Reviews | Written by JAMES "MAGIC" PERKINS 22/10/2019

THE ODD FAMILY: ZOMBIE ON SALE

CERT: TBC | DIRECTOR: LEE MIN-JAE | SCREENPLAY: LEE MIN-JAE, JUNG SEO-IN | STARRING: JUNG JAE-YOUNG, KIM NAM-GIL, UHM JI-WON, LEE SOO-KYUNG, JUNG GA-RAM, PARK IN-HWAN | RELEASE DATE: TBC

After a struggling family business comes across a zombie that can make people youthful again, they see the financial gain and adopt it for profit. Before too long, disaster strikes as the whole town transforms into undead monsters in Lee Min-jae's hilarious South Korean Zom-Com.

Horror comedies are an acquired taste. When crafting this unique blend, filmmakers take on board one of the most difficult tasks in mixing these two genres whilst also having to try and appeal to the widest audience possible. However, when it works, boy, it works!

The story of Odd Family follows a small family who own a gas station on the edge of town with little to no custom. A nearby bio-lab who have been experimenting unintentionally lets out their "patient zero", a vegetarian zombie who is quickly nicknamed Zzong-bi (Ga-ram Jung) by Hae-gul (Soo-kyung Lee) the youngest daughter of the family after our undead friend follows home the father after coming across him in a public restroom. Soon after, the father discovers that the bite he sustained from Zzong-bi has wound back the years and made him young again - the family, who are desperate for money decide to exploit their newfound family member. Bloody hilarity ensues as the family who was drifting apart must band together in order to survive the undead horde.

The easiest way to describe Odd Family is that it feels like a high stake, quirky blend of Warm Bodies (due to the almost sentient human nature of Zzong-bi) and legendary Korean zombie movie Train to Busan. Not since Warm Bodies have we seen a human show so much affection and sorrow towards a shambling monstrosity and this in itself gives the audience a barrel of laughs.

The slapstick nature of the fight for survival in the second half of the film invokes memories of the likes of Zombieland or even Shaun of the Dead with the family gearing up in duvets and pots and pans to protect them from unwanted bites - this is only enhanced by the whimsical score that accompanies it and the undeniable chemistry shown between the ensemble cast - for example, there is a running gag and play on words with Hae-gul's name being said as "Hey Girl".

The only real negative of Odd Family is that it's a little bit on the lengthy side. At 111 minutes, the film could have benefited from being slightly shorter but only because the pacing slightly suffers just past the midway point. But that slight downside does not at all stop this film from being one of the sleeper hits of the year and incredibly funny throughout.

Odd Family is solid proof that the horror-comedy genre continues to go from strength to strength and that Asian cinema, especially that of South Korean origin, is the best it has even been and we for one could not be happier. It's funny, heartwarming and gory to boot with terrific performances and chemistry between the family and will have audiences laughing out loud for its entire runtime.

The Odd Family: Zombie on Sale will receive its UK Premiere at the London Korean Film Festival 2019. For tickets and information: koreanfilm.co.uk

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