Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ Series Review

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The truth is, I’m not very fond of zombie films. I’ve seen a few, but I don’t appreciate them nuch. What led me to watch Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ is because I thought the kids were cute and because Netflix Philippines invited me to the premiere of the show. My first thought was, “Oh, another zombie series. What could set ‘All of us are Dead’ apart from the legions of other zombie films and series?

Well, firstly, most of the scenes of the apocalypse take place in a high school, so what would students do? Part of Netflix’s promotion of the series was to give away zombie survival kits, and I was one of the bloggers who received them. Inside the kit are school materials, which I initially thought that the Hyosan High School’s students utilized, but to my utter surprise, they did not. I thought that that was something exciting that the series could do (the use of school supplies), but the kit was only intended for promotion and to perhaps, legitimately help us survive a zombie apocalypse ‘coz some of the items made sense.

I did not expect anything very captivating about the series because there have been so many zombie films to count, and they all talk about survival and how each person’s true colors come out in extra challenging moments, like a zombie apocalypse. Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ was no exception to the survival and apocalypse genre with typical character tropes, which I’ll discuss in this blog post.

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Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ Characters

Let’s review the characters one by one. I’m focusing on the central and most interesting ones.

Apart from the fight for survival, Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ was able to slide in a bit of rom-com in the series, so there are lot of lovey-dovies among the characters.

ChLEE CHEONG-SAN (played by Yoon Chan-young)

Netflix's 'All of us are Dead' Cheong san

Cheong-san is your typical boy-next-door, and he’s friend-zoned by his childhood friend and classmate, On-Jo. He’s one of the skilled students–he’s fast and can climb through walls without any problem.

Cheong-san is the typical hero of an apocalypse ‘coz he’s always willing to risk his life and goes through the forefront. He’s the one that you’ll always root for in series such as this series because he’s close to being perfect.

NAM ON-JO (played by Park Ji-hu)

Netflix's 'All of us are Dead'  On-jo

As one of the main characters, On-jo is the series’ damsel in distress. She’s not very skillful, but she survives because she’s saved by her knight and shining armor.

On-jo a central character that’s quite easy to hate, not only because of her not appreciating Cheong-san but also because she’s the most emotional one in the bunch. In order to survive an apocalypse, one should seek to stop all emotions, and On-jo doesn’t pass in that department.

LEE SU-HYEOK / BARE-SU (played by Park Solomon (Lomon))

Netflix's 'All of us are Dead'  Seu-hyeok

Su-hyeok is one, if not the most skillful and strongest student in the school. Once a bully, this popular prince charming is now trying to protect the vulnerable ones. He’s the cool and swoon-worthy dude in the film. I mean, almost everyone who watched the series has a crush on him now.

CHOI NAM-RA (played by Cho Yi-hyun)

Nam-ra is one of the complex characters in the series, and she’s one of the most evolved ones, especially since the zombie apocalypse required it for her. She didn’t have friends ‘coz she was always on her own and intimidated her classmates. As one of the central characters, she’s also considered one of the more heroic students, as she is strong and has a sense of duty.

LEE NA-YEON (played by Lee You-mi)  

Netflix's 'All of us are Dead' Na-yeon

Na-yeon is the self-centered character in the series. Like Nam-ra, she has no friends, but she’s very mean and did a sordid thing just to prove she was right. In the end, she almost got her redemption, if only it were a good stance. She’s one of the most hated characters in the series. It showed that she’s from a wealthy family, so you can say that she’s a selfish elite.

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YOON GWI-NAM (played by Yoo In-soo)

Netflix's 'All of us are Dead' Gwi-nam

Since the series dwelled more on Hyosan High School’s surviving students, one can say that Gwi-nam is the biggest villain in the series. Everyone who has seen it hated this psychopath and the fact that he was asymptomatic and even became stronger after being infected by the zombie virus.

Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’: Other Characters

Despite having 12 episodes, Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ missed out on the opportunity to grow the many characters in the series. As I’ve said, most of them belong to the usual character tropes in high school dramas/series and on apocalyptic films. Some characters are capable of doing more, but the writers couldn’t utilize it, like the policeman and the science teacher, and even all of the main and supporting characters. Hence, I think that the series is also lacking when it comes to character development. The flashbacks were minimal and didn’t add to more of each character’s depth.

Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ Review

As I’ve said earlier, I didn’t expect too much from the series. It lacked a lot in storytelling, character development, and just on its overall message. Twelve episodes are enough, even if they’ve injected different situations and characters in the series. Some zombie apocalypse films have the same formula, but Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ lacked more focus and depth.

The only redeeming factors of the series are its actors (gosh, they’re really good-looking and hot), and perhaps, luckily, the fact that it’s an apocalyptic film, so it would not be boring and the audience would want more. However, I can’t say that it’s one of the good zombie apocalypse films. Even if it had the chance to be better, it wasted its 12 hours and only gave its audience a lackluster story development.

Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ Commentary

As with every apocalyptic showcase, Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’ is not without its social commentary. The most obvious one tells about our world’s current pandemic situation and how it divides the people and turns many into selfish pricks. The series was even more transparent to the commentary, as to straightforwardly imply it as a fast-infecting and evolving virus, with asymptomatic cases, like that of covid-19’s.

Since I wasn’t impressed with the whole series, I cannot say more about it. It has the same formula as other zombie apocalypse films and series. The thing is, the whole story and characters were not developed well, despite its 12 episodes.

The series tried to imply a lot of important messages to its audience (like selfishness and death or sacrifice), but it failed because the audience already knew about those things. The makers weren’t able to differentiate themselves from other apocalyptic films and series. It also didn’t provide the viewers sufficient adrenaline rush.

If you’re into tearjerkers, and if you’re quite sensitive to heartwarming things, you’d cry over what the characters have lost, but in my opinion, it still wasn’t enough for the series to be labeled as a good one. Even the political commentary was dry and wasn’t pushed enough.

Final Verdict

The only question is, should you watch Netflix’s ‘All of us are Dead’? I’d say yes. Despite my review, I still watched the series from start to end because I wanted to know what happens next. To be fair, the creators injected a lot of things in the drama that would make us want to see more (like colors and music). If you’re not really keen on series commentary or development, then you’ll definitely want to watch this and might even enjoy it.

Watch ‘All of us are Dead’ on Netflix.


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