Kdrama Review: All of Us Are Dead (2022)

All of Us Are Dead (2022) was released last month and it has been on the Top 1 on Netflix for most countries since then. It is a South Korean modern zombie apocalypse television series starring Park Ji-hoo, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-Hyun, and Park Solomon. 

Title: All of Us Are Dead
Genre: Horror, Zombie Apocalypse 
Based on: Now at Our School by Joo Dong-geun (Naver webtoon)
Country of origin: South Korea
Original language: Korean
No. of seasons: 1
No. of episodes: 12
Original network: Netflix
Original release: January 28, 2022


* Trigger warning: It tackles sexual and physical abuse, high school bullying, and death *


The story started when a professor from Hyosan High School experimented with a virus on his son and he turned into a zombie. It got out of hand when a student got curious about the professor's stuff. She got bitten by the animal the professor is working on. It easily spread all over the school and outside the school too. Survivors did their best to protect themselves even without food, water, internet, and signal.


Nam On-jo (Park Ji-hoo)

On-jo is the good girl in the class with a loving father who is a firefighter. Her character is known for her innocence. She and Cheong-san are best friends and she likes him but was still in denial.

Lee Cheong-san (Yoon Chan-young)

Cheong-san is the hero in this series. He led his fellow survivor students which makes him a great leader. I know he did stab Gwi-nam in the eye and for me, it's just his defense. He did it to survive. He likes On-jo, as seen even on the first few episodes. 

Choi Nam-ra (Cho Yi-hyun)

Nam-ra is the badass class president but is also vulnerable deep inside. As expected from a class president, she is a good student who always aims for high grades. She was never happy and contented though. She's the love interest of Su-hyeok. 

Lee Su-hyeok (Park Solomon)

Su-hyeok likes Nam-ra though he knows she was out of her league as he was a former high school bully. He helped the other survivors by fighting the zombies. He became a good friend of Cheong-san in the end. 


I've watched other zombie apocalypse movies and series but this is one of the most intense and stressful for me. It is probably because it's a series with 12 episodes. It revolves around 4-5 stories from the different survivor groups aside from the story on how it all started. The scenes wherein the other survivors and survivors' parents die are also dramatic and horrible. They made it dramatic so it's kinda painful to watch.

The side stories and too many details can also be overwhelming to others though. Some scenes are not necessary like the poop area.

Aside from the zombie apocalypse, there are scenes of sexual and physical abuse, bullying, teenage pregnancy, vices, abusive professors, and martial law. I think they included it to relate it to raise awareness of current issues in reality. There are also theories that some of the scenes are from the Sewol Ferry disaster like when Su-hyeok tied a knot with Nam-ra, survivors tying a yellow ribbon on a tree in remembrance of the people who passed away, and trusting adults.

The actors did well portraying their characters (both adults and students). At first, it looks like most of them are new faces but they're actors from known dramas already as supporting actors. This is the breakthrough of the cast, especially for the primary actors. They can make you feel each scene. The zombies did great too! 

The main characters have loopholes. For me, they did not make an impact like what the antagonists did. I'm not sure if it's Ji-hoo's acting or it's just her character, On-jo. Something is lacking in her. Not too expressive? Meanwhile, Nam-ra is hyped by many but for me, she only got my attention when she became halfbie. She has great chemistry with Su-hyeok though! 

Aside from the main characters, I would like to say that I appreciate Yoo In-soo who portrayed Yoon Gwi-nam. He has these vibes wherein I can imagine him in an anime live-action. He did well in being an antagonist. If he annoys you while watching, then, he did well. Right? Haha. I don't think he's a newbie in acting but this is his breakthrough role. Lee Yoo-mi who played Na-yeon did great acting in this series as well! She also starred in Squid Game and she just proved she's a great actress. Hope to see them more in upcoming kdramas!

I just want to special mention the trio plus the kid and the baby! They made the story * a little lighter *. I never thought they will include some comedy scenes. I'm really happy they made it alive.

Also, the high school girl who left the school and gave birth in the restroom blew my mind. Like what the heck? How can they fit this scene in a zombie apocalypse series? Haha! 

Let us also give appreciation to Lim Jae-Hyuk who played Yang Dae-Su. He has a great voice and the part where he sang was memorable.

I think this is the first time I watched a zombie apocalypse series/movie where it has a love story. Haha! Also shocked to see a kissing scene between high school students in a kdrama and the genre is a zombie apocalypse. 

This series garnered positive feedback from viewers. Many liked it but others got disappointed. I think this depends on your preference. For me, I like it because I was really into it when I was watching it. But after thinking about it, it is not as perfect as it may seem. But still a great series for me! The ending gives us a hint of a second season. I hope the story will not be too overwhelming as the first one. I also hope that the main characters will redeem themselves in the next season.

How about you? Do you think All of Us Are Dead is a hit or miss?


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