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The Host

Korean monster movie

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Korean horror film falls short

  • Oct 31, 2008
  • by
I'm sure there are many fans of the Asian film art that will disagree with me, but this film made little sense. It skipped from here to there with little connection between scenes. It was hard to follow and dubbed poorly. The only positive note to it was that the monster was done with some very decent FX, looking like a carp with legs or some kind of mudskipper gone wrong.

The film starts with the dumping of some very old formaldehyde down the drain and into the river. What happens from this is our large and unfriendly mutated carp monster. One sunny day, the monster jumps out of the river and wreaks havoc on the people enjoying a day by the water. Some he eats and some he takes back to his "den" for later consumption. Among those taken to the den is a young girl whose family won't give up on her. (although there is a hilarious mourning scene where they all thrash around on the floor in front of her picture tacked up among the dead from the grisly attack)

There's also a virus associated with the monster, and the government starts to spray people and takes one member of the girl's family into isolation to attempt to figure out the virus, since he seems to have no effect from it. Meanwhile, the creature roams the sewers, and renegade bands descend into the sewers in an attempt to catch it, including the little girls aunt with her bow and arrow (she's recently been in an archery contest where she froze up at the critical moment).

Though the monster is good, the movie makes little sense and there's a lot of scenes that "stretch" out a little too long. I watched the movie with six other people and none of us could quite figure out what was going on. It's an entirely different mindset from American movies. It's a movie that will have to be watched more than once to figure it all out, if you have the inclination to watch it again. I don't. I just didn't think it was good enough for a second viewing. My advice is to rent, not buy, and if you are really into Asian films you will most likely love this movie more than I did.
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More The Host reviews
review by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What Pompted You to write a Review?   I felt compelled to review this movie using real words rather than just a numbered rating scale because I was shocked to see the high ratings!  My husband and I rented this last year solely because I was intrigued by the image on the movie cover (the one shown here).  Needless to say, the average American movie viewer will NOT enjoy this movie, and I'm still repairing my movie-choosing reputation!     How was the Plot, …
review by . June 19, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
Dvd U.S. version
The top-grossing film in Korea for 2006 was inspired by Hollywood and Japanese monster films. It is a tricky thing; there is just too much temptation for disaster, and too many things to go wrong. Critics have compared "THE HOST" to "Jaws" which I think has little to no merit; this film is a different animal. South Korea's shot at making a monster film was successful all over Asia that a sequel is in the works. Director Bong Jang-Ho (Memories of Murder) blends spectacle, familial …
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
My favorite monster flick - a toxic spill in Seoul's Han river creates an enormous creature who terrorizes the city and a father who fights back to save his daughter - scary, funny and completely relevant.
Quick Tip by . June 06, 2010
THE HOST - Although a bit long, this monster flick is exciting, entertaining, and surprisingly funny and sweet.
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I want to thank Everyone for welcoming me back! :) I'm here to stay folks, my sabbatical on writing reviews is over and I'll continue to review for Lunch. It's great to be back, too! Thanks again for … more
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About this movie


Alternate Name "Gwoemul"
Starring Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hae-il Park, Du-na Bae
Directed by Joon-ho Bong

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The Host
Theatrical poster Hangul 괴물 Hanja 怪物 RR Goemul MR Koemul Directed by Bong Joon-ho Produced by Choi Yong-Bae Written by Baek Chul-hyun
Bong Joon-ho Starring Song Kang-ho
Byeon Hee-bong
Park Hae-il
Bae Doona
Ko Ah-seong Music by Lee Byung-woo Cinematography Kim Hyung-ku Editing by Kim Sun-min Distributed by Showbox Release date(s) South Korea:
July 27, 2006
United Kingdom:
November 10, 2006
United States:
March 9, 2007 Running time 119 min. Country South Korea Language Korean
English Budget $11,000,000 Gross revenue $89,106,383 (worldwide)

The Host (괴물, Gwoemul - "Monster") is a 2006 South Korean monster film, which also contains elements of comedy and drama films. The film was directed by Bong Joon-ho, who also co-wrote the screenplay, along with Baek Chul-hyun.

Starring in the film as members of an unremarkable family thrust into the middle of extraordinary events were Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hee-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Doona and Ko Ah-seong. A rare combination of blockbuster plot and political commentary, the film also deals with the implications of America's military presence in Korea.

Following the success of the director's previous work, Memories of Murder, The Host was heavily anticipated and hyped. It was released on a record number of screens in its home country ...

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Genre: Drama, Action, Comedy, Horror, Adventure
Release Date: March 9, 2007
MPAA Rating: R
Runtime: 1hr 59min
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