Zombie movies are such a populous subgenre of horror that they’re a category in themselves, but their ubiquity means that very few actually stand out from the crowd. One that managed the feat, though, action flick Peninsula, is making a big impact on the Netflix most-watched list. The film is a quasi-sequel to the equally magnificent Train to Busan, in that it’s set after its events in the same world, but features none of the few characters still alive at its conclusion or direct references to what happened in its predecessor.
Since the end of the previous movie, South Korea has become a post-apocalyptic wasteland ruled by the roving undead, the once-prosperous nation now possessing nothing of note other than its titular geographical landscape. A former soldier and his brother-in-law eking out an existence in Hong Kong are recruited by gangsters to venture back to retrieve a truck containing $20 million lost to the outbreak, only when they arrive they discover that the country isn’t quite as depopulated of humans as they thought, and that the ruthless living can often be even more dangerous than the ravenous dead.
MORE FROM THE WEB
Like the best zombie movies, its focus is on character rather than making it solely about undead-battling action, and it delves into the weight of the guilt and regret people carry as a result of the things they had to do in order to survive. Despite lacking the claustrophobic intensity that made Train to Busan so popular, its inventive action sequences make up for it.
Director Yeon Sang-ho’s loose trilogy of Peninsula, which comprises this sequel, its predecessor and that film’s oft-overlooked animated prequel Seoul Station that showed the beginnings of the zombie uprising in the Korean capital, forms an analysis of Korean society and the stratification that still partially maintains it, and is well worth checking out if you’ve yet to take it in.