I tried with the title, guys. I tried.
All of Us Are Dead mainly revolves around a group of high school students fighting and slashing through a zombie outbreak to survive.
After writing this, the post feels more like a rant more than a review. So, just a heads-up.
I was so excited about this show because I read the Webtoon. Not in its entirety, but it was one of the few Webtoons that really kept me engaged. Also, I’m a huge fan of zombie movies and shows, so I was so ready for this to drop. Needless to say, it was enjoyable overall if you just it at face value. Don’t question anything. Just accept it for what it is. But even then, I still had my eye-rolling moments.
Strangely enough, I didn’t love or hate any of the characters. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but none of them really left a strong impression on me, except for Nayeon.
Yes, that’s right. Nayeon, the bossy, self-entitled “bitch” who would kill a friend just to save face. I think I can speak for many people when I say that she’s the character you’re supposed to hate. I didn’t like her character at all, but that’s because there was so much wasted potential with her.
Nayeon stays with the group to survive; she’s whiny and doesn’t really do anything. But when she kills her friend, I was like: damn, she’s willing to go this far? This is where I thought she would be an awesome villain.
It would’ve been so cool if she psychologically and progressively broke the team apart to meet her own needs. I thought that would be an exciting and interesting plot point to explore. It would bring depth to the group, which was lacking throughout the show.
I didn’t have an issue with the group. They were alright, but I didn’t feel any chemistry besides being decent human beings to ensure everyone’s survival. Or at least, I don’t really understand why this group is supposed to be so tight-knit.
We don’t get the backstory behind their relationships. If some girls, Ji-min and another girl whose name I forgot, weren’t there, it wouldn’t have made a difference to the dynamic of the group. They’re just… there.
On-jo, the “female lead” of the story, is also… okay. But, I highly doubt a character like her would survive something like this. In other words, she felt like she survived just because she was supposed to be the female lead of the show. In the beginning, when a zombie came at her, she blanked out. She literally just stared at the zombie as it ran toward her, and Cheong-san had to help her. She should’ve been dead in the first episode.
When the story took a weird turn and talked about “asymptomatic” people, I wondered why the group didn’t use Nam-ra strengths more. Nam-ra is the quiet class president who initially had problems with On-jo. She became a human-zombie hybrid with enhanced senses and superhuman strength thanks to the virus. The zombies also don’t come after her. So, why… would the group not use her as a weapon more often? That sounds bad, I guess, but she would’ve made their lives a lot easier.
Also, when Eun-ji bit her classmate in a quarantine camp in front of a crowd of people, it felt like the writers used a cheap tactic to draw attention to asymptomatic people.
She gets taken away and cries about it. It’s obvious what would happen if she did something like that. So, why would you do that in public in the first place? What happened to her afterwards is a mystery. Or maybe I forgot about her because she was just… sort of irrelevant.
Throughout the show, there are just points where I wish the characters would’ve been a little smarter in their decisions.
My last criticism would be the inconsistent gore. You have one zombie tearing out someone’s stomach, and that’s one zombie. But when you’re under a hoard, you somehow only end up with a few scratches. Eun-ji gets piled on by a group of zombies, and she comes out with her shirt barely messed up. On-jo’s dad gets pressed against the fence by a group of zombies, and his jacket remains perfectly fine after he turns.
The part that truly made me cringe (in a good way) is when Cheong-san almost or does get his eye gouged out.
By the end, I thought that this would’ve been great as a movie rather than a series.
There’s only so much running, slashing, and screaming before it becomes repetitive. The only adrenaline that keeps you going is who may be killed off next. The ending is clearly set up for a potential season two. I can see so many creative possibilities they can take, which can go really good or bad. I just hope it won’t turn into a full-out superpower series. Personally, I wouldn’t want to see this get renewed, but seeing Park Solomon on screen is always nice, so… I’ll take it.
What was nice about the ending is that I thought they would make Cheong-san magically alive rather than focus on Nam-ra. So… that was a pleasant surprise.
I did have my problems with the show, but it’s still a worthwhile watch. It obviously doesn’t add anything new to the zombie genre (well, maybe it takes lessons from COVID-19), but it’s still fun.
Just don’t question it too much. Or it sucks you out of the story.