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All of Us Are Dead: Overview, Cast, 6 Fun Facts & More

Overview of All of Us Are Dead

A zombie apocalyptic horror coming-of-age South Korean streaming television series called ‘All of Us Are Dead’. Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon, Yoo In-soo, Lee Yoo-mi, Kim Byung-chul, Lee Kyu-hyung, and Jeon Bae-soo are among the actors who appear in it. The majority of the series takes place in a South Korean high school as a zombie apocalypse breaks out and threatens the students’ survival.

The same-named ‘Naver’ webtoon by Joo Dong-geun, which was released between 2009 and 2011, served as its inspiration. This show was taped at the Sunghee Girls’ High School in Andong, South Korea. On January 28, 2022, Netflix began airing the series. Within its first 30 days on the service after its debut, the show received approximately 474.26 million hours of viewing. The show received a second season renewal on 6 June 2022.

Profile

  • Drama: All of Us Are Dead (English title) / Now at Our School (literal title)
  • Director: Lee Jae-kyu, Kim Nam-soo
  • Writer: Joo Dong-geum (webcomic), Chung Sung-il
  • Network: Netflix
  • Episodes: 12
  • Release Date: January 28, 2022
  • Language: Korean
  • Country: South Korea

Cast

  • Park Ji-hoo – Nam On-jo
  • Yoon Chan-young – Lee Cheong-san
  • Park Solomon/Lomon – Lee Su-hyeok
  • Cho Yi-hyun – Choi Nam-ra
  • Ha Seung-ri – Jang Ha-ri
  • Yoo In-soo – Yoon Gwi-nam
  • Lee Kyu-hyung – Song Jae-ik
  • Jeon Bae-soo – Nam So-ju

Synopsis

A nearby high school becomes infested with zombies following a disastrous science experiment, and the imprisoned students fight to escape. They have to use the equipment around the school to protect themselves in the middle of a war because they have no food or water and their communication has been cut off by the government. If they don’t do so, they will join the infected.

kdramalive Still From All of Us Are Dead
A still from “All of Us Are Dead” (2022). Credit: Pinterest

‘All of Us Are Dead’ Review: Everything You Expect from a High School Zombie Story

Watching a zombie epidemic unfold in real-time is one of the most terrifying things you can experience on television. Tracking a single illness as it spreads rapidly and terrorises an unaware population is a stressful process that is rarely enjoyable to witness. The newest Netflix programme to attempt a global apocalypse, ‘All of Us Are Dead’, introduces itself in its first episode by methodically portraying the transformation of a school.

One careless bite from an experimental animal, a mouse, in a research lab triggers an unstoppable series of events, bringing the enormous Hyosan High School complex to a standstill in a single day.

The main accomplishment of ‘All of Us Are Dead’ is the scope of that growth in zombie populations. Swooping through corridors and across rooms spanning several floors, director Lee Jae-gyu does a good job of establishing the school’s landscape. The first few episodes of the series are as horrifying as any potential viewer’s expectations because of the overwhelming number of students in any given rehearsal room, cafeteria, or foyer who are all succumbing to a mind-numbing illness in only seconds.

However, “expectations” is the crucial term hanging over much of what is remained of the 12-episode season as the Hyosan population is quickly reduced. Despite its extensive depiction of a collapsing society, ‘All of Us Are Dead’ immediately continues up where it left off and sticks to the formula for a zombie thriller.

kdramalive image from "All of Us Are Dead"
A still from “All of Us Are Dead” (2022). Credit: Pinterest

It is presented in a season that has an irregular tempo and struggles to follow a logical pattern, much like the students who are trying to fend off chomps from groups of uniformed children.

Over the course of the series, the tiny gang battling the undead changes in composition, but it is still centred around childhood friends Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young) and On-jo (Park Ji-hoo). Since they are in high school, it is only logical that their crushes on the other survivors are more important to them than a horde of mutants trying to rip their skin.

