The Host

The Host (Gwoemul) – 2006

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from Imdb: On 09 February 2000, the American military base of Yongson releases toxic chemicals in the drain to the Han River under the direct order of an arrogant coroner. Six years later, a mutant squid monster leaves the water and attacks people on the side of the river. The teenager Park Hyun-seo is carried by the creature and vanishes in the river. While grieving her loss, her slow father Park Gang-du; her grandfather and owner of a bar-kiosk nearby the river Park Hie-bong; her aunt and archery medalist Park Nam-Joo; and her graduated unemployed uncle Park Nam-il are sent by the army with all the people that had some sort of contact with the monster to quarantine in a facility. During the night, Gang-du receives a phone call from Hyun-seo telling that she is alive in a big sewage nearby the river. Gang-du tell the militaries but nobody believes on his words, saying that he is delusional due to the shock of his loss. The Park family joins forces trying to find Hyun-seo and rescue her.

The Host is a 2006 movie directed by Bong Joon-ho and starring the amazing Song Kang-Ho as Park Gang-du, a devoted father who witnesses the capture of her little daughter by a mysterious monster taking over the city from the Han river.

It was a smashing hit in Korea from the get go. Also tagged as “one of the best monster movies ever made”. And i totally support the description. Hello korean Nessie! This sort of giant squid with too many tails to count and a ferocious huge mouth that leaves no mercy behind, if only for this little girl who ends up trapped in the sewers, starving and seeking for help.

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The soundtrack is amazing and creates an intense, but also really funny atmosphere. There’s a lot of dark comedy in this movie, and i couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it. Song Kang-ho is perfect for the role (as seen in The good, the bad, the weird for his funny side, and Sympathy for Mr Vengeance for the intense one) and delivers a stunning performance as usual. The movie is about family bounds, about the incompetence of the police force, about the presence of the american army in the korean system.

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A lot of comical relief is shown between moments where the director tells us about political resistance, family values, the loss of loved ones.  The characters continually walk that fine line between comedic and serious performances. Each of them have their flaws which are shown throughout the film, but in the end each get their chance to redeem themselves and sometimes they get multiple chances, often they need them too.

The Host gets his point across loud and clear, and it will move you, make you laugh, and even frustrate you.

Absolutely a must see. Just another little teaser and taste of Park Chan Wook’s favorite actors until we wait for Thirst to come out. Song Kang-Ho is the main character in both of them, so sit back, watch this movie, and learn about his talent.

Plus to get really get down to it, monsters are awesome. Try and deny it.

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12 Responses to “The Host”

  1. Note: this is the closest a movie will likely bring this woman to orgasm.

    Not that I’d know, but judging by tentacles/Song Kang-ho/Korean horror/social message/general craziness, this reads like an aphrodisiac.

  2. kabuki29 Says:

    Here we have a movie I am very happy with. First time I saw it, I got my faith in monster movies back.
    To me, in this movie, everything fits. Sure, its not the deepest or most dramatic film ever made, but it has guts. A monster movie that takes the monster serious. You got to love it.

    I can only totally agree, if you like monsters and asian cinema this one is a must see.

  3. @The Cameo YOU ALREADY KNOW ME SO WELL!

    @kabuki29 i felt the same way. usually monster movies come from big american productions nowadays, and they lack that social message/internal struggle that korea has to bring to the plate. a combination of all this ingredients mixed together monster/social problems/family values/loss of loves ones/dark comedy/funny atmosphere made this movie absolutely special and amazing in so many ways.

  4. this filme rules! but i didn’t pay so much attencion for the soundtrack, gonna take a better listening

  5. hagiblog Says:

    A really good montser movie for a genre that seems to be running out of them. I was also very surprised by the ending, really thought it would turn out differently.
    I’ve also got to apprectiate a flick that gives you the whole monster and not this glimpse here and there. It’s a monster movie, we wanna see the damn thing and The Host delivers right from the start.

  6. @Eduardo Brand the first time i watched it i was half asleep and all i could pay attention to was the soundtrack. i love the main theme!

    @hagiblog i completely agree with you.

  7. […] Zombie Cupcakes Mini Bites from the world of horror « The Host […]

  8. I loved this movie. monsters *are* awesome.
    (and I added you on twitter, btw)

  9. Excellent film. Effortlessly pulls off what most Hollywood horror movies can’t do with ten times the money, talent and movie-making tradition …

  10. […] Pil-sung, Antarctic Journal scores korean actors as big as Song Kang-ho (Sympathy for Mr Vengeance, The Host) and Yoo Ji-tae (Oldboy, Into the Mirror) as members of an expedition team trying to reach the Pole […]

  11. […] is the story of a catholic priest, Sang-hyun (impeccably played by korean superstar Song Kang-ho of The Host and Sympathy for Mr Vengeance) who loves life and humanity so much that he decides to volunteer for […]

  12. […] is a 2009 movie directed by Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Memories of Murder) about the strength, the passion, and the unconditional love of all mothers. […]

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