#Alive (2020) Review – Zombie Film Set in Quarantine.


The pandemic is already next door, and watching a haunting movie about a virus, turning people into zombies, seems synonymous. Alive or marketed as #Alive is a zombie movie, that is a relatable depiction of one man quarantining from a deadly virus, while he is only supported by techno-gadgets around his place, and the last packet of Ramen, for supper.

The Story

Ah-in-Yoo, famously known for his role in the Korean film, Burning, plays the lead character, Jun-u, a PC-gamer who lives with his parents in an apartment complex in Seoul. He wakes up to find out the outbreak of a  mysterious virus that turns his fellow neighbors into flesh-eating monsters.

Jun-u watches the death of his close ones in front of his own eyes yet he chooses to live. From the beginning, he tells himself that he will survive (like in all the PC games), and organizes his food, insulates himself indoors, and even drinks some of dad’s fancy alcohol. But that ray of self-assurance starts dwindling as the film proceeds. He records his emotional journey as vlogs, as things get worse when food starts to run out, and slowly loneliness kicks in, making things pretty tense. Right before he gives up permanently, he finds another tenant, Yu-bin (Shin-Hye Park) in the opposite apartment. She too has figured out her own system of survival, but what lies ahead is a distance between them, while the path is filled with man-eating Zombies. Will they survive or even meet? That’s what the film explores ahead.

Zombie Genre – Why everything feels Repetitive?

#Alive is yet another take on the Zombie genre that tests one’s hope at the times of an apocalypse— where the protagonist struggles with it, especially when they have to fight off the waves of zombies coming their way. But true to the story’s sentimentality, good news often comes soon, much predictable to the genre.

There’s nothing peculiar about “#Alive, except for the use of technology. Jun-u is a PC gamer and tech-savvy, which leads to some captivating scenes, depicting how beneficial Technology could be in one’s quarantine, even if it’s a Zombie Apocalypse.

Not to miss, #Alive is, somehow, a one-location film, a kind of genre that is booming during the time of Pandemic and it might be quoted as a One Location Zombie Film, though it doesn’t look budget-friendly at all, as the shots and VFX are very classy and top-notch.

#Alive is not something new or innovative, and simply becomes repetitive after a point, though I’d like to applaud the endeavour because director Cho Il-Hyung has integrated a lot of new experimented scenes and effects to make the film interesting. Yet #Alive” lacks substance and content. If the story or the script, would have been more appealing or gripping, it would have really pulled off a memorable take on the genre, like Train to Busan.

#Alive directed by Cho Il-Hyung is a Korean zombie film released in 2020. It has been streaming on Netflix since September 8, 2020.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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