I still haven't been able to see Train to Busan for myself, but I found this article on NPR to be really interesting!
It doesn't ruin any plot points (other than the fact that there is a zombie apocalypse which I'm pretty sure we could gather from the trailer...)
According to the article:
Without giving too much of the story away, the film blames corporate callousness for the death toll. The government covers up the truth — or is largely absent. And the crew? Rather than rescue passengers, it follows the wishes of a businessman.
Sewol Ferry Reference:
These themes are particularly resonant in South Korea, which in 2014 faced national tragedy after 300 people, mostly teenagers, died when a ferry overturned in the sea.
Investigators found the ferry's corporate owners overloaded it to save money. And the captain and crew got into lifeboats without rescuing passengers.
News media, toeing the government line, originally reported that everyone survived, blamed rescuers for not working hard enough (when in reality the government refused to let them go into the water and rescue the children), etc. The Korean president's whereabouts on that day are still unexplained.
Then the MERS Outbreak:
Last year, as Middle East respiratory syndrome, or MERS, spread in South Korea, the government wouldn't share key information about where patients were being treated, where it started, and how officials would contain the outbreak.
The government refused to communicate with the public, so the Seoul mayor had to go against the president and form his OWN plan to fix the problem. As a result, he's now in the running for next president (since Koreans have lost all respect or trust in the current pres)
You can read the full piece by NPR right HERE.