought on by days of isolation, it is something which is also incredibly relatable – and the same can be said for moments of hopelessness and frustration that he experiences too.
As the story develops, more characters get introduced and the zombie situation becomes more prevalent. From here, the relatability of the movie starts to wane a little and it becomes something more akin to an episode of The Walking Dead (albeit a good episode of The Walking Dead).
It no longer feels like the movie is pushing any boundaries, but what is being served up is still good stuff. The action scenes are strong, the horror is pretty terrifying, the actors sell the heck out of the premise, and it all feels very involving.
I have watched a ton of zombie movies and there are only a few which I actually care for. I would say #Alive fits into this category, because everything it does, it does well.
Coming in at just under 100 minutes, this is also a fairly tight movie which knows what it wants to do. At no point does the movie sag, and while the final few minutes did annoy me a touch, there is a lot to like throughout the film.
#Alive might be another entry in the increasingly bloated zombie genre, which already contains the excellent South Korean movie, The Train to Busan (highly recommended if you have never seen it), but this is a great little horror film. Whether you can stomach a movie such as this while the world is still being turned upside down is entirely up to you, but if you can make time for it, you will find much to enjoy with #Alive.
Thank you for taking the time to stop by It’s A Stampede! to read this review for #Alive. For more movie-related content, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.