Saturday, June 19, 2021


Movie Name: #
Year of Release: 2020
Director: Il Cho
Starring: Yoo Ah-in, Park Shin-Hye, Jeon Bae-soo, Hyun-Wook Lee, Hye-Won Oh
Genre: Action, Horror, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
View Trailer

Synopsis and Review:
"#Alive" is the feature directorial debut for Il Cho, following a career as a second unit director and assistant director, and had its debut through Netflix. The film follows the story of Oh Joon-woo, a young man who is alone in the apartment for the weekend, since his parents and sister are out of the town. He spends most of his time playing video games, and has an extensive network of gaming friends. During the weekend, he suddenly notices people outside are acting strangely, attacking each other in broad day light. The situation quickly escalates, and he notices that everyone seems to be infected by a similar affliction, which prompts people to attack  each other. As he looks to the news to learn more, he is informed this virus spreads very fast, upon a simple bite, and those who attack are very violent. He decides to barricade himself, and as the days pass, and his supplies dwindle, he decides to eventually end his life. As he's about to do so, another survivor from a neighboring building sends light signals, and they eventually strike a friendship. As they both decide to figure out a way to ask for help, Kim dangerously comes to his building, where they face some unexpected challenges.
"#Alive" is another feature in zombie genre, but one decidedly on a smaller scale than for instance, Zack Snyder's "Army of the Dead". This time around, the virus spreads in Seoul, South Korea, but the action is mostly circumspect to the character of Oh Joon-woo, the young gamer with an active social presence, and also the apartment where he lives. As claustrophobic and terrifying as the scenario unfolding actually is, from a character perspective, both for Oh and Kim, we never know much about who they are, solely that they're survivors, and are somewhat resourceful (Kim more so). It's a film that is nonetheless efficient in its storytelling, with some questionable motivational aspects of the plot, but nonetheless with some interesting observations on the alienation of people in the times of social media, and how those same tools can eventually save those same people. Both Yoo Ah-in and in particular Park Shin-Hye, create compelling characters. While not tremendously memorable, it's still a watchable film.