The Host is considered one of the highest grossing movies in South Korea, and also one of the best monster movies of all time. In fact, the movie is based on an actual initial event, in which The Korean government attempted to prosecute a guilty American who dumped bottles of formaldehyde into the drain, but the US wouldn’t hand over the man in question. This movie however hypothesized the consequences of such actions. The formaldehyde causes a birth of a peculiar looking creature that eventually caused havoc in Han River, a river that runs through Seoul. The film strays away from the cliché because it focuses on family relationship and the strong bond between family members that strives to save the youngest girl of the family, who was abducted by the monster. The Host is an intriguing mix of strange comedy and frightfully scary horror sequences that also goes out of its way to tweak the political and cultural climate, serve up some barbs at the media, Korea’s governing body, and the recent Asian health crises. The performance gets better as the family members realize the dangers of the situation, but it wasn’t great enough for my taste. The cinematography however was excellent and very slick from start to finish. The movie also has a breathtaking moment when the monster comes to shore and wreaks havoc in the middle of the day. The fast motion of film skillfully captures the victims in view of the monster as it hunts them down, but the silky smooth slow motion shots also resonate the key moments when the innocent are in peril.
In my opinion, The Host is one of the finest monster movies I have ever seen. The movie however is not meant to be a complete horror movie. Give it a chance, and don’t have the misconception that it’s supposed to be a really scary monster movie because it’s not about the monster. It’s about the family in the movie and how they all come together because of the monster.
The Bottom Line