The Host - a review
(another one for you Wulfgar)
I truly don't consider myself a movie afficianado. I rarely go to the theatre and rent most of what I do see. That being said, I am very unfamiliar with the Korean movie industry; until this movie I don't believe I've seen a Korean one. Well now I have.
I first heard about The Host from cinemassacre's list of top ten giant movie monsters. Then last christmas I got the MXC set and The Host was advertised in the previews. So when I was browsing the horror section and my girlfriend saw it and said "Isn't this that movie you wanted to see?", the answer was a definite yes.
The Host (2006) is a quirky little monster flick that has protesting, anti-American undertones. I don't have issues with that concept, hey it's their country, they're entitled to have their own opinions. (The Korean title for the movie is 'Gwoemul' and I have not translated that word. My first guess is that it's simply the name for the critter) The cast is just weird to watch; the family comes across as one step up from mongoloid children at play. The dad who is as coordinated as an epileptic fish on concrete, the daughter who is the most stable of the group, the snooty college boy who wonders why life isn't all about him, the archery champion who has the personality of book binding glue, and the grandfather who mourns his childrens interactions with all the enthusiam Michael Steele would have to being booked on Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Yet for this movie, it works. The girl disappears and the family comes together to save her in their own ways. When trying to think of who they remind my of, I'm at a loss. I can't relate personally with them, but then I can't relate with the cast of Seinfeld either. At the very least with The Host you end up caring at least whether the family can succeed, in contrast to the vast majority of the 'scary' movies I've watched in recent years I wish the boogieman or the demons or the creature or whatever it is simply kills the protagonist I can't stand and ends my misery (too bad the cast of Seinfeld can't get eaten). The Host isn't intended to be just a monster movie. It's part horror, part drama, part comedy, part action, part goofy.
The star of this movie is the creature. As bad as the CGI was for MegaShark vs Giant Octopus is basically as good as it is here. For the most part the thing looks realistic, the surroundings and people it interacts with interact with it in kind, plus it's a unique looking and moving critter. If you like monster movies, it's a must see (wulfgar). If you like weird foreign films with odd plots and characters, I'd recommend it. If getting a peak, albeit a weird freaky peak, at other cultures interests you, I'd say see this. For me, 2 bombs. Otherwise, probably 3.