Zombie Mania Sweeps Asia: Train to Busan: Peninsula, the Story of Yet Another South Korean Hit

With lockdown restrictions in place and movie business taking a hit, people are turning towards streaming and horror thrillers.

Zombie movies and dramas are a hit with the Asian audience. Be it in theatres or on streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon and TV, the zombie content is always a hit. From Kingdom to Alive and now Peninsula, here is how Asians enjoyed the zombie content.

The latest in the list is Peninsula, which is a sequel to 2016 movie Train To Busan. The Gang Dong Won and Lee Jung Hyun-starrer Peninsula fought its way through COVID-19 situation and in Korea alone the movie made more than $4 million just after two days of release.

Peninsula movie
A still from the South Korean horror movie Train To Busan: Peninsula Instagram

The number is bleak when compared to Train To Busan, which saw overall 11 million audience watching the movie in South Korea alone. The movie had also grossed $2.1 million in the United States and Canada, $96.3 million in other territories making the total a grand $98.5 million.

The Zombie Mania

Meanwhile, Peninsula was selected to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2020. However, the show was canceled due to the coronavirus restrictions. The movie is set to be released in the U.S. on August 21. Peninsula grossed over $27 million in South Korea. But it became the highest-grossing local-language title ever for IMAX in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Peninsula is a tale of survivors on the zombie-infested Korean peninsula four years after what happened in the 2016 movie Train To Busan. The story follows protagonist Jung Suk, who escaped the zombie attack after the events of four years before, returning for a mission to the Korean Peninsula.

Other zombie content to attract Asians was recently released ALIVE movie starring Yoo Ah In and Park Shin Hye. The survivor thriller is set in the background of a zombie apocalypse. The plot revolves around a gamer's (Yoo Ah In) struggle for survival as he is forced to stay at his flat, stuck with Park Shin Hye who lives in the opposite apartment, with the entire area infested by zombies who are trying to break in.

On the fifth day of its release, Alive crossed 1 million viewers. At the end of three weeks, the movie clocked up 1,901,099 viewers in South Korea. Netizens have expressed hope to watch the movie on streaming platforms as it was not released internationally.

Obsession With Survival Thrillers

Speaking about streaming, the Kingdom drama is one of the most watched popular Korean dramas on Netflix. The 2019 South Korean political horror thriller based on the web series adapted from webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods. The plot revolves around the struggle to deal with a plague that brings the dead back to life as blood-thirsty monsters. It is a fight not only stop the spread of the plague but also to save the royal dynasty from being destroyed.

This is the first Korean drama in terms of Netflix originals. The series was so popular that it was renewed for the second season that was released on Netflix on March 13, 2020. Netizens state that watching zombie thrillers is apt during the lockdown restrictions as people are forced to spend most of their time inside the house.

Even outside there are so many restrictions to follow that the fight with COVD-19 looks like fighting the zombies, especially when you don't know when will they attack or in which form. This is one of the reasons why Asians are loving the zombie series and films as they can relate to the situation quite well.