Over the last decade, horror fans have been bombarded with a steady stream of films and television shows that attempt to revitalize the genre with different degrees of success. Often, the issue is a lack of innovation, but there have been some standouts as well – and they’ve all come from South Korea.
All of Us Are Dead is a famous zombie outbreak narrative situated in and around a Korean high school. A girl is bitten by a lab rat, who then bites a classmate, and before you know it, the entire city has been taken over by deformed, chomping zombies. The setting, on the other hand, is what makes it interesting. It’s a brilliant choice to make the main protagonists high school students. The students’ outsized reactions to the scenario, thrown around by their emotions, elevates the show’s tone. And, no matter how apocalyptic things get, the fact that they’re always focused with their own issues means that the plot can move along fine without the zombie invasion.
Director Lee JQ stated that they considered how to make the events appear as authentic as possible when making the series. The director said there was a considerable amount of work for the series, from the cast members receiving martial arts training to the zombie actors receiving choreography lessons, the production crew constructing a hundred-meter set, and the entire cast and crew having full-day rehearsals for their major action sequences.
Perhaps in the future, more filmmakers will turn to zombies to make sense of the COVID era. For the time being, we’ll have to make do with ‘All of Us Are Dead’ — it really isn’t necessarily bad, because it’s phenomenal.
Currently, the show is available on Netflix.