Movie Monday: Rampant

 

Rampant is a South Korean horror action movie directed by Sung-Hoon Kim. Released in October 2018 and produced by Next Entertainment World, the same producers of Train to Busan (2016). This movie follows the story of Lee Chung, crown prince of Joseon. Lee had been away for 10 years after being taken as a hostage by the Qing Dynasty. Finally back in his homeland, he discovers that there are flesh eating monsters running rampant during the night and taking over his kingdom. With appearances by Hyun Bin as Lee Chung, Jang Dong-Gun as Kim Ja-Joon, Kim Eui-Sung as King Lee Jo, Jeong Man-Sik as Hak-Soo, and Seo Ji-Hye as Concubine Jo, this movie, set during the Joseon era, tells a story about survival, zombies, and rivalry like I’d never seen before!

Upon Lee Chung's, the Crown Prince, arrival, he is basically forgotten by his father, which he finds odd because, after all, he is the prince. Someone should’ve at least been sent to greet him and escort him to the palace, right? But that doesn’t happen because his father is too busy dealing with a failed uprising from his own people at the palace. This leads the crown prince to wander around until he and his councilor Hak Soo—who sometimes even works as his conscience in a humoristic way—reach a destroyed and abandoned the village. Once they start investigating, looking for any signs of life, what they discover is a bunch of burnt corpses, which makes them wonder if the village was perhaps hit by a plague.

The lives of crown prince Lee Chung and Hak Soo are not threatened until it gets dark. Their lives are endangered by more than one enemy: a pair of hired assassins and a bunch of rabid monsters that won’t stop trying to get a taste of their flesh until their very last breath. Luckily, a group of survivors recognize what is happening and help them deal with the monsters. Thus a journey of survival, royal responsibilities, and betrayal begins for the crown prince as he tries to find a way to protect the survivors from the monsters that threaten to destroy his kingdom. Once he makes it to the palace, however, he quickly realizes that things won’t be as easy as he’d previously thought.

 

The zombie twist during this time period makes the story feel original, intense, and bloody brilliant! The cast did a great job bringing their unique and strong characters to life and showing us just how far they were willing to go in order to fight against nightmarish monsters and protect what was left of their people—and, in other cases, show us how far some were willing to go in order to watch the world burn.

Besides the acting, I also loved the settings we get to visit throughout the movie, like the royal palace, the city in ruins, and the hideout of the survivors. The atmosphere always turned creepy and dark once the sun went down, making way for the creatures of the night. Which, by the way, were totally creepy because they attacked head on, running like crazy, and jumping on their victims!

If there’s something I’m going to complain about from this movie, though, it’s going to be two things: character development, or lack thereof, and the ending. Some of the characters in this film didn’t feel as developed or important as they could have been, which bothered me a little because I ended up being invested only in the primary characters.

As for the ending, there was a point where I felt like it dragged a little, making it tiring and annoying. But, in the end, I still managed to enjoy the final outcome of everything. Because of this, Rampant ended up being an unforgettable, action-packed movie full of zombies, fighting sequences I loved, and a few humor-filled moments to break the tension!

Overall, Rampant was an enjoyable experience that will probably leave you wanting for more (in a good way) after that long ending. If you’re a fan of zombie movies, I hope you get to check it out and enjoy it! And if you do, remember to check out Netflix’s new series Kingdom. I haven’t watched it yet but, just like Rampant, it deals with a zombie apocalypse during the Joseon Dynasty and I’ve only heard great things about it!

 

                                                             

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