#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020) - Film review by Kadmon#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020)
image © ZIP CinemaPerspective Pictures & Lotte Entertainment (Lotte Corporation)

Article updated: 2021.11.26

The #Alive (2020) is a survival horror / action film. The movie was reviewed by Kadmon.

Product: #Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020)

Original title: #살아있다 (#Saraitda), English title: #Alive

Series: -

Other adaptations of the story: Alone, movie (2020)

Setting: contemporary fantasy Earth

Product type: Film, Genre: survival horror / action, Style: horror, survival horror, zombies, action, comedy

Release: 2020.06.24

Reviewer: Kadmon, Type: Male, 40s, Preferences: Immersive, logical story, consistent setting, prefers surprises to spoilers, prefers establishing elements before referencing them

Watched: very recent (2021.01), first time

Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points), Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points)

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This is my review of #Alive, a survival horror / action movie from 2020. It's about people trapped in their homes during a zombie apocalypse. The #Alive film is interesting, I recommend it to fans of the genre.

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Review (spoiler-free) - #Alive, movie (2020)

I don't think I've heard about this movie before I've run into it. The premise looked interesting, and I was in the mood to watch it. I don't remember watching the trailer.

The #Alive movie is about people trapped in their homes during a zombie apocalypse.

The story is not perfect, but it was interesting. It has a good balance of horror, comedy, action and romance. I didn't feel bored while watching the story play out, even though there's not much that happens. The pacing and story consistency is okay (with the possible exception of the ending, that felt a bit too optimistic). There are character arcs for both of the main characters. I didn't find major logical problems.

The cinematography is good, it had some scenes that looked interesting, even the the number of sets they could use was very limited. The action scenes were good, easy to follow.

The characters were not very well developed, but they had enough personality to make me care about them. The actors were good, their portrayal of the characters was believable. I enjoyed watching them, even just doing their daily routine. The girl (Park Shin-hye) looks great, I was surprised to learn that the actress is 30, the character felt early 20s to me, although it's true there was no real indication of her age.

The music (by Tae-seong Kim) is good, and fits the story. It was interesting to hear modern pop music during the scenes, instead of the usual instrumental works.

The story, the actors and the music are able to convey the right emotions, this movie works fine.

The film is a remake of Alone (2020). I haven't seen that movie, but now I'm interested in it. (Update: I have seen it, and consider #Alive a better movie.)

#Alive is an interesting, somewhat lighthearted zombie action movie, I think fans of the genre will enjoy it.

My experience

I was satisfied with #Alive (2020).

Rating: Good (2+ out of 3 points). #Alive is a well-made film.

Enjoyment: Good (2+ out of 3 points). #Alive is interesting, I liked it.

Rewatchability: Probably high. Although the surprise of the story that makes you feel interested, but the characters and the themes can get you engaged to enjoy it more than once.

Chance of watching it again: There's a chance. Now that I know the story, there's probably no need to watch it again, but I liked it enough that I might watch it in the right circumstances.

Chance of watching a sequel: High. I'd sure watch it.

#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020) - Film review by Kadmon#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020)
image © ZIP CinemaPerspective Pictures & Lotte Entertainment (Lotte Corporation)

Will you enjoy this?

If you like zombie movies, you might like #Alive.

If you like action horror movies (28 Days Later, Train to Busan), you might like the film, although there are not many action scenes in the #Alive movie.

If you can get through the first half hour of the movie still interested, from then on it gets into gear, and you might even love this.

If you enjoyed the Alone (2020), you might be interested in this story, as I consider #Alive a better take on the story.

If you hate subtitles, luckily, there's already an English dub for this movie, although I don't know the quality of it.

If you prefer visuals over story, this movie is okay, although you should prepare that it's mostly the story that drives this movie.

If you hate horror movies with comedy elements, this movie is not for you.

If you hate romantic zombie movies, you should avoid #Alive.

If you hate zombie movies, you shouldn't watch #Alive.

Watching for plot points

If you are interested in zombie stories, I think it's worth watching the #Alive movie for the plot points.

Should you watch this on your own screen at home, or is it worth going to the cinema?

Good question. As the movie plays in enclosed spaces, and we see lots of close-ups, I think it would be a similar experience.

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#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020) - Film review by Kadmon#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020)
image © ZIP CinemaPerspective Pictures & Lotte Entertainment (Lotte Corporation)

Review with spoilers - #Alive, movie (2020)

I liked the #Alive movie.

The ending felt like a fairy tale rather than the rather realistic take of the rest of the movie, but I think it's genre convention of the Asian movies.


