Netflix’s newest Korean zombie series, All Of Us Are Dead, had a record-breaking premiere upon its release on January 28th, 2022. Based on Joo Dong-geun’s 2009 webtoon Now At Our School, the show, which has a 100 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, has, however, been heavily criticised for omitting tags and trigger warnings at the beginning of the episodes.
Created by Lee Jae-gyu, the show stars Park Solomon, Yoon Chan-young, Park Ji Hu and Cho Yi-hyun in lead roles among other actors. Based on the 130-episode source material, the series is set in Hyosan High School, where a mysterious virus causes a massive zombie outbreak.
While a group of high school students, isolated from the outside world, put up a brave fight to save themselves from getting bitten by the hordes of ravenous, drooling zombies, the show serves as a commentary on various issues plaguing the contemporary East Asian society.
From extremely difficult examinations that determine one’s worth and future to bullying, peer pressure and suicide, the show explores these dark and heavyweight themes in tandem with graphic scenes pertaining to revenge porn and sexual assault.
While it features the common themes of teenage feelings, love triangles, friendship and betrayal, it also touches upon the darker themes, besides showing the sense of class divide and the nonchalance of the government towards students that leads to further alienation of the children.
The series abounds in zombie gore, but audience members seem to be more triggered by the lack of trigger warnings at the beginning of the episodes regarding the bullying and sexual assault scenes.
The tags that Netflix included are that of ‘violence’, ‘smoking’, ‘gore’ and ‘language’. Audience members have felt pretty “upset” by the inclusion of such a traumatising scene in the first episode where a group of bullies forces a male student to film an assault scene where they rip off the female student’s clothes and threaten to expose her. The scene made many feel queasy and uncomfortable even before they reached the scenes containing gruesome violence.
The scenes are pretty disturbing and unsettling and Netflix has found itself in hot waters for not adding the tags.
All Of Us Are Dead is now streaming on Netflix.