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Movie Review - The Host (2006 - South Korea)
Big scary critter in a GOOD movie for a change
I should begin by admitting that I'm hardly a fan of big, sloppy, mean, homicidal critter movies. And I'd say that you don't have to be, either, to enjoy The Host , which really falls outside of any genre, anyway. It features a wonderfully mutant critter, a deeply flawed protagonist and an oddly evocative setting that manages to be both unlike anything you've ever seen, and everything you've ever seen--in your nightmares.
I gave it 4 stars rather than 5 because ultimately it does get bogged down in the logistics of plot, but it is still very much worth watching. There's an odd charm to much of this picture, a lot of which comes from some very deft camera work, occasional bursts of quirky humor and remarkably natural performances from all the actors. I also liked that the monster is revealed early on, so that the build up of gleefully terror-filled anticipation (The Jaws Effect) does not intrude on the story telling.
Watch this fascinating move right now:
Watch the video trailer:
The thematic subtext will be familiar from many other Asian horror/Sci-Fi genre films: the monster is not a villain as much as a victim, created by human greed, stupidity and a general disregard for Mother Nature and ‘nurtured’ by the polluted waters of the Han River. In this film as is always the case in the genre, the real villains are the Powers That Be: the American military, Korean governmental, business and criminal interests. The working-class Park family is forced to work in unison to battle monster, bureaucrats and a pervasive culture of indifference to individual human rights and suffering.
Along the way astonishing things happen, and you will be haunted by some of the beautiful, poetic and disturbing imagery in this picture, as I have been, for quite some time.
Copyright © Roberta Lee 2012. All rights reserved.
(I am an artist and the author of the Suburban Sprawl series of novels as well as two nonfiction books. Find out more about my work at RobertaLeeArt.com.)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Horror, Art House & International, Comedy
Rated: R – See Full Rating
Running Time: 1 hr. 59 min.
In Theaters: Mar 9, 2007
On DVD: Jul 24, 2007
Directed By: Joon-ho Bong
Written By: Hah Joon-won, Baek Chul-hyun
Song Kang-ho - Gang-du
Ko A-sung - Hyun-seo