By: AC Recio
Netflix’s newest horror offering mixes genre tropes from your favorite high school dramas and zombie apocalypse series. Minor spoilers ahead.
Based on the popular manhwa Now At Our School by Joo Dong-geun, All of Us Are Dead starts off like any other coming of age series – with a high school student being bullied. This escalates into physical violence on a rooftop with the bullies ganging up on the student until something unusual happens – the bullied student starts fighting back, seemingly gaining enhanced strength and reflexes from nowhere. This catches the bullies off guard and caused them to push him off the building. From the get-go, we see how high school kids fight to survive, but just how will they handle the gruesome future awaiting them? And is this merely a scene of bullying or is there something more?
Directed by Lee Jae-kyoo, the series breaks free from standard mold of end-of-the-world zombie series by setting the stage at high school – students teasing each other in the hallways, running late to class in the morning, pursuing crushes and first loves and having fun in their clubs. Just in the first episode, we are immediately pulled into the setting, because hey, we’ve all been there and seen youth in all its glory. But behind the hustle and bustle of busy school days, there’s an insidious secret that would set into motion a zombie outbreak in the school.
All of Us Are Dead differentiates itself from other zombie series by showing us the moral dilemmas of a younger generation. These kids are capable of love, hatred, friendship and violence, and by following the characters in their regular lives before the outbreak, the series opens the audience up to empathize and identify with the characters before all hell breaks loose. The premiere explores just what it means to be a high school kid, and we’re excited to see where it goes from here. If the first episode is any indication, this series is definitely something to look forward to.
Catch the premiere of All of Us Are Dead this January 28 on Netflix.