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Movie Review - #Alive (2020)

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A passionate screenwriter and freelance blogger with deep interest in horror, action, and documentary films.

#Alive (2020) Movie Poster

#Alive (2020) Movie Poster

Overview

#Alive (2020) is a South Korean zombie apocalypse film directed by Choi ll-hyung and screenplay written by Choi ll-hyung and Matt Naylor. The film is produced by ZIP Cinema and Perspective Pictures. #Alive (2020) is distributed by Lotte Entertainment and released on June 24, 2020 in South Korea. The film box office grossed over $14 million dollars in revenue. #Alive (2020) is an adaptation of Alone (2019) film script which was written by Choi ll-hyung’s co-writer, Matt Naylor. The film stars Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye, both popular A-list movie stars in South Korea.

Park Shin-hye and Yoo Ah-in at the #Alive (2020) movie premiere

Park Shin-hye and Yoo Ah-in at the #Alive (2020) movie premiere

Summary

In the beginning of the film, Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) is living alone in his apartment and playing computer games with his online gaming friends. Oh Joon-woo suddenly hears about a breaking news on T.V. about a virus outbreak in the city of Seoul, South Korea. He walks over to the balcony to see people being attacked by zombies. Oh Joon-woo hears a loud commotion near his front door and he opens. A neighbor (Lee Hyun-wook) rushes inside Oh Joon-woo’s apartment unit and pleads with him to let him stay. Oh Joon-woo finds out that his neighbor is bitten and tells the neighbor to leave. The neighbor denies being bitten and refuses. Suddenly, the neighbor succumbs to the infection and attacks Oh Joon-woo. Oh Joon-woo successfully manages to kick him out. He quickly locks his front door and messages his family that he is safe. He barricades inside his apartment unit and goes on social media to seek help.


Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) at the balcony in shock what's unfolding in front of him

Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) at the balcony in shock what's unfolding in front of him

Neighbor (Lee Hyun-wook) looks at the mirror to see himself succumbing to the infection

Neighbor (Lee Hyun-wook) looks at the mirror to see himself succumbing to the infection

As days pass, Oh Joon-woo runs out of food and becomes distressed. Along with it, Oh Joon-woo has no running water, electricity, or WiFi connection at all. He begins to lose his sanity and hallucinates. Oh Joon-woo decides to end his life by hanging himself, but fails when he gets laser beamed by Kim Yoo-bin (Park Shin-hye). Oh Joon-woo walks out to his balcony and sees Kim Yoo-bin in her apartment complex across from his. Oh Joon-woo leaves his apartment unit in search of food and supplies. He finds walkie-talkies inside his neighbor’s unit and heads back to his unit. Oh Joon-woo uses his drone to carry the rope to Kim Yoo-bin's balcony. Knowing that no rescue would come, they decide to plan an escape.

Kim Yoo-bin (Park Shin-hye) and Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) communicating through walkie-talkie

Kim Yoo-bin (Park Shin-hye) and Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) communicating through walkie-talkie

The next day, Kim Yoo-bin uses the rope to rappel down from her balcony and runs through the parking lot towards Oh Joon-woo’s apartment complex while being chased by zombies. She manages to get a revolver from the ground and is helped by Oh Joon-woo who leads her to the elevator. The horde of zombies chase after them through the apartment hallway. Out of nowhere, a masked man (Jeon Bae-soo) helps them and brings them inside his apartment. The masked man provides Oh Joon-woo and Kim Yoo-bin with food. Kim Yoo-bin finds out that the masked man put sleeping pills inside the food which causes them to blank out. Inside the bedroom, the masked man ties Kim Yoo-bin’s hands with rope and releases his zombified wife to devour her. Oh Joon-woo wakes up and knocks out the masked man. He stops the zombified wife from devouring Kim Yoo-bin and the zombified wife bites the masked man instead. Kim Yoo-bin pulls out a revolver to shoot the masked man and zombified wife, killing them both.


Kim Yoo-bin (Park Shin-hye) and Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) safe in the elevator

Kim Yoo-bin (Park Shin-hye) and Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) safe in the elevator

Chased through the apartment hallway by zombies

Chased through the apartment hallway by zombies

The sound of the gunshot attracts the zombie to them. Oh Joon-woo and Kim Yoo-bin make their way to the roof as the zombies chase after them. They make it to the top of the roof and nowhere to go, they begin to panic. Suddenly, a military helicopter arrives and rescues them from the zombies. Inside the helicopter, Oh Joon-woo and Kim Yoo-bin become overjoyed and find out the phone connection has started working again. Oh Joon-woo finds out that his family is alive and safe. A news broadcast makes a public announcement that the military rescue is now active and anyone that posted on social media for help is now being rescued.

Kim Yoo-bin (Park Shin-hye) and Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) panic as the zombies draws closer to them

Kim Yoo-bin (Park Shin-hye) and Oh Joon-woo (Yoo Ah-in) panic as the zombies draws closer to them

Review

#Alive (2020) has become a popular film in South Korea with millions of viewers. Zombie apocalypse film has recently been emerging in South Korea entertainment. With the popularity of Train to Busan (2016) and Rampant (2018), #Alive (2020) brings another new story tale of zombie apocalypse. This film shows how bad a pandemic can get and the main protagonist facing new struggles during quarantine. This film has gained notoriety for being similar to the COVID-19 pandemic. The film also shows how social media and phones can be useful in dire situations, even when it seems like it’s not. With the emergence of digital age technology, it shows how easy it can be for people to communicate with each other. #Alive (2020) is now streaming on Netflix with English subtitles.

© 2020 Daniel Won