All of Us Are Dead is a horror series that revolves around ground zero of a zombie virus that spreads across the city at a frightening pace and a ragtag group of students who aim to survive through it all.
Lee Byeong Chan (Kim Byung-Chul) is a disgruntled scientist and teacher whose attempts to protect his son from incessant bullying end up with dire results as he creates a deadly virus that turns people into crazed monsters that are hungry for the flesh of others. When the virus begins to spread throughout the city, Byeong Chan is unapologetic and claims that society deserves what is coming for them.
A group of students led by Nam On-jo (Park Ji-hoo), Lee Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young) and Lee Soo-hyuk (Park Solomon) band together to survive this apocalyptic event by working together staying vigilant and thinking on their feet.
They won’t get through it without suffering a few losses and it’s a testament to their mental fortitude that they manage to endure this level of tragedy and push forward in a bid to get to safety.
Song Jae-ik is the detective who initially questions Byeong Chan about his virus and when Byeong Chan perishes, it is up to him to get the pertinent information to the higher authorities, rescuing stray survivors on the way.
Yoon Gwi-Nam (Yoo In-soo) is a student who often serves as a lackey to the bullies but when a zombie bite turns him into an invincible hybrid, he goes on a violent spree and aims to terrorize the rest of the students who are still trying to escape.
Nam So-ju (Jeon Bae-soo) is a resourceful firefighter who is tasked with rescuing a high profile assemblywoman, but all he has on his mind is to head to the high school and rescue his daughter, On-jo.
The series is filled with stellar performances by some really promising talents in the Korean industry. All the children are on top form throughout as they have to grow up at a moments notice while still maintaining their youthful innocence.
Park Ji-hoo, Yoon Chan-young, Park Solomon, Cho Yi-Hyun and several others are given ample opportunity to show off their skills and they make sure to grab it with both hands.
Yoo In-soo is especially chilling as the villainous Gwi-nam who refuses to be put down as he keeps returning to throw a wrench in the plans of the others. His portrayal is so effective that his ultimate comeuppance is all the more cathartic.
Jeon Bae-soo plays the desperate father who will go to all lengths to ensure the safety of his daughter and that comes off perfectly throughout. His eventual sacrifice is heartbreaking after the season-long journey that showed off his heroic nature.
Every single member of the cast pulls their own weight no matter the amount the screen time they occupy which makes this series a real standout when it comes to quality.
The storytelling is a key component throughout as the many different plot threads that are on display mesh together quite seamlessly. It helps that the main focus is on the teenagers that are going through regular adolescent issues that everyone can relate to.
The way these children are portrayed as nervous yet ingenious while not once going overboard within the realms of the genre is definitely commendable.
The dialogues are well written and delivered with the monologues recorded by Byeong Chan as he documents his experiment deserving a shout out.
His words regarding the darker side of humanity and how they crave violence are so horrifyingly close to the truth that it almost makes you feel empathy for him.
The cosmetics and makeup department are of a top tier quality which one usually expects in that part of the world as all the gore and guts as well as the zombies’ general appearance are truly mortifying, in a good way.
The cinematography of the series is also quite sturdy with chase sequences and the chaotic scenes involving a rampaging zombie horde is captured well without making you feel nauseous from all the movement.
The series runs on for at least an episode or two longer than it should have. With each episode occupying a run time of close to an hour there is always a risk of fatigue involved and that is evident here.
It could certainly have done with some trimming of certain side plots like the student who delivers a baby as that thread had no buildup whatsoever and didn’t even include a satisfactory resolution either.
All of Us Are Dead is a very good zombie horror series that doesn’t mess around with a tried and tested formula too much. This makes it an enthralling if at times tedious watch that will definitely illicit quite a few emotions out of the viewers as they get you invested in each and every one of its characters.