In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a second young and beautiful woman is found dead, raped and tied and gagged with her underwear. Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho... See full summary »
In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »
After a thirteen-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a six-year-old boy, Guem-Ja Lee seeks vengeance on the man truly responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow ... See full summary »
The film revolves around Park Hee-bong, a man in his late 60s. He runs a small snack bar on the banks of the Han River and lives with his two sons, one daughter, and one granddaughter. The Parks seem to lead a quite ordinary and peaceful life, but maybe they are a bit poorer than the average Seoulite. Hee-bong's elder son Gang-du is an immature and incompetent man in his 40s, whose wife left home long ago. Nam-il is the youngest son, an unemployed grumbler, and daughter Nam-joo is an archery medalist and member of the national team. One day, an unidentified monster suddenly appears from the depths of the Han River and spreads panic and death, and Gang-du's daughter Hyun-seo is carried off by the monster and disappears. All of the family members are in a great agony because they lost someone very dear to them. But when they find out she is still alive, they resolve to save her. Written by
I have to admit that I was sceptical of the first reviews I read regarding 'The Host'. I'm not a fan of the majority of the modern day Asian horror output due to dull, yet immensely popular, films such as The Ring, Dark Water and The Grudge. The Host, however, is a film that truly deserves the praise lauded upon it. While the premise is not all that original (mutated monsters from all different countries have been terrorising our screens for decades); the style and execution of it is; and that is what makes the film brilliant. Not only is the direction stunning, the film beautiful and the central monster well designed; the way that Joon-ho Bong goes about telling this story is what really sets the film apart. On the surface, The Host is the story of a mutated squid monster that emerges from the Han River. However, beneath that it's actually the story of the Park family, who find themselves at odds with the Government after the youngest daughter is kidnapped by the monster. They're being held in quarantine, and decide to break out to track down their missing loved one...
On the whole, I'm not a big fan of CGI; but I can't complain too much here. The monster is really well designed and doesn't look like any other screen monster that I've seen. The animation of it is excellent too, and the creature does almost feel like it's alive! As mentioned, the main meat of the film comes in the form of the story of the Park family who have lost their loved one. The characters are all well thought out and clearly defined and director Joon-ho Bong does an excellent job of ensuring that we care about them and about the central story. The monster appears several times throughout the film, though it's neither under or over used and the story of the family is at least as interesting as the monster itself. There's also a deeper point on display, although it doesn't have quite as much meat as was maybe intended. The two messages I could pick out were a warning message against pollution (the monster was created by chemicals being dumped in the river) and another about Government control. The central scene is the one that sees the monster first appear from the river and The Host never really tops that sequence; but regardless of that this is the best monster movie I've seen in years and not even the downer ending could wipe a smile off my face when it finished. Don't miss this one!
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