I stumbled upon The Host on DVD in the world cinema section of CEX second hand entertainment shop, well I didn’t the missus did. It was 50p so I thought it was worth a buy as I hadn’t seen it but knew it was good. I’ve always wanted to watch more foreign horror films and given that I love a monster movie it was a must buy and watch.
Director: Joon-ho Bong (as Joon Ho Bong)
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hae-il Park
Budget: $10m (estimated)
Run Time: 120 minutes
This film follows the misadventures of Park Gang-Doo a complete idiot and the rest of his family. After a short scene in a laboratory to open the film up Hershel off The Walking Dead orders someone to tip loads of chemicals down the drain that follows into a river. This turns out to be a huge mistake as it mutates one of the animals.
Once mutated the animal suddenly strikes jumping from the river and chasing people around and munching on them. Park Gang-Doo despite being an idiot who falls over his own feet shows great courage whilst others run away and he fights the monster. Unfortunately the creature grabs his daughter but doesn’t kill her it drags her off.
A scene about sorrow and death turns into something that made me laugh out loud
With the area quarantined the rest of the film is based around the family escaping from hospital and going on the hunt to get back Park Hyun-seo. Her Father, Uncle, Aunt and Grandfather all go on the hunt for her trying to avoid the authorities and the mutated monster.
All this obviously leads to a big final battle with the mutated fish/lizard beast, the journey was fun and this final battle was just as good.
Kang-ho Song as the idiot with courage steals the show for me!
- Park Gang-Doo is great as the idiot who shows surprising courage when his daughter is taken, his acting for comedy and seriousness when needed is top class.
- I’ve seen a load of monster movies and this one has the best cast of characters I’ve ever seen in this type of film.
- The action and chases are important to a film like this and they nailed it.
- The mix of having the family avoid the authorities as well as battle the monster made the film watchable and a lot deeper story wise than the run of the mill beasty film.
- The monster is really well designed and even the way it moves is cool.
- I enjoyed this film but I think it was slightly too long at two hours it did seem to wander a little bit at times.
- If you were being fussy the effects might be a bit dated now, sure it’s only 10 years old but things have advanced so much.
I can’t really think of any bad things about this film and the two I mentioned are very minor. This was a class film as good as any American monster movie I’ve watched. I’d highly recommend it to anyone that’s looking for something more than big beast chases people around, it’s a must see.
Overall Rating – 9/10