Netflix’s All of Us Are Dead (2022) – Review

Netflix’s ‘All Of Us Are Dead’ centers on trapped students who must escape their high school after it becomes ground zero for a zombie virus outbreak.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if there was a zombie attack in your high school with the classrooms, stairwells, hallways, auditorium, gym, etc., swarming with the undead creatures? How would you escape? Would you survive it or would you wind up dead within the first few hours? Do you think it would be best to wait until you are rescued or fight your way out towards the safe haven even if it means you could die whilst trying to live?

The twelve-episode series answers all these questions as we watch the students at Hyosan High School attempt to survive a zombie apocalypse. What was once a science experiment, now turns into a terrible nightmare as it results in the virus spreading like wildfire not only among the students but also reaching beyond its walls deep into the town.

What’s interesting about ‘All Of Us Are Dead’ as a zombie series is that its protagonists are merely high school students who literally have to fight the infected creatures with the nearest object they find. They didn’t have any guns, machetes or knives to defend themselves but had to use their intelligence and fashion objects in their surroundings as a weapon. The crew didn’t have the privilege to simply eliminate the creatures every time they lunged at them or attacked their friends or loved ones.

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Set primarily in the bloody high school classrooms, hallways, stairwells, ‘All Of Us Are Dead’ also shows us how the virus is affecting the nation and how its citizens as well as the media is reacting to it. The scenes wherein the humans confront the zombies are fast-paced, showing an unsettling and chaotic situation as you’re unable to focus on one character during the same.

It mainly looks at the apocalypse from the perspective of high school students but also underlines social inequalities and political maneuvers. From the high school survivors, the detective, soldiers, parents, the politicians – it features many characters into the twelve-episode series which helps them highlight the many systemic issues.

The origin of the virus itself roots in the history of bullying, how authorities are ignorant and fail to take action, how they react to apocalyptic situations. They care more about the school’s reputation than the safety of their students.

‘All Of Us Are Dead’ also has different storylines involving bullying, teenage pregnancy, sexual assault, a police detective who rescues a toddler, an infant, and the YouTuber we mentioned earlier whilst racing to find a solution to the apocalypse. ‘All Of Us Are Dead’ also does a social commentary on the trauma caused by bullying.

Image via LAD BIBLE

Because it is an almost twelve-hour-long series, it has the advantage of fleshing out the characters very well. The characters that initially seem like you won’t be seeing them for a long time, prove to be vital in their own ways as the story progresses.

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Similar to the coronavirus pandemic, the zombie outbreak in Hyosan too is difficult to understand. The scientists have a tough time finding treatment as the virus evolves and we see ‘Halfbies’ infected persons that are neither zombies nor can be considered humans.

It is heartbreaking to watch the crew witness their friends and loved one’s turn into monstrous creatures they won’t recognize again right before their eyes. Helplessly, they watch in shock and horror as the person they so dearly loved turns into everyone’s nightmare. And that is when one of the students wonders whether they might end up becoming the minorities due to the widespread infection.

Surprisingly, the show can also be genuinely funny sometimes, isn’t it nice to laugh in a disaster too? What isn’t surprising is how misinformation and fake news are spread. People prank others by enacting zombies on a Subway, demonstrations are held to not let the survivors from Hyosan be offered refuge in other regions in such dangerous times. A YouTuber even travels to Hyosan to “bring out the truth”, whilst documenting and live-streaming the crisis for likes, views, and subscribers.

Image via Marie Claire

More suitable to be watched in parts instead of binge-watching, ‘All Of Us Are Dead’ impressively includes classic genres like an apocalypse along with teen drama. Amidst all the bloodshed, pain, suffering, devastation, and loss, it also tells a tale of the teens which gives a much-needed break from all the fighting and moving from the classroom, gymnasium equipment closet to broadcasting room, auditorium, mountain, to the streets.

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The first episode of ‘All Of Us Are Dead’ is outstanding! It sets up the plot well, giving us some backstory that helps us make sense and put the pieces together as to what is happening. This gripping series always keeps us on the edge of our seats, constantly worrying about which character might face death next whether or not they were positioned as a protagonist. Both the acting of the cast and the body-acting of the zombie is splendid!

In the first half of the pilot episode, we are introduced to Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young) who risks his life on multiple occasions to save others and has feelings for his childhood best friend On-ja (House of Hummingbird’s Park Ji-hu) who has a crush on a school jock Soo-hyeok (‘Sweet Revenge’ Park Solomon). Cheong-san treats On-ja like one of the guys while Soo-hyeok is in love with the aloof class president Nam-ra (Hospital Playlist’s Cho Yi-hyun).

We watch the crew of high school students make a makeshift toilet and even fight amongst themselves due to their different opinions. Some new relationships are formed while others suddenly end due to their loss.

The clever and thrilling series ‘All Of Us Are Dead’ is a great watch if you’re a fan of zombie horror/ apocalypse movies/series and would like to see some other subplots within it. It makes you feel the struggle, loss, and pain of the high school teens.

find ‘All of us are dead’ on Netflix: HERE


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