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Zombies remain a very malleable, adaptable monster in the landscape of modern horror. Sure, it feels like we've seen a thousand different incarnations in the 21st century alone, because we have, but storytellers keep finding new ways to use them. Whether we're talking about the behavior of the monsters themselves, the ways in which their particular virus infects the populace, or the kind of people who are forced to contend with an outbreak, there are still plenty of twists to keep things interesting.
Which brings us to All of Us Are Dead, the new Korean horror series hitting Netflix later this month. Based on the 2009 webtoon Now at Our School, the series opts to shake up the zombie story through a new setting, a new cast of characters, and some very frightening title creatures that move in ways you're not going to see in The Walking Dead universe.
"Humanity has never defeated a virus" sounds like a quote from the news, but it's actually a rather dark thought from a teacher at a South Korean high school in the All of Us Are Dead trailer, who's warning his students that the textbooks are wrong, that there's actually a lot to fear out there in form of microscopic horrors that could change life as they know it forever. It isn't long before he's proven right. What starts with a mouse in a school laboratory setting soon infects other students, teachers, and people in the city outside. A full-on outbreak has hit, leaving numerous students trapped inside their school as a zombie war rages on outside, and whether the show is focused on the students themselves or their parents fighting to get them out, it looks like a very intense ride.
Check out the trailer below:
Centering a zombie outbreak on a high school is a smart idea, not just in terms of the themes and metaphors it might allow the series to explore, but in terms of the kinds of battles we could see play out in the halls. The trailer delivers plenty of handmade barricades built from desks, of course, and the shots of kids in archery practice certainly add an element of Battle Royale to the whole thing, teasing out the kind of fighting these kids might be able to do. Then there are the zombies themselves, which take the fast-moving approach a la 28 Days Later and World War Z, but also seem to have an added special...something. If you watched this trailer, the image of a schoolgirl "running" with her hands as she drags her stomach along the ground probably won't leave you soon.
All of Us Are Dead brings its particular brand of zombie chaos to Netflix on January 28.