The Host (2006) (Goemul)
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Running time: 119 minutes
Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
The Host is a 2006 South Korean monster film. The movie concerns a monster kidnapping a man’s daughter, and his attempts to rescue her. According to the director, his inspiration came from a local article about a deformed fish with an S-shaped spine caught in Han River.
I watched this a while back but hadn’t reviewed it as I wasn’t sure what to say about it. I’d been wanting to see it for ages as I thought it looked really good and it’s had a lot of positive reviews. Unfortunately, I didn’t love it although I know it’s quite a “good” film. I definitely preferred A Tale Of Two Sisters, another South Korean horror movie I watched more recently.
The Host is actually a political satire but I’m not going to pretend to have a lot of knowledge about that or attempt to discuss that aspect of it – you’d be able to find better discussions of that online. I’ll just talk about what I thought of it as a “monster movie”, which is the reason I watched it. As a monster movie, I thought it was pretty good! I don’t think I’m spoiling anything by showing pictures of the monster as this isn’t one of those movies where you hardly see the monster – you see it a lot and it looks good so I was happy about that.
The movie also had a great and very promising start. We get to know the main characters pretty well straight away and I immediately liked the young girl and the relationship with her father. The father is… Simple? Slow? Maybe just really immature? You don’t at first realize he’s the girl’s father as she’s the mature and responsible one and seems to be the one taking care of HIM. They’re very sweet together, though, and it’s a shame we don’t get to see a little more of them together at the beginning before she’s kidnapped by the monster (not a spoiler – the movie is about her kidnapping and her family’s attempt to then rescue her). I was back & forth on how I felt about the father. At times you feel for him as he’s sweet and childlike and clearly loves his daughter but the stupid things he does throughout the movie get a bit frustrating. I liked his father, who was always standing up for his son, but his brother and sister felt a bit wasted in this movie (especially the archery champion sister). It’s unfortunate that this bickering bunch get much more screen time than the young girl, who was by far the best character (in my opinion anyway).
I’m not sure what else to say. The girl is great, I loved her relationship with her father, the monster looked good, and the opening of the film was very promising with good character development and an exciting scene when the monster appears and wreaks havoc before kidnapping the girl. It falls apart in the middle, however, as we watch the family search for the girl. The other characters were just far less interesting than the girl and their bickering and stupidity was a little annoying at times. Also, I really didn’t like how this movie ended (obviously I won’t give that away but I don’t mean the very final scene – that was good and I liked it a lot). It’s hard to know how to rate this as I think it IS a good movie and I’d recommend it if you like monster movies and/or foreign horror films. I really liked the beginning but found myself a little bored until the ending that I didn’t find very satisfying. Good monster movie with characters that are well-developed (for a horror movie) but definitely flawed in the middle.
My Rating: 6.5/10
I like this film quite a bit too.
If you haven’t, check out “The Man From Nowhere”.
Yeah – it was pretty good. 🙂 Hmm – not heard of that one. I’ll look into it! Thanks! 🙂
I love this movie!! Nice review 🙂
I quite liked the bickering family, I thought it gave the movie more of a strange edge, but I know what you mean about it getting annoying. When they were all crying it was pretty funny though (or am I just mean? Obviously them crying didn’t make me laugh, just the way they all fought to be at the front!)
Their hearts were in the right place though 🙂 the dad was sweet I thought, but like you say quite infuriating at times. Grabbing the wrong kid’s hand…!
I was shocked by the ending, I know exactly what you mean. I didn’t really get that.
Thanks, Emma! Sorry for the slow reply. Yeah, the dad was actually sweet. Overall, I liked the family although they could get annoying. But, yeah – I think it was the ending that bothered me more than anything else! 😦
Oh that’s ok sorry for slow reply also 🙂
The ending was sad!!!
I liked this overall but a lot of it didn’t quite click, and the dad got annoying.
The ending pissed me off. I might have liked it a bit more if they’d changed that…
well, here’s another one that I probably wont be venturing to see in the near future 🙂
Regardless, nice review Mutant!
Thanks! This one isn’t too bad, Rob… 🙂
I think I remember liking this for the most part but it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. Nice work, Homie!
Well, youre very welcome…
Only 6.5?! C’mon, it deserves at least a 9, if not, 8.5 minimum ;). Great review though ;), love this flick!
Thanks! Lol. I’m pretty picky… 😉 I rarely give a 9! Think I’ve only ever given one 10. I can see people loving this one. Think I was disappointed by the ending…
Whatta blast. Good thing Hollywood didn’t actually remake this, although they definitely tried more than a few times. Nice review.
Thanks! 🙂 Ugh – I hate when they make inferior American remakes of good foreign films…
I remember seeing the trailer for this and being really keen on it. Need to add it to my to watch list.
Here’s your reminder two weeks later to add it to your watchlist… 😉 lol
Nice review, lady! I saw this for the first time last year and really liked it. It just has so much more going for it than I expected! I’m sorry you didn’t seem to like it as well as I did, but I’m glad you got around to watching it! 🙂
Thanks, Cara! 🙂 Yeah, I really wanted to like it a bit more. Think it was the ending that put me off. And, yeah – a little too much bickering…
Reblogged this on Cinema Parrot Disco and commented:
Today I’m reblogging a couple of reviews I did for two good South Korean horror films. I realized I’ve not watched any foreign language horrors this year but I’ve found that many of them have been much better than a lot of English language horrors in recent years. I really like the sound of a South Korean zombie film called Train To Busan, which is currently showing in parts of England (but not near me, unfortunately). Has anyone seen this?
Here’s my review of South Korean horror/comedy/drama/monster movie The Host, which will be followed by three New Zealand horror comedies over the next three days…
I love Korean horror films. This is on my list to watch. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I should move it up on my list.
I think you should definitely give this one a watch. : )
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