‘#Alive’ is safe, comfort-food horror

 

Sometimes, all you ask of a movie is that it be entertaining.

It doesn’t need to be particularly deep, or even all that artistically challenging.

It just needs to be good enough to keep you watching, like the cinematic equivilant of comfort food.

This week’s Halloween entry, the South Korean zombie horror #Alive, is a perfect example of this sort of movie.

Even for the zombie genre, the plot is rather bare-bones.

We follow the young Ah-In Yoo (played by Oh Joon-woo) who finds himself trapped in his small apartment when his city is suddenly overrun by hordes of zombies.

He is soon joined by fellow survivor Shin-Hye Park (Kim Yoo-bin) and the two have to figure out how to stay alive long enough to be rescued.

#Alive ticks all the boxes you’d expect to find in this sort of film, and those looking for a unique spin on the genre will likely be disappointed.

What really sells the film is the performances from the two leads.

A lot of the film actually leaves the zombies in the background and instead focuses on how Yoo and Park choose to cope with the sudden collapse of their lives.

Yoo, being a stereotypically internet-obsessed Millenial, initially takes it pretty hard and his first reaction to learning about the zombie outbreak is to barricade his apartment door and just go back to playing video-games.

In contrast, Park seems to have a better grip on things.

When we meet her, we see she’s managed to fully rig her apartment with various clever traps and has even managed to scavenge an impressive amount of food and medicine.

Both characters have their own strenghts and weaknesses and watching them learn to work together is a lot of fun and pretty tense in some places.

Will it be remembered as a genre classic?

Probably not, but it’s definitely earned its place among the popular “good-enough-to-rewatch” shelf.

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