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Review Seoul Station (2016): Dark, bleak and unrelenting!

genre: animation, horror, drama

Seoul Station is the prequel to Train to Busan that it is much darker and bleaker than the live action film. There are hardly any sympathetic characters in this one. The few that are present, most of the time, fall victim to their own humanity, but worse to the stupidity and selfishness of the main characters. The animation seems to be in function of how the people are in this film since it's never beautiful or colourful. If you are shown a guy with a crooked face that is done on purpose to show you that he is a crooked character. I didn't realize this until very late. 

Especially Hye-sun is a useless and despicable character. She hasn't done anything worthwhile in life and keeps relying on others for everything you can imagine. I swear I can't remember a scene where she is not whining and crying. If she had any admirable traits I could overlook her flaws. But unfortunately she is very passive and lazy. Yet somehow people want to rescue her all the time. Like her father and no good for nothing boyfriend. To be fair the boyfriend tried to pimp her  out to make some money so he at least is trying even if it is reprehensible. 

Seoul Station might be animated but it's not for kids and the squeamish. It is very confronting and gives us a social commentary on how for example South Korea treat their homeless people. Although I think this applies to many other countries in the world so you can interpret this more broadly. It is very heartbreaking to witness how a homeless guy is desperately trying to get help for his sick (infected) buddy but simply gets ignored or abused for doing so. Homeless people are seen as lowlifes or worse as people who don't count. Next to that the film is very critical of how the government treats their own citizens once the infection has spread significantly. This theme is common in most zombie films and one that unfortunately needs to be addressed again and again. Can you really rely and depend on them to help you in your hour of need?  Seoul Station has a few surprises for you in store so be sure to stick around especially when events play out in predictable fashion. 

I know that a lot of zombie films even animated ones are meant to entertain but a lot of them do try to infuse some issues we should pay attention to. And Seoul Station in that aspect is unrelenting. It shows us people when they are at their darkest and nastiest. Might be unpleasant to watch at times but one that should be watched and learned from so that we can do better. So this definitely is one I recommend.    

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