I've seen two covers. The one where the guy tries to get reception for his phone is good, as it doesn't spoil the movie, and gives a taste of the humorous tone. The one with the girl slightly spoils the movie.

The trailer

The trailer is good. It's the first scene of the movie, but a great way to introduce the story.

Promise of the first scene

There's a zombie apocalypse. I assume the young guy will try to survive, meet other survivors, and they reach safety by the end, or at least, he'll die heroically, saving a bunch of others.

Execution: It was something like that. I consider the promise fulfilled.

Plot summary / Synopsis

There's a young guy (Yoo Ah-in as Oh Joon-woo), living in South Korea, in a block of flats with his family. His family left the building by the time he wakes up. He hears news that an infectious disease causes people to go murderous cannibals. A neightbour requests to stay in his home, but the infection takes over him, and tries to kill the guy, who locks him out.

The guy receives messages from his family, telling him to stay there, and stay alive. He creates a video log of his days, to occupy himself. But as time goes on, electricity stops working, than his food and water runs out. He sees a police woman getting overwhelmed by zombies. He receives another message from his family, indicating that they are dead.

Tired, starved, and depressed, he tries to commit suicide by hanging. A laser pointer stops him, showing that there's another survivor nearby. He sees a young girl (Park Shin-hye as Kim Yoo-bin), living in a house across the park. They set up a rope between their homes, so they can share food and useful items. The guy takes trips to neighbouring flats, to gather supplies. He finds a portable radio set, so they are finally able to talk with the girl. The infected breach the girl's flat, so she has to escape. The guy joins him, they take the gun the police woman dropped, and they run to the upmost floor, chased by a horde of infected.

They are saved by an old man (Jeon Bae-soo as the masked man), who give them shelter and food. It turns out that he drugged their food, and want to feed them to his infected wife. The guy and the girl fights them, shooting the old man and the infected wife.

The shots alert a large number of infected, so they desperately climb to the rooftop. As the infected start to overwhelm them, they prepare to commit suicide, but a helicopter arrives, shooting the infected. They rescue them from the rooftop.

The setting

Contemporary alternate / fantasy Earth.

There's an infection, turning people into zombies.

No help arrives for a very long time (40-50 days?), so it's most likely a global occurence. When the movie ends, a rescue helicopter arrives, so there's still some organised military at that time.

#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020) - Film review by Kadmon#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020)
image © ZIP CinemaPerspective Pictures & Lotte Entertainment (Lotte Corporation)

The zombies

They are fast, rage virus zombies. They are drawn to sounds.

It spreads by biting, as the infection gets into the blood. The infected start to bleed from their eyes.

They retain their agility, some are able to climb up ropes.

They are killed just like a regular human.

The message of the story

Probaby "Never give up hope"?

The structure of the story

The scenes of the #Alive film are played sequentially, following the same storyline.

There is no single viewpoint character.

It has the usual arc of the dramatic structure - introduction, action, resolution.

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Things I liked

  • The action scenes looked good.
  • It was nice to see the characters try to come up with solutions how to survive in a new environment.
    • Blocking the windows with newspapers
    • Using ropes to get items to others

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How does it compare to the other works of the creators?

I haven't seen anything from the writer / director (Il Cho), but he seems promising, so I'm interested in his work.

I also haven't seen anything from the writer of the original story (Matt Naylor). Update: Since then, I've also seen Alone (2020), but that was worse.

How does it compare to other adaptations of the same story?

Alone (2020) is more depressive and less hopeful than #Alive, although there are more plot-related problems in #Alive. I liked the setting of #Alive better, it looked more interesting for me.

I like the zombies better in Alone (2020). In that movie, they retain their personalities, but they are trapped in the body of a murderous cannibal zombie.

It's good question, which ending is better. Alone ends without a proper conclusion, things just end. However, the ending of #Alive is a little too optimistic with the helicopter arriving.

#Alive (2020) has a better balance of emotions, actions, scares, and the message of the movie is hammered into the viewer.

#Alive made the girl more active, it was her actions that interrupted the suicide attempt of the guy, instead of just a random happenstance as in Alone.

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#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020) - Film review by Kadmon#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020)
image © ZIP CinemaPerspective Pictures & Lotte Entertainment (Lotte Corporation)

Analysis of the story - #Alive, movie (2020)

I mostly liked the story, I didn't find problems that would have prevented me from enjoying #Alive.

