I don’t know if I ever told you guys this, but I live in an apartment building on the 12th floor. Now there are certain advantages and disadvantages to something like that. For one thing I have one of the best views one could think of. Especially with the fireworks at New Year’s Eve I have a front row seat and almost feel like I am high up in the sky right in the middle of the explosions. It’s usually also not a very tempting target for burglars. I mean to steal stuff from a home, and then to move that stuff twelve floors down is not a particular fun prospect to look forward too. But then there are the disadvantages. Noisy neighbours being one of them. With people above, below and to the right and left of you, it can at times be total chaos. But eh, that’s not necessarily restricted to living that high up. No, one of the things I’m most afraid of is fire. The idea of being trapped at the twelfth floor with a fire burning below you, and no exit in sight, is the stuff of nightmares. Then again I’ve learned in life that things can always be worse. Like for instance trying to stay alive while stuck in an appartment in the middle of a virus outbreak that turns people into bloodthirsty zombies. Suddenly that fire sounds quite enticing…

Sometimes those crowds at soccer matches can get a little bit out of hand!

It’s the start of a brand new day for Oh Joon-woo, who wakes up alone in his apartment that he usually shares with his sister and parents. Joon-woo is a gamer, and of course one of the first things he does is switch on his computer jumping into what’s supposed to be another fun online gaming day. However, the poor guy has no idea what’s in store for him. When a few members of his gaming party urge him to switch on his television, he does so, and to his horror he sees quite a disturbing newscast. A mysterious virus is sweeping across the nation turning people into horribly violent psychopaths that attack and even eat the non-infected. Not long thereafter Joon-woo hears terrifying sounds coming from outside, and when he runs to his balcony it’s a scene of utter and complete mayhem. Men and women are running everywhere, attacking and eating each other, and soon they are banging on the doors of Joon-woo’s apartment. Trapped and completely alone, the young gamer has only himself to rely on, and has to try and find a way to survive. But that’s not an easy thing. His food supply is running dangerously low, he lives 8 floors up, and is surrounded by the zombielike creatures. Will Joon-woo be able to stay alive…

Testing…one…two…ah forget it!

In 2016 Korea produced one of the best zombie apocalypse movies ever made Train to Busan. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure to see that one I definitely urge you to do so. Even if you are not a fan of the genre, it’s a movie that is so good, and contains so much emotion, that you often forget it’s about zombies. Even my father, who absolutely hates the flesh eating creatures, highly enjoyed it. This year a sequel for the film called Peninsula was made. I say sequel, but it’s actually a stand alone movie that just takes place in the same world as the first film. I haven’t yet seen it, but I have heard it’s quite good, but a more straightforward movie and not as strong as the original. And now we have #Alive, yet another zombie film, also made in Korea. One would almost think there is something the government of that country is not telling us. Train to Busan raised the bar very high for the genre, and it’s almost unfair to compare new movies to that one. But just to get it out and then proceed with the review, no this movie is not as good as that one. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable though!

Hmm… I can think of better places to sit down than behind a door.

There have been quite a few films that focus on a single location with a lone protagonist who is trying to survive in some form or other. While technically this film isn’t about one person, more on that in a few, it’s definitely the case for the majority of the movie. And one of the most important things for a film like that to work is to have an actor who can carry a film on his lone shoulders. Actor Yoo Ah-in has the honor of fulfilling that role in this movie, and he does so admirably. He’s a very charismatic guy, who is at times a little bit clueless (well his character is anyway), but certainly is brave and has a drive to stay alive. I would have liked to see a little bit more character development, as we honestly know very little about him, apart from the fact that he is a gamer, and lives with his family. That said, it’s hard not to like this guy, and you simply want him to get out alive, because really imagine yourself in his position. It’s enough to drive anyone completely mad. Later in the film, another character is introduced played by actress Park Shin-hye. I really liked her!

Selfies are becoming ever more inventive aren’t they?

Without giving too much away, she is one tough female that is more than a match for the infected, and she had this happy go lucky spirit, that at times also brought some great comic relief. So this being a zombie flick one would expect buckets of gore and blood flying everywhere. Honestly though, that is not really the case here. The zombies look really disgusting and are also a bit more smart than one usually sees in these type of films, but the gore factor is relatively mild here. There are a few scares here and there, but it’s not a movie that’s truly terrifying. It’s a film that never becomes boring though, and doesn’t waste any time in getting to the point. This does mean that because of that it’s not a film that has an Oscar winning script so to speak. But well honestly not every film in this genre needs to be another Train to Busan. Sometimes it’s just nice to be entertained, and on that front this movie certainly delivers. #Alive doesn’t reinvent the zombiegenre, but it does provide a solid and highly enjoyable ride, that you won’t be disappointed in when the credits start to roll. It’s available to watch on Netflix right now! If you live an apartment building like me though, it does make you consider if maybe it’s time to start up those moving plans.

I give #Alive a 8 out of 10 score.  

The things that people do just to get into the spotlights!