#Alive: Watch It Or Drop It?


Photo Courtesy of Netflix.

#Alive, a Korean horror film directed by Cho Il-hyung that is available on Netflix, thrusts the viewer into a world where a zombie virus outbreak occurs and much like you and me, the main character is forced to quarantine and stay in the safety of their home or risk being eaten alive. With a one hour and 39-minute runtime and an interesting premise, is it worth watching?

Based on the script Alone, written by Matt Naylor, the movie delves into the world of Oh Joon-woo, a tall yellow haired Korean sporting a buzzcut, who spends most of his time live streaming video games in his apartment where he lives with his family.  It took less than a day for his world to be turned upside down.  When his family leaves to buy groceries, Joon-woo steps out onto the balcony for a breath of fresh air, only to see mass panic and people tearing each other apart.  He turns on the news and finds out that a virus is the source of all of this.  Symptoms of it include bleeding eyes, cannibalistic tendencies, and the loss of rational thought.  Disturbingly, the infected are also semi-intelligent and have quick reflexes.  After a close encounter with an infected, Joon-woo soon realizes the gravity of the situation. Locked alone in his apartment, he faces challenges such as obtaining food and water and remaining quiet, so he doesn’t attract the attention of the zombies roaming around his apartment building.  After facing more hardships and adversity, Joon-woo is on the verge of giving up when he finds out that someone in the apartment across from him is still alive.  Through a line strung between the two apartments they are able to communicate with each other and attempt to overcome the pandemic.  Knowing of the dangers ahead, they push forward in the hopes of being rescued. 

#Alive does a good job of capturing the same feelings and sensations that we feel due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as Joon-woo is in a somewhat similar situation as us.  The boredom and confusion Joon-woo experiences are reflected back on to us and somehow inspires a feeling of kinship.  The movie is effective in putting us in the characters’ shoes, however, its flaw is that it fails to fully develop the characters.  For the most part, the movie features two characters, but we are given almost no backstory to them and they almost seem more like templates than people who have individual stories.  Despite those problems, #Alive is still is a very decent movie and fun to watch.  It doesn’t have anything in particular that makes it stand out among other movies of the same genre, but it does everything well.  From the brilliant acting, to the setting, and most importantly the zombies, everything seamlessly fits in place.  It also incorporates modern technology and puts a creative spin in many scenes. 

Overall, I would watch #Alive again and recommend it to anyone interested.  With captivating scenes, hordes of horrifying zombies, and a premise relevant to the audience, #Alive is definitely worth checking out.