“All Of Us Are Dead” Review: A Mostly Fun Take On The Zombie Genre

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“All Of Us Are Dead” is Netflix’s first Korean series of 2022, and considering the hype around it, how did it turn out to be? Today, I am here to review “All Of Us Are Dead” and discuss my opinions on it.

Note: this will be a spoiler-free review of the drama. This is a subjective review.

Related: “All Of Us Are Dead” Finale: Ending Explained, Who Dies And Who Lives?

The script

“All Of Us Are Dead” is based on a webtoon that ran from 2009 to 2011, out of the bat, that is a lot of content to go through. I haven’t read the webtoon so my judgment will be based on the series but I must say, it must’ve been a lot to take in.

“All Of Us Are Dead” is stuffed, but in a way that doesn’t feel too forced, its something I don’t often encounter in kdramaland, because usually, stuffed content is easy to point out and criticize but in this case, even though it exists, it still serves a purpose. It takes a while to get to that purpose, but you understand why it is there.

In the grand scheme of things, if a lot of episodes were taken out or their content condensed, it wouldn’t have made an impact on the series which is why I am on the fence about it.

“All Of Us Are Dead” has a total of 12 episodes, each clocking at 1 hour, this is one of the lengthiest Korean dramas by the platform and it feel verrryyyy long.

As I said, it is based on a webtoon and the length is justifiable but from a personal opinion, I would’ve loved it to have been shorter. I think 8 episodes would’ve been enough and would have made a bigger impact.

Screenwriter Chun Sung-Il, who worked on this drama, has both hits and misses to his name, but his last drama “L.U.C.A” was fun and had interesting ideas to explore. I think he did a good job with this drama too. Some of his past projects ran for too long and became boring but he has some interesting ideas to share.

The take on the zombie genre

Korean content in relation to the zombie genre has been highlighted in foreign media for a while now, with the success of “Train to Busan” and “Happiness” you understand why. Koreans have an interesting way of looking at the subject, they approach it from an interesting unique angle that many American films and series fail to even begin to comprehend. They truly revitalized a dead genre. The zombie genre doesn’t have much room for expansion and you’d think they said everything that needs to be said about it but Koreans then come out and surprise you.

“All Of Us Are Dead” is not the best Korean take on the zombie genre I’ve personally seen, but its far from the worst too. I’d rank it somewhere in the upper middle tier, its slightly above average but its not quite there for me either. I’ll explain why in details below. But if you’re the type of person that doesn’t watch Korean zombie movies or dramas, this will probably blow your mind and you might think I am being too picky, but if you watch Korean content regularly, you might have a different perspective on it.

I think this drama would connect a bit more with the younger teenage audience. It doesn’t mean people in their 30s or older won’t enjoy it but its catered towards that demograph that would appreciate it better than I could. I also appreciated how the drama didn’t just focus on the kids, but also focused on many sides stories that connect together in the end, side stories about the older characters too, that was a clever touch.

I found the way they dealt with the situation to be very logical and true to their nature. The setting also helped the screenwriter be able to contain this zombie outbreak to an extent which helps minimize error margins in writing and all other areas.

CGI and production

“All Of Us Are Dead” doesn’t have the best of special effects but considering the environment which the drama is set in, I think they did well. They had a lot of extras to work with during this pandemic and I think they tried their best considering the budgeting limits. Its not awful but you can see certain places where the makeup and special effects for the zombies needed better work but its not distracting me either.

Still, it didn’t personally bother me.

Performances

“All Of Us Are Dead” cast performances were a mixed bag for me. I know most of them as I’ve seen them in countless dramas before. Many of them used to be child actors who are just now taking on their first major leading roles, this presents its own set of challenges that I believe some of which weren’t ready to take.

But I won’t be criticizing the young actors here because I don’t blame them for taking on such a promising project by a huge platform. Instead, my questions are directed at the casting directors, I am puzzled by some of their choices.

I am surprised to see Park Ji Hu was picked to play the main female lead over Cho Yi Hyun. Cho Yi Hyun has consistently given good performances as a child actress. Park Ji Hu not only has less experience but gives a wooden performance, at times, it feels like she can’t embody the character emotions perfectly and it ends up coming off as a half-baked performance. There isn’t a depth to her performance, I don’t feel her character’s misery, she’s giving the right facial expressions and cries on cue. I can tell she’s trying her best but I don’t know how they missed this if she auditioned for the role. It would’ve been easy to see.

Yoon Chan Young has way more experience under his belt but it was obvious he also needed to work more on himself. He’s better than Park Ji Hu but still, I wasn’t sold on his performance either. There are many great child-turned-adults actors his age that I can think of that could have been perfect for this role, Nam Da Reum is one of them.

Lee Yoo Mi gives yet another amazing performance. Yoo In Soo, who plays the villain, was marvelous too. Lomon has gained my attention, he’s so cute and has a promising career ahead of him but he also needs to work hard to get there. Overall, the drama has many promising faces and I am sure even those who didn’t give a performance I liked tried their best and I hope they’ll improve in the near future.

Conclusion

“All Of Us Are Dead” is a good drama. If you happen to enjoy dystopian zombie dramas then this is the one for you. If you like to binge watch shorter dramas this one might be a challenge for you.

Overall, I think this is a good start to Netflix’s 2022 in terms of Korean content. They have so amazing projects lined up for this year, I can’t wait to see what they have in stores.

If you guys watched this drama, what did you think of it?

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