Rampant is a Korean zombie period piece. If this sounds familiar then it’s probably because you’ve heard of the Netflix series Kingdom. Yes, the stories are quite similar. If you liked the Netflix show, you’ll want to watch this movie.
Rampant is a new Korean Zombie movie which may feel familiar when I say it’s also a period piece. The story is very similar to that of the Netflix series Kingdom. Well, except this story is told in just one movie and not six episodes.
Recommended reading: Review of Kingdom Season 1 on Netflix now >
The original Korean title of Rampant is Chang-gwol and the movie has a runtime of 129 minutes. Yes, that might sound a bit long, but there is a lot to the story. Also, true to the style of South Korean filmmaking, time is spent on developing its characters.
For me personally, the Netflix series if the best version of this story. Both in terms of production, characters and overall style. Which is brilliant since season 2 is already in the making.
However, that’s not to say this movie isn’t worth your time. Rampant is a very solid zombie movie!
Same same, but different
While the story of Rampant is very much the same as the one in Kingdom, it does differ in quite a few ways. To me, it almost felt more confusing to watch the movie after the series. I felt like I knew the characters and yet I didn’t.
Or to be more specific, the characters and plot development happens in a different order and for different reasons. Unfortunately, I have to say that Rampant is one of the weaker examples of good character development. Something that seems very out of character (pun intended) for Korean filmmaking.
Also, as mentioned at the beginning of this review, I liked pretty much everything about Kingdom better. That makes it pretty tough for a movie like Rampant to stand out on its own. I feel very confident that I would have enjoyed this zombie period piece a lot more if the story was new to me when I watched it.
The cast of Rampant
I can’t really fault the casting of Rampant. Sure, I don’t get to know the actors or their characters as much as I did with a series. But I did feel like they came across as both believable and entertaining.
Also, there are some pretty awesome fight scenes. Once again, the zombies in these South Korean productions are some quick little dead “walkers”. We also saw this in the brilliant Train to Busan which remains one of my favorite zombie movies.
If you’re not familiar with horror or thrillers from South Korea, then check out Train to Busan to get a feel for their style. If you don’t like or enjoy Train to Busan, then I doubt you’d be a fan of Rampant.
If you do enjoy both these Korean zombie movies, then we also have a list of even more amazing movies. Just check out our list of the best horror movies and thrillers from South Korea. The production value and character development are off the charts good!
Don’t miss out on Rampant
Rampant was directed by Kim Sung-hoon and this is just his third feature film, so he’s just getting started. The script was written by Hwang Jo-Yoon and Won Shin-yeon. The two also made the rather brilliant Memoir of a Murderer (2017) as writer and director respectively.
While I cannot help but compare Rampant to the Netflix series Kingdom, it doesn’t change the fact that this movie is well worth watching. It’s a thrill-ride of a zombie movie and the period piece setting just makes for a gorgeous and fascinating backdrop to the zombie shenanigans.
Rampant was actually financed and distributed by the company that also backed Train to Busan and Pandora. This explains the impressive level of production quality. If you’re in the mood for a period zombie action movie, then do check this one out!
Rampant was released in limited theaters November 2, 2018 and will be out on DVD, Blu-ray and On Demand from February 26, 2019.
Director: Kim Sung-hoon
Cast: Hyun Bin, Jang Dong-gun, Jo Woo-jin, Jeong Man-sik
A darkness looms over ancient Korea: murderous creatures known as Night Demons have overrun the country. Returning from a long imprisonment abroad, Prince Ganglim discovers that it will take the strength of his entire kingdom to stop the bloody rampage spreading across the nation in this fresh new take on zombie horror from the studios that brought you TRAIN TO BUSAN.