For director Lee Jae-kyoo, his show All of Us Are Dead puts a new spin on the done-to-death zombie genre. When it comes to zombie thrillers, the majority of them depict adults facing off against the undead. But the recently released Korean horror series chose to set itself apart.
In All of Us Are Dead, the story follows a group of teenagers at a high school where a virus spreads. As the majority of the students and teachers turn into zombies, the surviving group has to do everything to not join their horde.
Why are All of Us Are Dead's protagonists teenagers?
According to Jae-kyoo, the reason behind making high school students the protagonists of All of Us Are Dead was to show the distinction between how a child makes decisions compared to an adult. He said,
“Up until now, most zombie flicks revolved around adults. But this series follows the story of students, who are yet to fully mature and be socialized.”
While both face the same life threatening situation, children tend to make riskier decisions unlike the adults who take a very different course of action.
“When adults are put in a dangerous situation, they will all find a safer way. But children, they sometimes make riskier decisions. I wanted to make a story that will lead people to think about what it means to be an adult and a human by watching the decisions and actions the children make in a life-or-death situation.”
For Jae-kyoo, All of Us Are Dead wasn’t just a means for him to experiment with the zombie genre, it was a platform for him to talk about the rampant issue of bullying.
“I don’t think bullying only happens in school. It also happens in society. People collectively bonding in groups with selfishness bring such issues to society globally.
Some might think that it’s only a story about kids in school, but I hope viewers will be able to find it relevant even as adults.”
But at the same time, Jae-kyoo was aware that at the end of the day, a viewer will binge-watch all twelve episodes of his show only if it quenched their thirst for spine-chilling horror.
“Usually, a human turning into a zombie is the scariest part of zombie flicks. So for this series, the viewers will be able to feel the extreme fear with the scenes that show people transforming into zombies.”
There is no doubt that Jae-kyoo did an amazing job. All of Us Are Dead is still continuing to climb the charts on Netflix and fans are already looking forward to its second season.