Magnolia Pictures | Release Date: March 9, 2007
6.8
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 234 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
152
Mixed:
33
Negative:
49
Watch Now
Stream On
Stream On
Review this movie
VOTE NOW
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Check box if your review contains spoilers 0 characters (5000 max)
10
[Anonymous]Mar 8, 2007
The Host is a loose, almost borderline messy film, one that sometimes feels like a mash-up of contrasting, at times warring movies, methods and moods. Mr. Bong would as soon have us shriek with laughter as with fright. But it
2 of 2 users found this helpful
8
grandpajoe6191Sep 25, 2011
The movie offers more than a blockbuster spirit. It gives unpredictable humor and scares that differs from those western movies. In the end, I strongly recommend you to watch this. You won't regret.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
All this user's reviews
7
ChadShiiraMar 12, 2007
Uneven acting by the lead actor(Kang-Ho Song), or rather, acting that's more appropriate for a comedy, sets the wrong tone for a film purported to scare us senseless. Arguably, the monster's appearance arrives too early in the Uneven acting by the lead actor(Kang-Ho Song), or rather, acting that's more appropriate for a comedy, sets the wrong tone for a film purported to scare us senseless. Arguably, the monster's appearance arrives too early in the film, but its descent from the bridge and splash is awe-inspiring and will lead an audience to silence. "The Host" doesn't truly begin until the oldest son loses his childish persona and comes of age. His daughter is held hostage in a sewer(at least King Kong wasn't a pedophile), and it's here "The Host" starts to work. The monster does something that belongs in the annals of grossness. Now we're a little scared. This creature stops being a CGI effect and is transformed into something on par with Gollum, a fictive body that seems to be living and breathing on its own terms. But what's truly striking about "The Host" is the film's willingness to kill off major characters. Apparenly, who dies in a South Korean event film is less predictable. And unlike many American event films, the final showdown against the menace is intricate and exciting. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
SophiaK.Feb 7, 2008
Used interesting sources. never got bored during whole film. Great!
0 of 1 users found this helpful
9
MatthewS.Mar 26, 2007
Both wonderfully and infuriatingly sloppy as a film, but it has a unique pan-handle quality as The Host dashes from one corridor to the next looking for change. It is a molotov cocktail of horror, science-fiction, family drama, foreign Both wonderfully and infuriatingly sloppy as a film, but it has a unique pan-handle quality as The Host dashes from one corridor to the next looking for change. It is a molotov cocktail of horror, science-fiction, family drama, foreign policy wonk, comedy, and satire. It has moments of pure brilliance as it attacks both government bureaucracies found in the film: Korea and the Occupied Forces of the United States. The film should be most aptly described as a cross between Little Miss Sunshine and Godzilla. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
MabelM.Mar 26, 2007
I usually don't like horror movies. I loved this one. It's scary, but not too bloody. Funny too.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DaveD.Mar 8, 2007
Hilarious! Scary! Weird as can be. The Best Foreign Picture of 2007. A instant classic.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JohannL.Apr 19, 2007
To those of you nay-sayers out there, the problem of this movie does not lie within the movie itself, but in the translation to English. The humor is completely wasted on ignorant people such as yourselves, who (through no fault of your own) To those of you nay-sayers out there, the problem of this movie does not lie within the movie itself, but in the translation to English. The humor is completely wasted on ignorant people such as yourselves, who (through no fault of your own) have criticized a film you could not understand. Therein lies the failure, the viewer. To those who haven't yet seen this film: give it a shot and build your own solid opinion. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
MichaelE.Apr 2, 2007
This movie is sort of amazing: you get everything a movie can give you in about the first fifteen minutes, and then it manages to be continually engaging after that. Comparisons to Little Miss Sunshine are apt, but The Host is both funnier This movie is sort of amazing: you get everything a movie can give you in about the first fifteen minutes, and then it manages to be continually engaging after that. Comparisons to Little Miss Sunshine are apt, but The Host is both funnier and more true to life. There are a few weak spots, and not a lot that I would actually call "scary," but overall one of the best films I've seen this year or last. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
PaulB.Apr 24, 2007
