As a fan of zombie movies, I was excited to see another one beside the Peninsula. While #Alive delivered all the scares common in zombie movies, the plot fell flat and the buildup at the end was anticlimactic. It felt like it was missing something to make it memorable.
#Alive is a South Korean movie set during a zombie apocalypse. Joon-woo is a gamer and spends his days live streaming from his apartment. One day, Joon-woo finds out that a mysterious pathogen is spreading throughout South Korea. He barricades himself inside his apartment but faces the reality that he must leave to find food.
Believing that he’s the only one left alive, he attempts suicide. However, a woman (Yoo-bin) living in the opposite building points a laser pointer at him, thus saving his life. They eventually meet up and work together to leave their zombie-infested apartment.
This movie doesn’t wait to jump straight into the action. Joon-woo finds out right away that something strange is happening in South Korea, and we immediately see zombies eating and chasing people outside his apartment.
However, the action is short-lived. For almost half of the movie, it’s Joon-woo slowly losing his mind from being alone and watching with frustration people get killed outside his apartment. While he ventures outside in a fit of rage after learning his family was eaten, that was about it.
I wondered where Park Shin Hye’s character was. She doesn’t appear until halfway through the movie. Anyway, Joon-woo and Yoo-bin began helping each other. Joon-woo saw that Yoo-bin was running low on food. So he ventures to another apartment to get supplies for himself and for her. This is where he comes across walkie-talkies, and we have another jump scare scene with a zombie.
Joon-woo and Yoo-bin began communicating through walkie-talkies and bond, I guess. To test the distance between their two apartments, Yoo-bin threw a ball with a rope tied to it to Joon-woo. However, it didn’t even reach halfway before landing on the street below. This gets the attention of the zombies.
Here, I want to talk about the zombies in the film. They are strangely smart. Despite being dead, they still work together to get what they want. Before Joon-woo meets Yoo-bin, Joon-woo sees a police officer being chased by zombies. A zombie gets her, and the others drag her underground. Joon-woo sees a hoard of zombies waiting.
After Yoo-bin throws the ball and it lands on the street, a zombie firefighter picks it up and follows the string to the place where Yoo-bin lives. Before Yoo-bin could untie the string that was attached to her table, the zombie pulls on it and sends the table flying in her direction, thus knocking her out.
The zombie climbs the apartment to get to Yoo-bin, and a desperate Joon-woo tries to help her with his drone. I don’t know what to feel about the zombies in the film. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t dislike it either.
So, now the movie needs some action scenes. Or, all we’re getting is Joon-woo and Yoo-bin talking to each other via walkie talkies and screaming, running zombies outside their apartment every once in a while. Yoo-bin slashes her way through the street to get to where Joon-woo is (with Joon-woo’s help.) And I thought this scene was okay, though I don’t know Yoo-bin would be that lucky. But we’ll just let that slide. Or there would be no story.
What really made me go “what?” was how Yoo-bin survived when she was locked in a room with a hungry zombie on top of her. So, now Yoo-bin and Joon-woo find another survivor. This man saves them from a hungry hoard and allows them into his apartment. But he has ulterior movies. The man knocks Joon-woo and Yoo-bin out and ties up Yoo-bin to feed to his zombie wife. (Sound familiar? Yeah, I think so.)
Yoo-bin screams when the man releases his zombie wife on her. And I wonder how Yoo-bin didn’t get a single scratch on her. Anyway, Joon-woo wakes up and tries to help Yoo-bin outside by pointing a gun at the man. Then everything goes quiet. When it does, the man slowly opens the door and suddenly his wife attacks him.
What’s strange is that as soon as the man opens the door, the wife suddenly appears and attacks him. Wasn’t she trying to eat Yoo-bin a few minutes ago? Why is she suddenly standing? Anyway, Yoo-bin is unharmed (surprise, surprise) and shoots the man and his wife out of mercy.
Yoo-bin asks Joon-woo to kill her out of mercy. But they hear a helicopter and venture to the roof to get help.
So they slash and fight their way through the zombie hoard. At one point, Joon-woo holds off a zombie hoard with a bicycle. A bicycle. Um… why did they not just bite his hand?
Yoo-bin and Joon-woo eventually make it to the roof. But there’s no helicopter. As a zombie hoard pushes open the door, our major characters brace themselves for death. But hooray, the South Korean military steps in. They shoot the zombies from their helicopters and save Yoo-bin and Joon-woo.
As the helicopter flies away, Joon-woo gets a signal on his phone.
The entire plot is about escaping an apartment building with a few jump scares here and there. The beginning dragged on too long, even though Joon-woo finds out about the situation early on. It had all the elements of a classic zombie movie, but definitely, nothing to make it stand out. Not even the plot.