As squid gameanother Korean drama trend that is rapidly gaining popularity is we are all dead. we are all dead is about a group of high school students who attend school as they normally would, but with one exception: a zombie virus is spreading inside their school.
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As the virus spreads rapidly, the students are trapped inside their school and are left to fend for themselves as they attempt to survive the apocalyptic events unfolding around them. There are other Korean movies and TV shows similar to we are all dead.
‘Train to Busan’ (2016) – Zombie Apocalypse on a Train
Train to Busan is a Korean film that follows father Seok-Woo as he boards a train with his daughter Soo-An to make sure she joins her mother. However, shortly after boarding, the immediate spread of a virus occurs. Now Seok-Woo must protect his daughter from zombies. Along the way, Seok-Woo teams up with other survivors as they fight for their survival on the train.
Train to Busan is a popular movie that is getting an American remake. Its popularity is partly due to gong yoo (squid games) performance as the distant father who becomes the film’s hero. For those who enjoyed we are all deadthey will also appreciate Train to Busan (referenced in the TV series by one of the characters). As we are all dead, Train to Busan takes place in a main location, isolated from the rest of the world, and the very survival of the characters depends on trusting and trusting those around them.
‘Flu’ (2013) – A Deadly Virus
Flu is a Korean film based on an epidemic. When immigrants are brought to Korea, bird flu adapts and evolves, spreading from person to person in Korea. Those who come into contact with an infected person usually end up catching the virus themselves and dying horrific deaths, and the virus – which is immediately contagious – spreads rapidly as Bundang is at the heart of the outbreak. Eventually, Bundang is abandoned and closed to protect the rest of Korea. It is only a matter of time before the Korean government decides to neutralize the situation.
we are all dead and Flu has many similarities. Both maintain a dialogue about the Korean government not taking these disasters seriously in the first place and not helping its people until it is too late. The two also focus on family stories and the sacrifices made to save each other. Those who enjoy stories of an infectious epidemic threatening the lives of others would enjoy Flu.
‘#Alive’ (2020) – Alone during an epidemic
#Living is another Korean film based on a zombie outbreak. Oh Joo Woo (Yoo Ah-in) is a gamer who lives alone in his apartment. As he goes about his daily business, sudden news breaks and zombies invade the town. Everything seems hopeless for Joo-Woo until he meets a young woman who is in the same position. They make plans to meet and survive this deadly disaster together.
Like we’re all dead, #Living keeps the story confined to one location – in this case, an apartment building – and explores what it takes for a person to survive on their own. More than anything else, it tells a different story of a zombie apocalypse with a different perspective on survival and what it means.
‘Kingdom (2019)’ – Forsaken by the Kingdom
The kingdom is a two-season Korean drama series set in a kingdom during the Joseon period. It follows the fall of the king, who is said to have had smallpox. However, the reality as the main character, Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon) discovers — is that the king has become a “monster”, or in modern terms, a zombie. After discovering this, Lee Chang searches for answers and searches for the doctor. However, throughout the journey the epidemic spreads and soon the outcast Lee Chang must fight to survive against both the zombies and his family who want him dead.
contrary to we are all dead, Kingdom spans multiple locations as the Crown Prince flees the kingdom and moves forward to potentially find a cure. But just like we are all dead, Kingdom focuses much of the narrative on government mistakes and citizen mistrust. Also, unlike the other movies and TV shows mentioned, Kingdom makes sure to show that the main character is completely isolated, internalizing to viewers that he no longer has a family and that it is up to him to protect his country.
‘Sweet Home’ (2020) – Surrounded by Monsters
Do you like the idea of monsters attacking and hunting humanity? sweet home is that kind of show. sweet home is based on a popular webcomic and tells the story of socially awkward Cha Hyun-soo (Song Kang) who had just lost his family. Alone, he moves into a cheap apartment complex. Shortly after moving in, monsters start appearing inside and outside the apartment, killing people left and right.
If you liked ‘Squid Game’, ‘Sweet Home’ should be the next South Korean thriller on Netflix
Like we’re all dead, sweet home centers on the survival of a group of strangers as they grow to trust each other. It also isolates the cast from the outside world, making sweet home tense, in the same way as we are all dead reproduces this same feeling in high school.
‘The Tower’ (2012) – Abandoned in a tower
Tower is a disaster film that focuses on the collapse of a popular residential tower called Sky Tower. This Korean film focuses on a multitude of characters, which include – but are not limited to – a workaholic father, his daughter and his girlfriend, a firefighter who devotes himself entirely to his job, a newcomer, a woman pregnant and her partner, among others.
As these characters celebrate Christmas, a helicopter crashes into one of the two towers, causing an ever-expanding fire and eventually the tower’s collapse. This film does a good job of mimicking We are all dead’s isolating and hopeless atmosphere. All characters struggle to survive a large-scale disaster while plummeting to their potential demise.
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