HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
Survive!
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Pathfinder
Skatetown, USA
Donbass
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Mary Poppins Returns
Beyond the Sky
   
 
Newest Articles
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
   
 
  Host, The Under The BridgeBuy this film here.
Year: 2006
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Stars: Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hie-bong, Park Hae-il, Ko Ah-sung, Bae Du-na, Scott Wilson, David Joseph Anselmo, Brian Rhee
Genre: Horror, Science Fiction
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Six years ago, there was an incident in an American army base situated in South Korea that would have grave repercussions. A lab assistant was given orders to dump chemicals into a drain that led to the nearby Han River by his American superior officer, despite his protests. Now, a businessman trying to commit sucide is standing on a bridge over the river and as he is talked out of it by his colleagues he notices a huge shape beneath the surface - then allows himself to fall towards it. Did he see anything? Is there a creature born of pollution lurking in the river? Could be...

The Host, or Gwoemul as it was originally known, broke box office records in its native South Korea and was notably popular abroad as well. Director and co-writer Bong Joon-ho's follow up to his well-thought-of Memories of Murder, this had a similarly grey look and a mistrust of the authorities, although rather than presenting the powers that be from the inside as before, here he concentrated on a working class family who find themselves the victim of both the giant monster created by pollution and those who would seek to contain the emergency - not always ethically, either.

They don't mess about in bringing on the creature, as after about ten minutes of setting up it is running rampage by the river, chomping on those taking a break there and crucially to the plot, snapping up schoolgirl Hyuen-seo (Kae Ah-sung) and plunging into the water with her caught in its tail. It is her family who are the centre of attention thereafter as her father, Gang-du (Song Kang-ho), something of a misfit with a tendency to doze off, even at times of stress, refuses to believe she is dead. His father leads the charge, and his archer sister and unemployed graduate brother join the cause.

Presumably they are intended to represent South Korean society in the face of a government in the thrall of Americans, because there's a definite suspicion of the motives of the U.S.A. here, and it's interesting that the director should use a traditionally East Asian genre, the giant monster movie, to make his points. Alas, his superbly-rendered creature does not have the personality of a Godzilla, and is more drawn from stock, turning up to terrorise the cast then retreating to its lair on the sewers where it takes its victims, either to regurgitate and leave for later, or to digest.

There's a strain of self-pity running through The Host, a "Why me?" air that defuses the tension and threatens to upset the excitement generated by the CGI behemoth (who isn't really that big compared to others in the giant monster pantheon, barely double decker bus-sized, really). It's understandable that the family should be distraught, but when this is pinned onto a theme about unwanted American influence in their country it begins to grate in a persecution complex kind of way. The U.S. military invent a story that the family are carrying a monster virus which mainly seems to have been introduced into the plot to distract them from their hunt; the writers may have a political point to make, but it doesn't sit well with the heroics. Still, it's enjoyable enough, with a sense of humour and distinctive take on a well-worn tale. Music by Lee Byung-woo.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2139 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor
   

 

Last Updated: