Macabre…ish Horror Review: Peninsula
Peninsula, 2020/ 116 min
During the beginning of the zombie outbreak, Jong-seok (Gang Dong-won) and his family try to get to the safety of Busan but it was too late. It only took one day for the Korean government to lose all control of the situation. Jong-seok and his sister (Jang So-yeon) and nephew Dong-hwan (Moon Woo-jin) make the transport to Japan but the virus has made it onto the ship. It’s not long before chaos ensues and Jung-seok's nephew and sister do not survive.
Jong-seok and his brother-in-law, Chul-min (Kim Do-yoon) survive because his sister close herself and other infected in the cabin, protecting the rest of the ship. NATO and the US quarantine Korea and refuse to take anymore refugees, four years later Jong-seok and his brother-in-law take refuge in Hong Kong where they are recruited by Chinese mobsters.
They explain the plan to send a group back to South Korea to steal a fortune. The area is patrolled at sea but they pay the Coast Guard off to send boats through. He says there’s a truck full of cash, $20 million. The group stands to make $2.5 million dollars a head. He convinces them by saying there are no guarantees they’ll get that they’ll get refugee status so this is their chance to control their own future.
South Korea’s infrastructure is in rapid decline and decay. But the group has 3 days to get out alive and back to the boat. They are warned not to waste time trying to save each other and to not fail.
The refugees paddle through a graveyard of wrecked ships at Incheon Port and it is in such a state of decay that it is unrecognizable. Wrecked, abandoned vehicles are scattered everywhere and going to the weeds that are overtaking civilization.
The group jump a car and navigate through a trash and boat strewn, dead city. Inside many decrepit buildings they are jam packed with zombies. So crowded in that they’re pressed against the windows.
They find the location, a refrigerator truck full of US currency, the zombified driver still sits behind the wheel. But the migrants make too much noise, blowing the horn and call the horde. There only chance is to distract them and run. Two of them take the truck and follow the others in the car.
They are almost home free until another militia uses fireworks to redirect the zombies toward them and they wreck both vehicles, Jung-seok is saved because he’s ejected out of the windshield. The others aren’t so lucky but Chul-min hides inside the truck.
As he fights, a teen, Joon-i (Lee Ri) with her little sister, Yu-jin (Lee Ye-won), were watching and comes out of nowhere and expertly drives them away from the horde through the ruined city. She uses her vehicle like a half race car/ half battering ram and after the rough ride, Jong-Seok passes out in the back seat. When they need a tunnel cleared, Yu-jin takes out a remote controlled toy car to lure the zombies away so they can pass.
When the rogue militia known as Unit 631 arrive and kill those still alive.
Jong-Seok wakes up being dragged inside by an older man, Elder Kim (Kwon Hae-hyo) who thinks he’s still in the military. There’s a woman there too, the girl’s mother, Min-jung (Lee Jung-hyun) he recognizes her from the beginning of the outbreak.
Meanwhile, Unit 631 recover the truck full of money and Chul-min in the back when they arrive back at the compound. He is taken captive, strip his shirt off and spray paints 61 on him. His is kept in a container with other men, who also are numbered.
The inner sanctum of the compound is decorated with hanging corpses. Unit 631 was a military unit, originally sent to rescue civilians but after years of sending SOS signals and getting no response, they went crazy and rogue.
Min-jung tells their story, that no one ever came, no more rescue efforts were made. Now she wonders what the militants want with cash which is worthless to them.
Back at the compound, the numbered captives are corralled into an arena, surrounded by a crowd. There is a clock counting down, then zombies are released. They have to survive the zombies as the clock counts down, it’s just a dangerous spectacle for entertainment.
The satellite phone rings and the mobsters are waiting for the money. They don’t care who has it but offers freedom to who every arrives with it to the rendezvous point, Incheon Port.
Captain Seo (Koo Kyo-hwan) needs to distract Sgt. Hwang (Kim Min-jae) who wants the money for himself. Jong-Seok also needs that money to escape. Min-jung also wants to be at that port for a chance to get her daughters to safety, so she decides to sneak into the compound and steal the truck herself.
Min-jung and Jong-seok get the truck but hope to get the satellite phone from Ming jung and he asks to come with them. But Captain Seo arrives while Jong Seok was off rescuing Chul-Min and attacks them but at least he has the phone on him.
A huge horde of zombies enter the complex and the place is in turmoil. Chul-min doesn’t make it, he gets taken out by Sgt. Hwang. Min-jung saves the day when she crashes in with the truck and rescues Jong-seok.
Joon-i does more of her masterful driving in her car while her mom takes the truck, with and Unit 631 hot on their heels and zombies raining from the sky, as they leap from over passes, they all speed toward Incheon Port.
This is a standalone sequel to Train to Busan written and directed by Yeon Sang-ho. The post apocalyptic setting is excellent, the driving makes this movie really fun. The women and kids are awesome in this movie and they aren’t just victims or supporting characters. This is a zombie flick but it’s really a story about the survivors of the outbreak so there is not as much zombie activity as in Train to Busan. And the zombies are still fast and terrifying.