Problematic elements

The police woman: I think there was too much focus on the police woman. Shw was introduced in a way a protagonist is introduced, but her introduction is cut short by her death.

Cozy apocalypse: Even though the characters are stuck in their homes alone, without heating, electricity and running water, while they are starving, they look and act just fine.

The masked man: I've felt that the scene with the masked man was unncecessary. It gave the viewer the bait of a false promise, before the switch, but I don't think it fits with the overall theme of the story.

The ending: The story was fairly realistic up to the ending. When they fight the horde of zombies before the helicopter suddenly appears is straight out of fairy tales. It breaks the consistency of an otherwise good story.

Unanswered questions

  • How did the infected stay active continously? They did't seem to sleep.
  • How did the infected stay fit? They didn't seem to drink.
  • How did the characters constantly get enough power to their gadgets, even after electricity broke in the city?

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Possibilities of improvement

  • Edit the scene with the police woman to be shorter
  • Cut the scenes with the masked man.
  • Edit the ending, so it could be more believable.

How it could have been better?

I would have preferred if we got some more info about the personality and dreams of the main characters, fleshing them out.

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Behind the scenes


Thoughts about the reviews of others


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#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020) - Film review by Kadmon#Saraitda / #Alive, movie (2020)
image © ZIP CinemaPerspective Pictures & Lotte Entertainment (Lotte Corporation)

Uses for the film - #Alive, movie (2020)


  • There's a zombie apocalypse, caused by a rage virus.
  • There are people who barricade themselves in their homes during a catastrophe.


  • The beginning is a good way to show infection spreading through an Asian city.

Scenarios - Role-playing game

  • There's a zombie outbreak in the city. The team gets stuck in the home of one of the team members (or probably better if they were visiting someone, or stayed at a hotel room, so they don't have access to adventuring gear). They have to survive until the outbreak clears out.
  • There's a zombie outbreak in the city. One of the friends of the team got stuck in a block of flats, surrounded by zombies. They have to evacuate their friend, before the supplies run out.
  • One of the team members gets bitten. He hungers for fresh human meat. Will they help him, hoping that a cure would arrive?

Scenarios - Wargame

  • Gang war: Local gangs are fighting in a block, that is surrounded by creatures (zombies, killer robots, aliens). There's an evacuation vehicle coming. The gang that reaches the extraction point in time will be evacuated. The players set up the playing area together. They then roll initiative, and they can choose their base of operations in that order. Their base is closed off, and there are no creatures in there. Put some creatures randomly in any other area. Then choose an extraction point randomly, that cannot be in the same area as any of the bases. If the extraction area is a building, the highest level of the building is the extraction point. If the whole playing area is the interior of a building, then an extraction point on the inside is a staircase or a ladder that allows them to reach the vehicle. Choose 6 creature entry points on the playing area, and number them from 1 to 6. Roll a number of d6 dice at the beginning of each turn, and place a creature on the indicated entry point for each dice. The number of dice should depend on the size of the playing area and the strength of the gangs. The creatures move towards the closest living model, and if they reach one, they attack. Choose a turn when the evacuation vehicle arrives. If there are members of more than one gang at the extraction point, the drivers of the vehicle won't risk letting them in, so they just leave. If there's only one gang at the extraction point, they stop, and let the gang members get on. When any rival gang member would reach the vehicle, they depart and the game ends. The winner is the gang that has more than half of the gang members evacuated. If none of the gangs are evacuated, then the one with the most surviving models is the winner.
    • Team-up: The same scenario, but with smaller teams of gangs, that agreed to work together to escape. The evacuation vehicle has a limited space, and when it gets full, it leaves. For an odd number of players, the limit is an even number, for an even number of players, it's an odd number. The winner is the team with the most members on the evacuation vehicle. The game is a draw if every player has the same number of models on it.
    • Gathering weapons: Soldiers tried to stop the creatures previously, and their bodies are laying around the playing area, with their weapons. The gangs don't have proper weapons at the beginning of the game, just knives and clubs. They have to reach the bodies to find proper close combat weapons, or even ranged weapons.
    • Solo game: The player has to reach the evacuation point, avoiding or fighting the way through the creatures. For extra tension, you can also add the Gathering weapons variant.
  • Trapped: There's a small unit trapped in a safe space, that is surrounded by creatures (zombies, killer robots, aliens). Set up the playing area, put a building or some heavily covered place in the middle. Deploy the small unit there. Then deploy a number of creatures around the safe space, then the same amount of creatures randomly around the playing area. One force enters from one edge of the playing area to rescue the trapped unit. The other force enters from another edge, and they want to destroy the unit, before they could get reinforcements. Although the trapped unit could leave the safe space any time, they would be swiftly killed by the creatures. The rescue force wins if they reach and evacuate the trapped unit, with more than half of their units alive. The strike force wins if they eliminate every member of the trapped unit, than leave the playing area with more than half of their units alive.
    • In the #Alive movie this happens in house with balconies. The trapped unit is on the third floor, and they need to reach that either through climbing up the balconies, or through the stairs, fighting hordes of creatures.
    • Solo game: The player has to reach the safe space, and get back with the survivors.
  • Getting reception: A specialist unit (radio unit, telepaths, signallers) from the attacker force has to fight its way to a distant objective point to reach HQ. The defending force sets up the playing area, chooses the starting zone of the attacking force, and chooses the location of the objective point. The objective point needs to be accessible from at least two pathes. When the specialist unit reaches the point, they need to spend an action to complete the objective. The attacker wins if they complete the objective, and more than half of their units are still alive. The defender wins if they stop the attackers from completing the objective. It's a draw if the attackers complete the objective, but lose more than half of their units in the process.
    • Solo game: The player has to get to the objective point, avoiding the enemies controlled by the system.

