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The All Of Us Are Dead Scene That Mirrors A Real-Life Tragedy

It's not often you think of a zombie movie as having any correlation with real life. Horror fans generally watch zombie films and television series as an escape, and because it's fun to be on the edge of your seat with your heart pounding. But when we watch a show like "The Walking Dead," we don't realistically think, "I wonder if I'll get eaten by a horde of zombies when I leave my house today."

In the Netflix series "All of Us Are All Dead," one of the teachers has created a virus in an attempt to help his son fight back against a group of bullies from his school. He thinks the virus will make the boy stronger and lose his fear, but instead, it turns him into a creature filled with rage who wants to bite and kill everyone around him. After one of the students is bit by an infected mouse, the virus begins to spread faster and faster through the school. Instead of helping the students, the teachers abandon them. Many viewers have noticed a surprising and sad parallel to a tragic event that still hits home with a lot of Koreans.

The Sewol ferry sinking was the worst ferry disaster in South Korea in decades

On April 16, 2014, the Sewol ferry was traveling from Incheon to Jeju Island in South Korea with 476 people on board. 250 who were school children taking a class field trip. The ferry was unstable due to an excessive cargo load that was found to be twice the legal limit, and when the ship made a sharp turn, it began to capsize, which was made worse by the cargo not being secured tightly. As the cargo all fell onto the decks, the ship was pushed even further onto its side (via New York Times). 

When the boat capsized, most of the students stayed in their cabins below deck, because the captain — and the ship's intercom — told them to stay put. Recovered cell phone videos would show the students having mixed reactions, with some leaving messages telling their parents they loved them, and others joking about the incident (The New Yorker). An hour after the first emergency call went out from the ship, the captain and most of the crew abandoned it, even though passengers were still onboard, waiting for directions. The captain and three members of the crew were charged and convicted with murder, while the other 11 members of the crew were convicted of charges of abandonment and violating a ship safety act (via CNN). In the end 304 of the 476 people aboard died, making it the deadliest ferry disaster South Korea had seen in 44 years (via BBC). 

Parallels between the Sewol ferry tragedy and All of Us Are Dead

Many viewers feel key moments from "All of Us Are Dead" are based on the events from the tragedy. In one scene, the staff of the high school is seen evacuating in a helicopter, leaving the kids behind. Redditor u/Significan_Show_856 wrote that "While not mentioned or referenced directly, these scenes unmistakably trigger the collective memory of South Koreans from 2014 — the Sewol Ferry tragedy, where 325 high school students and 14 teachers died trapped inside the sinking ship. The crew told the students to wait inside, while they [the ship's crew] were among the first to be rescued." u/englishlearner9 concurred, admitting that they cried "many times" while watching the Netflix series.

So many scenes feel similar, such as the one featuring two of the main characters tying their wrists together, similar to how one couple who died on the ferry was found (via NDTV). Another "All of Us Are Dead" scene viewers point to is when students are making video messages in the music room, telling their family goodbye. This scene is eerily familiar to farewell videos that were recovered from the cell phones of students who died on the Sewol ferry (USA Today). Another scene in the series shows yellow ribbons decorating a tree, with names and words of hope written on them. After the Sewol ferry sank, students attached yellow ribbons to trees and the gate at the school where many of the missing or dead children went, It was a sign of hope, that some would still be found alive (via CNN). 

The incident rocked the nation for years to come, and while the "All of Us Are Dead" series' creators haven't said if similarities are on purpose, it's obvious the Sewol disaster is still a fresh wound for all those involved.