By Dave B.
Seoul Station (2016, currently on Amazon Prime) is the animated prequel to one of the greatest zombie movies of all time, “Train to Busan”. In the prequel, viewers see how the zombie outbreak begins aand follow a young woman as she desperately seeks safety from the undead while her boyfriend and father search throughout Seoul, South Korea for her.
On the positive side, Seoul Station’s animation is decent, it’s fast-paced with fluid action, and the story does a good job of getting viewers to care about the heroine. She’s no angel, but she’s fairly resourceful and empathetic (although her crying/whining gets to be a bit grating at times). Also, getting a look at the forgotten and overlooked people in Seoul’s society is absolutely fascinating. I can’t speak for everyone, but when I think of a modern, democratic Asian metropolis such as Seoul, I mostly think of the glitz and glamour of those places. It’s good to be reminded that in any economic miracle, there are those that are left behind and that what happens to them impacts us all. Looked at in isolation, Seoul Station is interesting throughout the entirety of its 93 minutes.
Unfortunately, because Seoul Station is a direct prequel to a great movie, it can’t be (and probably shouldn’t be) looked at entirely without consideration of the movie that preceded it. And frankly, it’s an obviously inferior movie when compared to “Train to Busan”. Perhaps surprisingly, this isn’t because Seoul Station is animated instead of live-action. It’s because the tone of Seoul Station is unrelentingly dark with a nearly completely nihilistic view of humanity. The overriding theme of the film often seems to be that basic human decency is fairly worthless in the face of our soul-crushing existences and the unbearable tyranny of others. That stands in direct contrast with “Train to Busan” where, although people often behaved terribly, acts of selflessness aren’t fundamentally pointless.
In essence, Seoul Station lacks the emotional resonance found in “Train to Busan” because of its relentlessly negative views on humanity. I recommend this movie because, almost despite itself, it IS consistently entertaining and offers some intriguing social commentary. But if you’re feeling the least bit down or depressed, you should definitely consider avoiding this movie until you’re in a better emotional space because it’s downbeat view on the human condition is unrelenting.
I have no clue what I'm doing, but I'll keep doing whatever it is to the best of my ability.