Miniatures - 1/50-1/60 (28-32mm scale)

Civilians: Human-sized modern human civilians.

Zombies: Human-sized modern zombies, without weapons. Some are fast moving.

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Similar stories - #Alive, movie (2020)


Martin Page (as Pit Agarman): The Night Eats the World (2012): A man is trapped in a house (due to the horde of zombies) during an epidemic (rage zombies).


Alone (2020): Another movie, based on the same script. Worse than #Alive.

Containment (2015): A group of people get stuck in a house (due to quarantine enforced by the police) during a epidemic (deadly infection).

La nuit a dévoré le monde / The Night Eats the World, movie (2018): A man is trapped in a house (due to the horde of zombies) during an epidemic (rage zombies). It's a very serious and depressive movie. Based on the The Night Eats the World (2012) novel. It's probably a better movie than #Alive, but #Alive has more entertainment value.

Quarantine (2008): A group of people get stuck in a house (due to quarantine enforced by the police) during a epidemic (zombies due to a stolen virus). A remake of REC (2007).

Rammbock / Berlin Undead (2010): A group of people get stuck in a house (due to the horde of zombies) during an epidemic (rage zombies). Has some humorous parts, similarly to #Alive. Probably better than #Alive, as far as I remember.

REC (2007): A group of people get stuck in a house (due to quarantine enforced by the police) during an epidemic (zombies due to supernatural reasons).

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Frequently asked questions - #Alive, movie (2020)

Is the #Alive movie available with English audio dub?

Yes, #Alive is available with English audio dub.

Is the #Alive film based on a book or comics?

No, #Alive is not based on either books or comics. (Unless you consider Alone (2020) (the basis of #Alive (2020)) was based on The Night Eats the World, movie (2018), an eerily similar movie, that's based on the novel of the same name by Pit Agarman.)

Is the #Alive film a remake or reboot?

Yes, kind of. The #Alive film is made from the same script Alone was made from, although Alone was released later.

Is there a post credit scene in #Alive? Does #Alive have end credit scenes?

No, there's no post credit scene in #Alive.

Where can I see #Alive? Where can I watch #Alive online? Is #Alive available on Netflix? Is #Alive on Amazon?

As of 2021.11.23, #Alive is on Netflix.

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Resources - #Alive, movie (2020)


Perspective Pictures: #Alive: Official article.


IMDB: #Saraitda (2020): Database article.

WikiPedia: Alive (2020_film): Database article.

Letterboxd: #Alive 2020: Database article.

Rotten Tomatoes: #Alive 2020: Database article.


: Concept art article.¤

Reviews with no spoilers - #Alive film (2020)

Greig Morrison (greigzilla) (for We've Got (Back) Issues): #Alive: Review article about the #Alive film with minor spoilers.

Reviews with spoilers - #Alive film (2020)

Darren Lucas (for Movie Reviews 101): #Alive (2020) Netflix Movie Review: Review article of the #Alive movie, with spoilers.¤(TW,FB)

Analysis - #Alive movie (2020)

: Analysis video, explaining the finale of #Alive.¤

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Buying the product - #Alive, movie (2020)

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Have you seen the #Alive film? How do you like the movie? Would you recommend it to others? Do you know reviews or resources you'd like to add? What further thoughts do you have about it? Tell your opinion in the comments!


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