Fending off an alien invasion in Duty After School
TVING’s upcoming sci-fi thriller Duty After School has released its main teaser, and the unsettling sounds of the aliens alone are enough to give me the chills. In this alien-infested world, there’s a severe shortage of manpower to keep the hostile invaders at bay. That leaves the government with little choice other than to enlist a brand-new intake of young recruits — namely, final-year high school students.
With university admissions on the line, the students of Sungjin High grit their teeth and dive headfirst into their military training on campus. Though the consent forms are met with an array of reactions from their parents, from detached disinterest to despairing tears, there’s barely an alternative. The choice is between joining the after-school training program, or lagging behind in the rat race to university — and it’s clear which is the more terrifying prospect.
Training is far from easy, though. Our young protagonists — including Kim Ki-hae (End of Broadcast), Moon Sang-min (Under the Queen’s Umbrella), and Lee Yeon (Crash Course in Romance) — tough it out under the sweltering sun, running laps and engaging in target practice well into the night. Of course, all this is to ensure that they’re more than prepared for the real deal.
At first glance, the alien creatures resemble miniature starfish, looking almost adorable with their bashful chittering and inquisitive antennae. An alien’s seemingly docile demeanor convinces a student to lower his guard and extend a tentative finger, as if approaching a baby animal. But that’s his mistake.
With a vicious snarl, the alien launches itself at him in a burst of rabid fury. Out on the streets, a similar onslaught is taking place on a larger scale, leaving billowing clouds of dust and debris in the creatures’ wake. Their tentacle-like limbs grant them agile mobility and lightning-fast speed, making them downright terrifying in droves. Homeroom teacher Park Eun-young — played by Im Se-mi (The Empire) — screams for her students to escape, and the kids sprint desperately into the relative safety of the school compound.
Woefully underprepared for such an aggressive, seemingly impenetrable attack, the students are forced to fight tooth and nail in order to survive. That’s the most important piece of advice that platoon leader Lee Chun-ho, played by Shin Hyun-soo (Critical X), imparts to his young cadets: survive till the end, no matter what.
Helmed by PD Sung Yong-il (Class of Lies) with scripts written by Yoon Soo, the webtoon adaptation Duty After School premieres March 31.