All of Us Are Dead: a must-watch thriller


Photo by Netflix Asia

One of the official Netflix posters for the 2022-released show, All of Us Are Dead.

By Alondra Romero, Reporter



Imagine a normal school day on a nice spring afternoon: a group of teens is in the cafeteria, enjoying lunch with friends until, the next second, hell breaks loose and students start eating each other. Blood is everywhere, screams take over the cafeteria, and everyone is pushing each other, trying to escape. Those who do not believe such a horrific scene could happen in real life need to watch All of Us Are Dead on Netflix.

Making its debut on Netflix on January 28, 2022, All of Us Are Dead earned its place in the top 10 with the most popular non-English TV series in the first 28 days of its release; the show is based on the webtoon Now at Our School (the webtoon itself only contains 9 episodes), published in 2009 by Joo Dong-Geun.

After Squid Game, the Korean hit show All of Us Are Dead ruled with the second most viewers for a premiered show, grabbing attention from viewers around the world. Even now, Korean television continues to trend in the United States, making All of Us Are Dead a must-watch program.


All of Us Are Dead is a zombie horror show that revolves in Hyosan, a city in South Korea. It starts off with a normal school day in Hyosan High School, but in the shadows, a girl is bitten by a rat that had been infected by a deadly virus – one that will turn her peers and then the rest of the city into zombies. Luckily, there are people who end up surviving as the virus spreads throughout the school and city. Those who do will have to fight their way to safety, as their cellphones and other electronics suddenly are of no help. They will have to find a way on their own in hopes of arriving all together and reuniting with their families. 

As summer break is coming around, watching TV, especially a show that zombie or horror fans will particularly like watching, offers a good distraction. All of Us Are Dead is a high-quality Netflix program that will draw its viewers into wanting to watch it more. The show itself contains many plot twists in just a matter of twelve episodes. Even though 12 episodes might seem like not enough, the production and cast were able to pull off every main point that was needed to satisfy the show.

One reason why All of Us Are Dead became so successful is the immense usage of high graphics that allow the director to bring the show to life. South Korea is known for its extreme graphics in zombie/horror-based films like Train to Busan (released in 2016), #Alive (released in 2020), Sweet Home (released in 2020), and many more. 

There is some viewer discretion advised, as the show does feature heightened violence, gore, profanity, and fight scenes with some sort of body horror (highly graphic of zombies biting flesh off victims). 

Hwang Hyo-Kyun, the founder and CEO of Technical Art Studio CELL, South Korea’s leading special effects and makeup company that has worked in special effects, props, and makeup for hundreds of films and television shows said, “The fact that we can get an audience to be convinced by its realism and focus on the story… (that’s) what makes special effects so cool.”

CNN Style reporter Jane Sit said, “Hwang and the CELL team have provided special effects since the start and worked closely with the show’s creators to come up with a bespoke concept for a Korean period zombie. He factored many different elements into his creative thinking including zombies’ social statuses when they were alive.”

Netflix Asia

Another reason why All of Us Are Dead is favored is the fact the show revolves around high schoolers and they are acutely able to portray suspense and emotions throughout the show. Viewers who like horror movies and TV shows would be surprised at how All of Us Are Dead actors were able to portray realistic emotions while they survive a widespread zombie epidemic. Even though it is a fictional world, the characters go through many twists and turns, evolving from enemies to friends, finding themselves in the stereotypical love triangle, showing their true emotions and colors, and so much more. With just a dozen episodes, the cast was able to express themselves enough for viewers to understand what is happening. Because the audience is so involved in the characters’ fate, they are equally filled with the suspense as tension mounts, or surprised when a jump scare occurs. 

Finally, if taken into deeper consideration, All of Us Are Dead implies many life lessons, from taking responsibility for one’s mistakes, saying what one needs to say before it is too late, accepting that it is better to work together as a team than alone, loving oneself even if it feels like one is up against the world, recognizing that family is everything but it takes a lot of courage to move on, to many more. 

As mentioned before, the cast and producers were able to show these types of lessons throughout the storyline. Some people might say that  All of Us Are Dead is just a zombie TV-show, but there are many hidden lessons for those who look hard enough at how the show’s motifs are portrayed. 

All of Us Are Dead is a good show to add to the watchlist, whether during this year’s Halloween season or over the summer (do not wait too long, though, as many zombie shows will come out later this year). The show includes features that many of these other popular zombie shows do not offer. Even with just 12 episodes, All of Us Are Dead was able to contribute to a lot of important lessons and get to the main points easily with its high graphics, suspense, and great use of emotions portrayed.