Movie Review: #Alive (2020)
Synopsis: As an unknown virus causes a quickly-spreading zombie apocalypse, Oh Joon-woo shelters himself in his apartment. Cut off from the world with limited food and water and believing his family is dead, he loses the will to live until he makes contact with a woman, Kim Yoo-bin, living in the apartment complex across from him.
Review: I've been more than a little bit disappointed by the selection of movies on Netflix lately and only picked out this Korean zombie film because I figured it might be good for a couple laughs. As it turns out, it was a surprise gem that my wife and I enjoyed watching.
The movie does a great job of creating a feeling of hopelessness for Oh Joon-woo (Yoo). He had limited resources and made multiple mistakes that put those resources in jeopardy. He was scared to leave his apartment because of swarms of hungry zombies right outside his door and, eventually, he was cut off from the outside world and had no idea what was going on.
When he meets Kim Yoo-bin (Park), the movie switches from hopeless to inspiring as the two form a long-distance friendship that involves finding ways to share resources and even sharing a dinner together despite being separated by an army of cannibals. The emotional roller coaster, combined with some legitimate monster movie action, definitely kept my interest.
It's probably a matter of personal preference but I also want to say I liked how the movie kept their relationship platonic rather than try to make it romantic. I feel like that worked better in this particular movie setting both because it focused on the human need for companionship while still realizing their situation was too perilous for it to blossom into anything that might lead to them having sex.
Probably my only real complaint about the movie is I do feel it made things a little easy for the protagonists by allowing their building to keep electricity throughout, giving them the ability to communicate with electronic devices and even use a drone. This probably wouldn't have bothered me as much if the apocalypse hadn't cut off their internet, cell phone service and water supply. I kind of find it hard to believe those things would go away within a matter of days but the power would conveniently stay on, without even a minor interruption, for weeks. Fortunately, the movie was good enough for me not to care too much about that part.
Final Opinion: This is a surprisingly good film that is even conveniently dubbed for those of us who don't like reading subtitles. If you like zombie movies or just want something a bit different, it's worth taking the time to watch this.
My Grade: A