The small group fighting the undead varies over the course of the series, but it still revolves around childhood friends Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young) and On-jo (Park Ji-hoo). It stands to reason that, as high school students, their crushes on the other survivors would take precedence over a swarm of mutants attempting to rend at their skin.

There aren’t many options for the pupils because the zombies in ‘All of Us Are Dead’ are the relentless, feed-at-all-costs kind. ‘All Of Us Are Dead’ has a wheel-spinning vibe to it, much like Dae-su (Im Jae-hyuk), Su-hyeok (Lomon), and Nam-ra (Cho Yi-hyun) are stuck in a loop fleeing from room to room when their homemade walls fall way. What starts out as a real-time crisis tracker turns into a hodgepodge of thematic hammer blows, pointless flashbacks, and talks that cover territory that has already been covered.

It emphasises the impression that the show has few precise ideas beyond carrying out a certain sub-genre of the story in a specific locale whenever the series switches to old footage of the virus’ creator droning on about human nature.

Gwi-nam (Yoo In-soo), one of the most grating bullies ever depicted on screen, is a prime example of ‘All of Us Are Deads’ stagnation and only partially by purpose. No one character poses a greater source of irritation for the gang of survivors than this cold-hearted adversary driven only by retaliation among a sea of zombies bent on their annihilation.

kdramalive still from "All of Us Are Dead".
Yoon Chang-young as Lee Cheong-san and Park Ji-hoo as Nam On-jo in “All of Us Are Dead” (2022). Credit: Pinterest

‘All of Us Are Dead’ treats Gwi-nam like so many other elements of this story: as a way to add more manufactured drama on top of what is already a life-or-death situation. Gwi-nam is the requisite ” are humans the real monster?” addition to the story, but aside from showing the brutality of one high school villain writ large, ‘All of Us Are Dead’ treats him like so many other elements of this story: as a way to show the brutalness.

It suggests that ‘All of Us Are Dead’ is actually only utilising a few of the storytelling techniques available to it, even after creating this enormous, high school-sized canvas to deal with. The survivors move from room to room enacting complex escape strategies. However, the inventiveness of these haphazard creations that save lives never really shows in the students themselves.

Given the amount of time the show spends with these youngsters, ‘All of Us Are Dead’ doesn’t have nearly as much to say about them, burdening them with simple, unrequited affections and little, surface-level distinctions. There is a lot in this show that serves only to advance this group between narrative checkpoints, torn between showing them trying to understand how these zombies are functioning, how to take care of everyday necessities, and how to cope with potential risks inside their own group.

If ‘All of Us Are Dead’ was genuinely trying to capture the monotony of surviving a horde of mindless ex-classmates lurking around every corner, that would be one thing. But it always feels like a better use of time when the focus of the show switches away from that primary group. Cross “bow-and-arrow weaponry” off the list for zombie stories by joining a splinter group of Hyosan survivors that is primarily made up of the remaining archery team members. This group of survivors has a more diverse range of personalities and goals.

A single soldier’s cold open reveals more about him in a few minutes than the majority of the Hyosan team does. By the time the show expands to larger administrative powers beyond the principal and English teacher, there is almost a tacit admission that the students could never have supported a whole production on their own.

kdramalive image from "All of Us Are Dead".
A scene from “All of Us Are Dead” (2022). Credit: Pinterest

Even yet, ‘All of Us Are Dead’ is at least constructed on a strong basis despite how monotonous it eventually becomes. Impressive stunt work and logistical choreography were required to create a convincing hellscape. The overall mix between hivemind activity and randomness makes every glance out the window at the school’s infested front lawn both sad and unsettling, even though some of the irregularities in zombie behaviour might occasionally feel a little lazy from a story viewpoint.

Even when the show’s plot seems happy to idle, the contortion of crushed limbs and mouthfuls of chunks of flesh makes this a physical, visceral experience.

