Netflix’s #Alive Review: Isolation and Zombies

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#Alive is a South Korean zombie movie directed by Cho Il-hyung and starring Ah-In Yoo and Shin-Hye Park.

A tad bit different

#Alive follows the spread of an unknown infection across Korea. A gamer, Oh Joon-woo, gets trapped in his apartment as a result, and must do everything he can to survive.

This movie is probably on a bit of a different tangent than your typical zombie movie. I mean, obviously, zombies are at the core of it, but I found #Alive as more of a survival movie than anything else.

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Joon-woo’s intial reaction to the craziness taking place in Korea is met with mild confusion. A fated message from his family, who are not at home, pushes him to stay alive. However, food and water are scarce, and thus it becomes increasingly difficult for him to go on – add to that the isolation. I think this is what will realistically happen if people get stuck in their homes in the midst of a zombie apocalypse.


Joon-woo doesn’t sit around his home moping all the time (he sometimes does, which is honestly understandable). He tries to be resourceful, but a voicemail and the end of his food supply pushes him to take drastic measures. In comes Kim Yoo-bin as a ray of hope in his life, who not only saves him, but also becomes a friend and ally.

#Alive is more of a dramatic take on the whole situation. The tension is high throughout, and you’d constantly fear for the two survivors’ lives. Technology is very well used in the movie, something that would probably happen if zombies swarmed the streets right about now (nothing too impossible at this point). It’s also more of a simple movie, there are no excessive uses of guns and the survivors defend themselves with what they can.

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There’s a scene in #Alive featuring a 911 operator and a ball. I think it’s one of the most fun scenes in the whole movie, and is quite smartly executed. The zombies also look extremely believable, even close-up shots look great. The movie isn’t huge on the gore factor, but given that tensions are high throughout, it’s not missed much.


Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye play their roles well. Ah-in, especially, plays off the role of a rather confused individual stuck in a very bad situation with flying colours. Additionally, Shin-hye plays Yoo-bin’s feisty but scared persona well too. Their Camaraderie is fun and heartwarming, and the fact that the movie decided to provide a happy end to it all makes it all the more enjoyable.

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I liked how the #Alive features a lot of expositions regarding its zombies, especially the fact that they can sometimes retain certain information from their past life. It was honestly a good touch. The movie also wrote in some humorous bits, nothing too much, but it was fun nonetheless.

#Alive is not Train to Busan. Although, yes, the latter is probably one of the best of the zombie sub-genre, but it would be unfair to compare the two movies. The former is a much lighter film, and deals with a completely different vibe. This movie focuses more on the isolation factor than just surviving cannibalistic zombies, and it does so pretty well. Joon-woo’s face when he sees Yoo-bin for the first time is heartwarming, and there are scenes like this throughout that provide some sense of relief in an otherwise tense and impossible scenario.

Summing up: #Alive


#Alive plays with its characters and story well. Its clever use of technology and the nudge that hope can be found even in the toughest of times makes it a fun, engaging and often-times heartwarming watch. Again, this isn’t Train to Busan, so comparing these two would take you nowhere. However, if you like zombie movies, this wouldn’t be a disappointment.

#Alive is streaming on Netflix.

Read our other reviews here.

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Netflix's #Alive is a good addition to the zombie subgenre. With a relatable and good cast and some great zombies, the movie keeps the tension high while sometimes pulling on the heartstrings.

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