A zombie drama worth fighting for

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Can you imagine if your high school science teacher started a zombie apocalypse? On Friday, Netflix released “All of Us Are Dead,” a 12 episode Korean drama about a zombie outbreak (warning, spoilers ahead). 

Korean directors are no strangers to zombie movies as over the years they have created hits like “Train to Busan,” “Seoul Station”  and “#Alive.” Directed by Lee Jae-Kyoo Kim Nam-Su, “All of Us Are Dead” is ranked first worldwide since its release, according to Fix Patrol. The show depicts the story of a scientist in pursuit of a serum to help his son become physically stronger than the students that bully him in high school.  

His experiments end up failing and his son turns into a flesh-eating zombie. The scientist continues to experiment with a mouse that ends up biting a student. One by one, the majority of the high school becomes infected, starting a zombie apocalypse. With a few different love interests, the directors don’t forget to add drama into the TV show.  

The drama portrays all the human emotions one would feel in a situation where friends and family are infected with a deadly disease; anguish, fear, betrayal, desperation to survive, hopelessness and grief. The zombies themselves perform up to potential as the directors add in bone-cracking sound effects, blood, organs being ripped apart and grotesque movement. Of course, jump scares are included too.  

The story doesn’t just follow along with the high school students. The directors also draw in on the different perspectives from family, first responders, politicians and even an online streamer. Through the many different perspectives, the directors really try to capture how people would feel in an apocalypse. However, the addition of the different characters creates a distraction for the main focus of this drama, which is a group of students trying to survive a zombie apocalypse.  

For example, besides the non-high school student characters and the main group of high school students fighting for their lives, the directors also add the perspective of a high school bully, a pregnant high school student, students from the archery team and others. Some of these different perspectives would be interesting to witness but the directors seem to add an excessive amount of characters.  

To give more credit, all of the actors did play their roles well. You may recognize one actress in particular from her previous role in “Squid Game.” Previously, Lee Yoo-Mi  played player 240, a sad, impoverished but sweet character in “Squid Game.” She was known for becoming friends with Kang Sae-Byeok. However, in “All of Us Are Dead,” Lee plays an entirely different role. Lee plays Lee Na-Yeon, a prissy high school student who bullies another student for receiving government welfare and later murders him to try to prove a point. 

All in all, I would say “All of Us Are Dead” brings a more detailed view of a fictional zombie apocalypse in the form of a television show. Like most shows that require characters to defend for their survival, we see the twists and turns of human nature especially as characters die. I’m not sure if this show will reach the potential of “Squid Game” but has drawn some well-deserved attention in its portrayal of a zombie apocalypse.  

Rating: 4/5 

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