‘The Host’ is a Korean textbook approach to a monster movie – poking fun at U.S. Government radiation and our impact to nature, and it gives us a fantastic monster. He emerges from the waters of the river to wreak havoc – but the approach that follows is where it gets unique.
Instead of doing a direct translation of Godzilla or King Kong, the monster only wreaks havoc for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, we are sent on a journey as our protagonists go on a thorough search for their daughter who was snatched away by the tail of the beast and is believed to have survived.
Meanwhile the government intervenes as they always do, and honestly make matters worse than they would have been on their own. It turns into a contagion movie, it turns into a pandemic movie, all the while we have a great monster film occurring several times over.
Bong Joon-Ho is easily one of the most exciting film makers I’ve recently discovered, and this early entry in his works is such a fantastic film. The monster looks great (although it’s entirely CGI), the settings are beautiful (even the bleak ones), the characters are very human and believable, and the humor is plentiful.
‘The Host’ is available for streaming on Hulu.
‘Til Next Time, Mike Cleopatra