Taglines: Life-or-death survival begins
Also Known As (AKA): Busanhaeng
Creators: Joo-Suk Park, Sang-ho Yeon
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Star Cast: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi, Kim Su-an, Kim Eui-sung, Choi Woo-shik, Ahn So-hee
Producer (s): Lee Dong-ha
Cinematographer: Lee Hyung-deok
Production House: Next Entertainment World, RedPeter Film, Movic Comics
Music: Jang Young-gyu
Original network / Official Sites: Next Entertainment World
Release Year: 20 July 2016 (South Korea)
Runtime: 118 min
Genres: Action, Horror, Thriller
Country: South Korea
Language: Korean, Hawaiian
While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.
Sok-woo, a father with not much time for his daughter, Soo-ahn, are boarding the KTX, a fast train that shall bring them from Seoul to Busan. But during their journey, the apocalypse begins, and most of the earth’s population become flesh craving zombies. While the KTX is shooting towards Busan, the passenger’s fight for their families and lives against the zombies – and each other.
Fund manager Seok-woo is a cynical workaholic and divorced father. His little daughter Su-an wants to spend her birthday with her mother in Busan. Seok-woo sees a video of Su-an attempting to sing “Aloha ʻOe” at her singing recital and succumbing to stage fright as a result of his absence. Overcome with guilt, he decides to indulge Su-an’s wish. They board the KTX 101 at Seoul Station, en route to Busan. Other passengers include working-class man Sang-hwa and his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong, selfish COO Yon-suk, a high school baseball team, including Yong-guk and his cheerleader girlfriend Jin-hee, elderly sisters In-gil and Jong-gil, and a homeless stowaway. As the train departs, an infected woman boards, becomes a zombie and attacks a train attendant. The infection spreads rapidly throughout the train. Seok-woo learns that the zombie plague started at a factory connected to his business, and selfishly plans to use his connections to get to safety.
The group escapes to another car and locks the doors. Reports make it known that an epidemic is spreading across the country. After the train stops at Daejeon Station, where an army post is rumored to be housed the surviving passengers find that all the personnel stationed there are infected by the virus, and Seok-woo figures it out himself when a soldier is completely overrun by the infected. The surviving passengers manage to make it back on the train, but Sang-hwa, Seok-woo, Yong-guk, and two surviving baseball players get stuck closing the door. Su-an, Seong-kyeong, In-gil, and the homeless man manage to get on, but they find out that they are in the crosshairs of zombies, and they hide inside a bathroom. Meanwhile. Seok-woo’s team manages to close the door, but the glass door shatters, and in the process of running, only Yong-guk, Sang-hwa, and Seok-woo manage to get on the train, with the two baseball players becoming infected. The military establishes a quarantine zone near Busan, and the conductor heads the train there.
Seok-woo, Sang-hwa and Yong-guk, who have become separated from their loved ones in a different car, use Yong-guk’s baseball bat, riot gear, and hand-to-hand combat to fight their way to them through the zombies. Once regrouped, they struggle through the horde to the front car, where the rest of the passengers are sheltered. However, the homeless man steps on a soda can, alerting the zombies to their location, and Seok-woo and Sang-hwa attempt to hold off the zombies, but Sang-hwa is bitten. At Yon-suk’s instigation, the passengers prevent the survivors from entering, fearing that they are infected. Sang-hwa sacrifices himself to give the others time to enter the car by force by allowing all the zombies to eat him. Yon-suk and the passengers demand that the survivors isolate themselves in the vestibule. However, Jong-gil – disgusted at the passengers’ selfishness and despairing the loss of her sister, who has become a zombie – allows the zombies to enter and kill them all. Ironically, because the passengers had forced Seok-woo’s group to isolate, his group remains safe. Yon-suk also escapes by hiding in the bathroom with a train attendant, with the survivors breaking off into groups, with Seok-woo, Su-an, Seong-kyeong, Jin-hee, Yong-guk, and the homeless man in one group, and Yon-suk, and the final train attendant in the other
A blocked track at East Daegu train station forces the survivors to stop and search for another train. Yon-suk pushes Jin-hee, the train captain, and the train attendant to the zombies to save himself and Jin-hee is bitten. Heartbroken, Yong-guk stays with Jin-hee until she turns and kills him. Meanwhile, a flaming locomotive derails and the survivors are trapped under a train full of zombies. As the zombies drop by breaking the windows, the homeless man sacrifices himself so that Seok-woo has time to save Su-an and Seong-kyeong through a small hole under the derailed train. Realizing that there is a locomotive that still works, Seok-woo, Seong-kyeong, and Su-an narrowly avoid the zombies, and the three board the working locomotive and encounter Yon-suk, who is on the verge of turning into a zombie. Seok-woo manages to throw him off the train, but is bitten in the process. He teaches Seong-kyeong how to operate the train, and says goodbye to his sobbing daughter, throwing himself off the train before he turns into a zombie. Due to another train blockage, Su-an and Seong-kyeong stop at a tunnel. They continue following the tracks on foot. Snipers stationed on the other side prepare to shoot at what they believe to be zombies. Upon hearing Su-an sobbing and singing “Aloha ʻOe” for her father, they lower their weapons, realizing the pair are human, as they help get them to safety.