‘All of Us Are Dead’ spends most of its energy telling the story at the centre of the outbreak, which leaves little opportunity for the inevitable peeks into how the grownups in authority are reacting. Every time the focus is diverted from high school, the notion that this show excels at size is reinforced.

It’s difficult to think what a version of this show might look like if it weren’t so bound to a single location, especially as it becomes more apparent that the students are by no means the only ones dealing with this massive issue. There are hints of a leaner, more self-assured show that emerges. The Hyosan students record farewell messages for their families at one point, serving as a reminder that children whose parents do not have their own distinct storylines also have something to live for.

There isn’t much opportunity for non-gloominess here, but the lighthearted chat and occasional lighthearted diversion provide something different from the living horror that is happening just outside the walls of each occupied chamber. When they occur, these moments are appreciated. However, there aren’t nearly enough to break the monotonous cycle of a well-known plot in a production with a running period of almost 12 hours.

The Ending of ‘All of Us Are Dead’ Explained

Another great yet biting Korean sitcom has just premiered on Netflix, and it’s hoped that it will generate as much buzz as ‘Squid Game‘. This time, the character-forming horrors of high school are brought to a whole new level. A group of teenagers come together in ‘All of Us Are Dead’ as a zombie outbreak starts in their very own science classroom. The world paid a heavy price for the virus that was born out of a father’s desperation to assist his son in fighting back against the bullies controlling his life.

kdramalive still from "All of Us Are Dead".
Still from “All of Us Are Dead” (2022). Credit: Pinterest
Families are split up, terrible choices are made, and friends are left to be the main meal in a nightmare that eventually spreads outside of the school’s boundaries and into nearby cities. But what remained for the survivors was that we were forced to watch 12 arduous episodes, and was there any hope for them? What are the chances that they will return for more in yet another terrifying season?

School is Out Forever

The heroes of Hyosan High successfully escape the zombie virus’s epicentre after staying out much later than normal and making some sad sacrifices. The class that the show began with has greatly decreased in size, and Cheong-san (Harrison Xu) getting the short end is the biggest blow yet. Cheong-san is bitten by his opponent, sealing his doom, and setting off a last fight between the two. He is being pursued by the vicious bully Gwi-nam (Yoo In-soo), a rare victim of the virus who has transformed into a human-zombie hybrid.

Cheong-san takes a beating from Gwi-nam at the abandoned construction site, dodging adjacent zombies like a parkour pro, just as the military orders an airstrike to bomb certain areas, using the long-anticipated fight as a diversion for the rest of his friends to flee. While our hero makes careful attempts to take the monster with a mullet with him as they both fall down an elevator shaft just as the missile decimates the region. Gwi-nam succeeds in catching Cheong-san’s eye as he had anticipated. Our hero has vanished. Observe him as he drops to the ground floor and disappears.

Nam So-ju Leads The Way

One thing to be learned from ‘All of Us Are Dead’ is that while the children may survive this horrible environment without incident, any teachers or parents who are in contact with them will experience hardship. When courageous firefighter father Nam So-ju (Jeon Bae-soo) eventually manages to reach his daughter and pays the ultimate price after fighting his way back into Hyosan and out of quarantine, he makes a terrible case for this. As soon as he reunites with On-jo (Victoria Grace), who he had saved from the gym, he blocks off the zombie horde so that she and her pals can escape while being chewed to pieces. Sincerely, we’re not crying.

Even more tragically, his daughter’s safety plan is carried out shortly after the airstrike thanks to the ribbons he placed around trees on the mountainside, saving the students’ lives. On-jo recognises her father and knows he was here and that this was part of his plan all along to get them safely into Yangdong. She also notices her father’s missing torch nearby.

The Hellish Home Stretch

After entering Yangdong, the group has one last setback when Woo-jin (Son Sang-yeon), who had placed himself in the way of his sister Ha-ri (Ha Seung-ri) and two zombies, are killed. The badass with a bow justifiably suffers from the honourable death, especially as Woo-jin swiftly rises to his feet in a full-blown zombie state. It is left to Nam-ra (Cho Yi-hyun) to complete the mission after she is unable to deliver the deadly blow.

