Cast: Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon as Lee Su-hyeok, Yoo In-soo as Yoon Gwi-nam and ensemble
Creator: Chun Sung-il
Director: J.Q. Lee and Kim Nam-Soo.
Streaming On: Netflix
Language: Korean (with subtitles).
Runtime: 12 Episodes Around 1 Hour Each
All Of Us Are Dead Review: What’s It About:
In the Korean town of Hyosan, a high-school girl is bitten by a lab rat in the school science lab. Lesser does she know that the rat was injected with a virus. Soon she transforms into an aggressive beast wanting to eat any human that comes in the way (a zombie actually, but there is a more evolved explanation for it). Soon enough she breaks the virus breaks loose and engulfs the entire town leading to a doomsday.
All Of Us Are Dead Review: What Works:
The only zombie drama that ever felt complete in all senses to me was Train To Busan. I might have missed a better one, but I also know this movie will always have a special place in my heart. The Walking Dead that started quite impressively took a rather disappointing turn. All Of Us Are Dead that brings heart to a story that has monsters without it ruling the city, somewhere sits near the former.
Of course, the majority of them are heartless beasts crawling around the town, but at the same time their existence is not a result of some thoughtless experiment performed in a lab by privileged to create weapons for their gains. Rather it is more personal and humane. The show that streams on Netflix is based on Naver webtoon, Now at Our School, by Joo Dong-geun.
While it follows all the traits of the zombie dramas and does complete justice to the genre at the core of it talks about the regressive culture of bullying. The purpose that the creator creates the virus in the first place is to give his son the confidence. Reason, the poor chap is a shy boy who has been brutally bullied in his school. The aim is to give him the rage so he could protect himself.
It is about a father who wants his son to be strong but ends up creating a monster of a situation. And it’s not just him, but several other suffering bullying in the school. Writer Seong-il Cheon who adapts the show for screen, while building the zombie world makes sure the core reason why the virus was created stays with you till the end. For this the makers introduce the idea of mutation and how some with higher immunity will control the virus in their body and become stronger.
With this, they make a bully and some bullied stronger. So while the living are fighting the moving corpses, there is also a war between the victim and the culprit, only the victims are also equally strong this time. Remember when I said the show is humane? This is what I meant. The conflict here isn’t just to entertain your spooky senses, but also to move you emotionally.
The 12 episode show has more to present than just violence, zombies, flesh, and blood. While bullying is the main conflict, the background of the show is richer. There are conflicts that are personal. Be it the choice to go out and find a missing friend or save their own lives. Or be it watching their dear one turn into zombies and also hitting them at one point.
Amid all of this, there is a deep social commentary. Lee Yoo-mi plays a girl who comes from the privileged class, one that lives in a plush society. She believes she deserves the biggest and the first share of everything, because she is upper class. She makes fun, rather insults a boy who belongs to the have nots and is studying on welfare funds. But at the same time she is also a victim of bullying too. But that doesn’t make her any empathetic or less greedy.
There are many layers to All Of Us Are Dead and just calling a zombie drama doesn’t do justice. There is a school trying to keep its image clean, a father trying the save his daughter no matter what, two teens in love and the triangles that are formed. Dig in and explore it.
Set designs, prosthetics and camera work are all top notch and there is not single bad bone in the technical department.
All Of Us Are Dead Review: Star Performance:
The show brings ahead some of the most phenomenal young actors from the Korean scene. The show cannot be created if any actor thinks only about their performances, and you can see the group acting together and supporting each other all the time.
Park Ji-hu and Yoon Chan-young get the maximum screen time. The chemistry they share brings a layer of coming of age to the show. There is love but unsaid and they don’t even realise that. The complexities due to the same increase and creates a love story amid the apocalypse. But it never geos overboard and that is what is good. The two actor are amazing.
Cho Yi-hyun as Nam-ra goes through a complete transformation. She is one of the strong one mentioned above and she has to portray a range of emotions. Not just as human, she also has to fight the half zombie in her and bring those emotions on her face. The actor does an effortless job.
Lomon who plays Lee Su-hyeok being the seriousness to the drama. He is the boy every girl dreams to date in the high school, but that is never something that bothers the guy. Lomon plays this part like he knows Lee. He fights for his friends, saves people and doesn’t let the bad guys have their day. His chemistry with Yoon Chan-young is beautiful and their conflict at one point creates good drama.
All Of Us Are Dead Review: What’s Doesn’t Work:
There is a girl who is expecting and delivers A baby but you never looks in her advance stage. Meanwhile, she quickly turns into a zombie after delivering the baby and not much about her is known. Her sacrifice is huge and highly moving, she stayed with me through out and I expected her story was told to us in a deeper way.
All Of Us Are Dead Review: Last Words:
It is one of its kind apocalypse horror genre show. There is more than what meets the eye and the heart is at the right place. Watch it if you haven’t already. Emotions are at their peak and so are the bloodthirsty zombies, save yourselves!
Fan of thrillers? Read our Only Murders In The Building Review here!