ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – H – The Host (2006) Movie Review

Director: Bong Joon Ho

Writer: Bong Joon Ho, Won-Jun Ha, Chul-hyun Baek (Screenplay)

Starring: Kang-ho Song, Hee-Bong Byun, Hae-il Park, Doona Bae, Ko Asung, Dal-su Oh, Jae-eung Lee

Plot: A monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and begins attacking people. One victim’s loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Tagline – It is Lurking Behind You

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Excellent Creature Feature

Story: The Host starts as we meet the family Hie-bong (Byun) who runs a snack hut with his immature son Gang-Doo (Song) with his granddaughter Hyun-seo (Asung) staying with them, watching Nam-Joo (Bae) perform in competitive archery. That day, a busy day on the Han River, a monster appears and starts attacking people, causing chaos and taking Hyun-seo with it to the depths.

Believing Hyun-seo to be dead, the family is joined by Nam-il (Park) as they go through the mourning process as the government look to contain the problem, only for it to become clear that Hyun-seo is still alive calling her father, which sees the family look to escape the quarantine to save their youngest member.

Thoughts on The Host

Characters – Gang-Doo is the immature father that often sleeps on the job for the family business, he is on sight when the first attack happens, losing grip of his daughter moments before the creature takes her. He does have a tragic story for why he is how he is, he will do anything to try and save his daughter, even if that means he must suffer more heartache. Hie-bong is the father of the family, he runs the business, while keeping Gang-Doo in a safe place. He leads the planned rescue of his granddaughter. Nam-il is the alcoholic member of the family who tries to put the blame on Gang-Doo and is willing to help find his niece. Nam-Joo is the sporting member of the family, she just misses out on a gold medal and will use her talent to fight back. Hyun-seo is the daughter that gets taken, thought to be dead, she survives in the lair of the creature, trying to find a way to communicate with the outside world.

PerformancesKang-ho Song is fantastic as the helpless father doing everything he can to get to his daughter, while the rest of the cast get their strong moments, he shines above everybody else with ease through the film.

StoryThe story follows a monster attack near the Han River in Seoul, where the youngest member of a family is taken, forcing the rest to escape the quarantine they were placed in, in an attempt to save her. We do get a very clear message about pollution with this film, which is important to know about going in, you do learn this from the opening scene, as this creates the creature. We focus mostly on how family will come together to try and save one another, which shows in the emotional arcs the characters must go through during the film and we do get to see how a city can become panicked by what is happening with a sudden creature attack and potential virus outbreak.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film follows the creature attack, which is one of the most intense scenes of the film, with the rest of the action feeling a lot tamer, but still effective, while the horror is the true creature feature, with a terrifying creature that is mutated.

SettingsThe film is set in Seoul showing how the effects of pollution could create unknown mutations, with the sewers making excellent lair for the creature.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film work well, the final showdown might look the weakest, but the rest shows just how horrific the situation would be.

Scene of the Movie – The creatures first attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The final battle, while it works for the fight, the effects do seem to have dated.

Final Thoughts This is an excellent creature feature that can be enjoyed by everyone, it brings a creature that comes from human’s own carelessness, which only shows the reality of pollution.

Overall: Creature Feature Galore.

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