#ALIVE (2020) is a new zombie movie which hails from South Korea and is currently available on Netflix.
It’s the story of a young man Oh Joon-Woo (Ah-In Yoo) who wakes up one day alone in his apartment and discovers that the outside world has forever changed. A deadly disease has struck turning people into violent, vicious cannibals, otherwise known in the movie world as zombies. These folks are a bit different than your typical zombies, as they can remember things from their past lives, and so some are adept at turning door knobs and opening doors, while others, like a firefighter-turned-zombie, remembers how to scale the outside of an apartment building.
Oh Joon-Woo is a gamer and as such a whiz with technology, and he uses this to his advantage, but as the days turn into weeks, his hopes for survival dwindle. But then he meets a young woman Kim You-bin (Shin-Hye Park) from the apartment complex across the way, and eventually they join forces and do everything they can to stay…. alive.
#ALIVE is a decent horror movie. The biggest knock against it is it doesn’t really offer much that is new to the genre. As such, while I enjoyed it, I liked TRAIN TO BUSAN (2016) and THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS (2016) much more.
Ah-In Yoo is okay as Oh Joon-Woo, the young man who finds himself separated from his family and totally alone in his fight against the zombies. There was a quirky humorous side to him that for some reason didn’t really work for me.
I enjoyed Shin-Hye Park’s performance as Kim You-bin more, as there was something edgy and mysterious about her character that kept her captivating. I thought the film really picked up once she entered the story. And while I wasn’t a big fan of the humor in this film, I did enjoy the comical moment when Oh Joon-Woo shares his Nutella with Kim You-bin, and she is unimpressed, to which he blurts out to himself, “Why did I even share this with her then?”
There also aren’t really too many intense scenes or frightening ones. While there are plenty of zombie kills and sequences where our two main characters have to fight to survive and ward off zombie attacks, these sequences are not anything we haven’t seen before. The best one comes near the end, when Kim attempts to reach Oh’s building. That’s the best scene in the movie.
Director II Cho has made a quick compact horror movie that while it has little fat on its bones never becomes as intense as one would expect. Cho also wrote the screenplay, along with Matt Naylor.
If you like zombie movies, there’s no reason why you won’t enjoy #ALIVE. But if you’ve never seen one, there are plenty of others you probably want to check out first before watching this movie.
As for me, I liked #ALIVE well enough, and it certainly provides some horrific fun here around Halloween time, but it wasn’t quite a homerun for me.
While there were plenty of parts to this one that I enjoyed, taken as a whole, it just never really came… alive.