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  • 작성자 사진Park Se-jeong

[Culture] K-Zombie Alert on Netflix

No. 156 / Mar 7, 2022

Korean Netflix original series have been among the top ten, one after the other. Among these, a series dealing with zombies, called Kingdom, is particularly noticeable. It created a record of beating the British drama series Sex Education, which had topped the list until the previous day. More recently, All of Us Are Dead, released on January 28, 2022, reached the top ten on Netflix in 91 countries. As such, Korea started to earn recognition for zombie theme. Let us consider the factors that play an important role in ensuring the popularity of these series in Korea.

Sympathetic Factors

All of Us Are Dead tells the story of students isolated in a high school, vehemently confronting zombies to survive, while a zombie virus quickly spreads to other schools and places in the area due to the thoughtless and complacent actions of irresponsible grown-ups. In addition, it deals with emotions, such as having a crush on a close friend or experiencing conflicts with a classmate, which are a part of the daily lives of high school students, making it highly relatable. The movie Train to B usan also successfully captured public sympathy by drawing on general sentiments, including the love between a father and his daughter and the emotion between lovers. The Korean Netflix original series Kingdom also managed to create sympathetic elements for viewers worldwide by narrating a story of people suffering from a king’s tyranny. This is because a lot of countries share similar historical experiences, such as having violent political leaders.

Social Satire

The storyline of All of Us Are Dead deals with issues like school bullying, sexual violence, students suffering due to the college entrance process, and adolescent pregnancy, all of them being experienced by the different characters amid the outbreak of the zombie virus. Adding such social problems reveals how individuals are suffering in society, how young people are shunned by society, and how they seek to survive on their own without the help of grownups.

Dynamic Action

All of Us Are Dead, Train to Busan, Kingdom, Peninsula, and all such shows that depict aggressive zombie speed runs leave a very strong impression. The visual effects and speed of zombies in South Korean cinema are particularly noticeable. The appearance of zombies excessively bending their bodies is sufficient to convey horror and bizarre behavior. With zombie runs, viewers feel that they are more realistic, making the work more vivid and immersive.

Following the Korean Netflix series Squid Game, which received immense attention, All of Us Are Dead once again enjoyed worldwide popularity. There is no doubt that Korea, which has clearly become a so-called “cultural powerhouse”, will continue to move forward.


By Park Se-jeong, AG Reporter

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