#ALIVE (2020) Reviews and overview

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#Alive is a 2020 South Korean science-fiction horror feature film about a young man and young woman trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. The original title is #Saraitda

Directed by Il Cho from a screenplay co-written with Matt Naylor, the movie stars Yoo Ah-In, Park Shin-Hye, Hyun-Wook Lee and Chae Kyung Lee. The movie is a South Korean take on the Tyler Posey pic Alone (2020) which Naylor also wrote.


Joon-Woo (Yoo Ah-In) and Yoo-Bin (Park Shin-Hye) struggle to survive in an isolated apartment complex from those infected with a mysterious virus. Everything including the internet, phone, and electricity has been disconnected so they only have each other…


“Director Il Cho navigates the complexities of a zombie-horror-romance in the smartphone age with blood, guts, and selfie sticks. Plus vlogs and drones for good measure. South Korea often does horror very well, and while I might not put this in Train to Busan territory, it’s a pretty decent watch…” @ssholes Watching Movies

” …sadly it’s largely lacking in originality, action, and execution, adding little to nothing to the genre, with all the practical effects on the undead looking as cheap and tacky as it gets, which makes them more amusing than horrifying.” CineMarvellous!

“One thing #Alive has is how well-paced the film’s action and narrative is, as nothing ever feels like a drag or that it is being rushed. Instead, it knows when to take its time to establish how our main characters are fairing […]  It takes its time, yes, but it never lingers any longer than necessary and we are often quickly thrust back into the next zombie-filled scene…” Geek Review

” …let’s not oversell it — #Alive does enjoy the zombie aspects when it veers away from the character development. The zombie horror understands the human side to a devastating event which makes it more than just a genre film. #Alive deserves way more promotion than it actually got.” Ready Steady Cut!

#Alive is the middle-ground of a zombie story, in that its bleeding heart emotions are unmistakable, and the zombie stuff can be good enough, with detailed make-up work and creepy choreography creating some nightmarish extras. It’s more that the film is built for low expectations, and you either accept it or else.” RogerEbert.com

“It’s not like the zombies are ignored completely here, the prosthetics are very well-managed and CGI effects are nicely executed. Even the use of technology and social media, old and new is pretty nicely done. Overall, #Alive never dives deep in detailing or making itself a high-action packed zombie thriller but it brings new layers in a solid zombie-thriller.” The Scrbblr

#Alive succeeds when it is intimate. A story about loss, loneliness and hope put the film on the right path before opting to enter into the comfort zones of mainstream audiences […] At the end of the day, #Alive takes a back seat to stronger South Korean zombie films such as Rampant and Peninsula. A good start squandered by a poor landing.” Society Reviews

“It’s tricky to say where #Alive lands in a ranking of South Korean’s zombie output since its approach has an uncanny timeliness that offsets the gradual reliance on formula, including the use of a tired genre trope to add extra frisson to the final reel. Yet compact design and brisk execution ensure that it is another effective entry in an impressively varied cycle.” VCinema

#Alive truly wasted its potential, including the lack of ability to generate enough tension. The first 40 minutes of the film might have approached the zombie genre differently, however, the rest of it quickly reduced the film to cliché ‘catch me if you can’ moments. Yoo Ahn-in is perfect in the role of Joon-woo, nevertheless, even his excellent acting did not save the film from being a run-of-the-mill production.” View of the Arts

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