From Well Go USA Entertainment’s official site:
“Four years after South Korea’s total decimation in TRAIN TO BUSAN, the zombie thriller that captivated audiences worldwide, acclaimed director Yeon Sang-ho brings us PENINSULA, the next nail-biting chapter in his post-apocalyptic world. Jung-seok, a soldier who previously escaped the diseased wasteland, relives the horror when assigned to a covert operation with two simple objectives: retrieve and survive. When his team unexpectedly stumbles upon survivors, their lives will depend on whether the best—or worst—of human nature prevails in the direst of circumstances.”
We don’t need more zombie movies, I’ll be the first to admit that. It’s a tired genre and trope for sure. However, Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan did the zombie movie right. It created sympathetic human characters, placed them in a deliciously claustrophobic environment, and provided some nice subtext and themes to go along with the horror.
And, like many other great Korean films it rips your heart out and makes you suffer to get any relief from tension. You can’t help but hope every character survives, and when someone inevitably dies a little part of you goes with them. For me, Train to Busan was one of 2017’s best movies.
So, imagine my surprise when a sequel was announced. Yes, I’m aware there’s an animated prequel film called Seoul Station. But, a prequel is entirely different than a sequel that may ruin the satisfying ending of Train to Busan.
You can imagine my relief when it turns out Peninsula’s not really a sequel at all. Rather, it’s vaguely related and from the same filmmaker. Taking place 4 years after the first movie, Peninsula merely exists in the same “universe” so to speak. The zombies have since overrun Korea, and for some reason a crew has to go in and get a thing. That’s a perfect horror setup. I’m game for that!
However, the trailer does raise a few red flags for me. It might just be an attempt to appeal to Western audiences, but the trailer emphasizes the action a bit much for my taste, showing care chases, gun fights, and a Mad Max style arena with zombies. Part of me really LOVES the idea of a sequel flipping genres (ala Aliens or Army of Darkness), but another part of me is worried that the social commentary and characters might be lost in the gore.
To hear further thoughts on Peninsula, hosted above is our latest episode of Trailer Talk! Listen to Melvin and me banter about Peninsula and several other movie trailers!
Description: Four years after South Korea’s total decimation in Train to Busan, the zombie thriller that captivated audiences worldwide, acclaimed director Yeon Sang-ho brings us Peninsula, the next nail-biting chapter in his post-apocalyptic world.
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Starring: Dong-Won Gang, Jung-hyun Lee, and John D. Michaels
Rating: Not Yet Rated
Release Date: August 12, 2020
Consider supporting Cinematic Doctrine on Patreon! As a bonus, you’ll gain access to a once-a-month movie poll where you decide a movie we discuss on the podcast! You also gain access to the The CinDoc Pre-Show, a Patreon exclusive podcast series where my cohost Daniel and I casually talk movies, Christianity, and life itself.
Daniel Braindead is a producer and cohost of Cinematic Doctrine. Combining his BA of Biblical Studies, brief study in Journalism, and an overdose of film trivia and film history, Daniel brings clarity and comedy to Trailer Talk and Monthly Movie News. His prowess for cultural understanding and biblical application always brings something new to the table.