Even when On-jo does the Best Friends Forever act of sacrificing herself to sate the hambie’s hunger, the task ignites her unquenchable need for human flesh, which she fights against. Nam-ra acknowledges she can’t stay with the group while maintaining control, so she leaves them behind and returns to Yangdong’s virus-infected streets. The party eventually makes it to the quarantine area from there, where they are interrogated and forced to explain themselves to the authorities.

kdramalive Image from "All of Us Are Dead".
A still from “All of Us Are Dead” (2022). Credit: Pinterest

This group has matured more quickly than others because of the atrocities they have experienced together, and they aren’t hesitant to express their ideas. The most startling declaration is without a doubt made by On-jo, who vows that she “won’t ask adults for anything ever again”. As she confronts the authorities who abandoned her town and the few remaining residents, it is a terrifying but completely understandable point of view to have.

After four months, the Hyosan High survivors are still attempting quarantine while news of the virus that revived the dead, spreads around the world. On-jo and company are the finest-dressed refugees you’ve ever seen, yet despite their best efforts to survive, the scars from the horrible experiences they had are still visible.

However, there is a glimmer of hope when On-jo thinks it is Nam-ra lighting the fire they had agreed to gather around after all was finished. Su-hyuk, who then informs the others that On-jo intends to return to the forbidden zone in search of their friend, hears about her notion from Su-hyuk. They go through the wall together and return to their former school, where Nam-ra is, as On-jo had guessed.

She admits that she has come to terms with who she is and her place in the world. When her companions inquire about her future intentions, she replies that she hopes to assist others who, like her, are still residing in abandoned places. Nam-ra then jumps from the roof and, perhaps, into another season as the tale of the growling zombie-infected pupils comes to a conclusion.

Awards

  • 8th APAN Star Awards (2022)
    Best New Actor (Yoon Chan-young)
  • Best New Actress (Park Ji-hu)

Interesting facts about All of Us Are Dead

  1. The school uniforms are green to make the blood stand out.
  2. The Netflix series is an adaptation of a famous Korean Webtoon.
  3. Intense action scenes left Park Solomon bedridden.
  4. The series took 2 years to film due to the pandemic.
  5. The actors had to learn zombie choreography.
  6. Although the duo are rivals in the show, Yoo In-soo and Yoon Chan-young are actually close friends in real life.

FAQs

    1. Did Byeong-chan become a halfbie?
      He has become a halfbie — the very first one, as far as we know — but since he disappears from the story after this scene, save for flashbacks to his video log, it’s tough to be sure.
    2. Why don’t the people attacked by halfbies become halfbies themselves?
      The asymptomatic form of the illness has something to do with the virus’ evolution, according to the information the show’s scientists have gathered. Therefore, if the asymptomatic patients spread the disease to others, the most likely outcome would be for the newly infected to have the same symptoms. However, this is not the case. Like Lee Na-yeon (Lee You-mi), who was bitten by a halfbie, they can also turn into conventional zombies.
    3. What happened to Eun-ji and Jae-jun?
      The most logical thing to assume is that they were beheaded and incinerated, but the show never offers an actual answer to what happened to them.
    4. Did Cheong-san and Gwi-nam manage to survive the bombing?
      Everything points to both characters being dead. However, Cheong-san has escaped death more than once, and Gwi-nam has survived at least three falls too many since he became a halfbie. So maybe we’ll see them both alive and kicking if the show is renewed for a second season.
    5. What is the Instagram ID of the lead actors in “All of Us Are Dead”?
      Park Solomon – lomon991111, Cho Yi-hyun – yihyun_1208, Yoon Chan-young – yooncy1, Park Ji-hoo – 03_hu

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