Monsters in Korean Film

Lecture by Dr. Ji-Yoon An, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

This lecture will focus on Bong Joon-ho’s The Host (Goemul, 2006) and Yeon Sang-ho’s Train to Busan (Busanhaeng, 2016). Based on the readings in the list provided beforehand, the lecture will begin with Bong’s The Host to examine the different ways that scholars have read the monster in this film. We will engage with not only the symbolic metaphors of the monster, but also the industrial significance of this movie. We will then transfer the same analytical skills to Train to Busan to consider the significance of zombies and other prevalent social issues abound in this film. In a discussion format, our deliberations will ask: how can we understand the significance of this first Asian zombie blockbuster; what commentary does the film offer about contemporary Korean society; and most importantly, why zombies?