The Host (2006)

Why did it take me so long to finally watch this?

 A monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and focuses its attention on attacking and capturing people. One victim’s family must do what they can to rescue their loved one back from its clutches.

Bong Joon-Ho’s 2006 South Korean monster movie, The Host, is understandably a cult classic. In Bong’s world tragedy and comedy can happily co-exist without diminishing each other, it’s a superbly well crafted film, dealing with the most abrupt tonal shifts. The Host combines scares, laughs and political satire into a riveting monster movie that isn’t just horror but a surprisingly sombre drama about a dysfunctional family.

The CG doesn’t quite hold up after 10 years, but don’t let the cheapness stir you away. This is not a movie to be written off by outdated effects. Rather the opposite, there is a certain bit of bizarre charm and the attitude of a low budget B grade monster movie. One thing for sure though is it’s smarter than your average Hollywood monster blockbuster.

The Host is feverishly imaginative. If you can successfully merge comedy, drama and horror into one story you have something magically. Understandably, the mixed genre may not please all audiences but if you are to abandon it at least stay for the opening twenty minutes. It is by far one of the greatest flee in daytime panic crowd scenes, its absolutely sensational.

There is sweetness at the core of The Host, it is the offspring of a 50 / 60s Science Fiction picture in which exposure to some form of radiation results in very large and ghastly fault. At times funny and other moments terribly sad, The Host is a well acted, superbly shot stylish monster movie. This berserk creature feature truly is a shock of delight.

9.0 / 10

“The Han River is very broad, Mr Kim. Let’s try to be broadminded about this. Anyway, that’s an order. So, start pouring”


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