Mark our words: this will be remembered as the year when South Korean directors took over Hollywood. First, Oldboy‘s Park Chan-wook presented Stoker, a creepy domestic thriller that boasted a trio of strong dramatic performances from his stars; then Kim Ji-woon showed us that he could deliver a good ol’ fashioned American action film in the form of The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger (which was actually pretty good).
And now, presenting the 3 Horseman of the Kimchi Apocalypse: Bong Joon-ho’s dystopian sci-fi Snowpiercer. Set in a future where world has frozen over and the remaining survivors live on a perpetually moving train, the situation is made worse by the glaring social inequality between the privileged toffs in First Class and the rest of the population — who seem to live in the steerage section from Titanic.
Back in his native South Korea, Bong Joon-ho has proven himself an incredibly versatile director with both the cult monster movie The Host and the internationally acclaimed drama Mother, which made many critics’ “Best of 2010″ lists. In Snowpiercer , he’s working with an international cast that includes Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt and regular collaborator Song Kang-ho.
The social inequality plot line feels a little similar to the upcoming Matt Damon blockbuster Elysium, but instead of having the underclass try to break their way onto a space ship, they’re trying to move into a different train carriage. There’s something charmingly shonky about the concept’s smallness, which could very well work in its favour. Plus, you’re almost definitely not going to see a buck-toothed, Northern Tilda Swinton in any other film this year!