The monster could've been scarier, some of the jokes could've been funnier, and I'll admit there was a lull in the middle of the film when I started glancing at my watch... However, by the end of the movie I genuinely cared The monster could've been scarier, some of the jokes could've been funnier, and I'll admit there was a lull in the middle of the film when I started glancing at my watch... However, by the end of the movie I genuinely cared about the characters and was totally satisfied with the ending. I recommend it. Prepare to feel bad about being an American. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
CharlesT.Sep 2, 2007
one of the best monster movies i have ever seen. everyone has no idea how great it is. like it has great story and plot and it makes sense. and the somewhat funny parts help the movie it is great.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
SuperMSep 5, 2007
I can't believe no one understands this movie. The critics scored it high for a reason; this movie needs to be taken seriously for anyone to see the intelligence behind all the slap-stick humor.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JKLSep 5, 2007
Whoa, why the bad ratings from the viewers? You have to understand some Korean culture to fully understand this film; a lot of the jokes are dipped with subtle satire, and not a single scene is wasted, all have meanings that build up to the end.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
EthanS.Mar 7, 2008
If you're looking for a horror movie then you have come to the wrong place. But, this movie is not a horror movie failing to be one. It is something completely different. It is one of the best 'monster movies,' if not the If you're looking for a horror movie then you have come to the wrong place. But, this movie is not a horror movie failing to be one. It is something completely different. It is one of the best 'monster movies,' if not the best, that I have ever seen. It is full of drama and darkish humor. It develops the characters extremely well, even succeeding in giving the monster personality. The struggles that the characters go through are real and do not seem to be fabricated for cinematic effect (besides the monster) and therefore do not leave you with any unanswered questions or loose ends. It is intense, although it is able to calm itself down in times of character development and more intellectual interaction between the characters. It involves much more than the standard Man Vs. Monster theme as seen in so many other movies of its kind. The only gripe I would have with this movie would be the very beginning because it makes it slightly corny. But, nonetheless, you forget about that and any questions of why there is a 50 ft fish going around and eating people are eliminated. The presence of the monster becomes noticeable on a perfect scale as the story progresses. It does an excellent job of showing societal reaction to the monster and makes sure that the magnitude of the public and government reaction is not allowed to go out of control save for maybe some over-the-top government action (but, hey, its Korea). All in all, I'd say that this movie is fast-paced when it needs to be, but also allows itself to have emotional and heartfelt themes. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
KeenanSAug 8, 2009
This isn't exactly a masterpiece, but it is an entertaining Korean monster flick. This film is certainly not scary, but the monster scenes are rather riveting and cool. The music is fantastic and very well done and fits very well. The This isn't exactly a masterpiece, but it is an entertaining Korean monster flick. This film is certainly not scary, but the monster scenes are rather riveting and cool. The music is fantastic and very well done and fits very well. The film also has a fun sense of humor, even if at times, it is unintentional. This is a very entertaining film that is worthy of owning and enjoying for any fan of monster films. Just remember, when you get it, put the language in Korean, the English voice-overs are terrible and will ruin the film if you watch it like that. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JoseO.Nov 27, 2007
Excellent, it has many different elements, its a rich movie in acting, argument and production, funny and sad at the same time, I have a really good time watching this movie and will see it again.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
RuOct 5, 2007
I recently said to someone that a good creature movie had not been made in a very long time. This movie made me take that back, and then some. Fantastic film.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
DannyL.Mar 10, 2007
Good Movie. Never knew Korean films could get this good. One of my favorite monster movies. Although it's rated R, the whole family can watch. There's no nudity, strong violence, or gore. It's a great movie
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DynaM.Mar 15, 2007
Unlike other writers posting here, I didn't watch Host with expectations of being scared, or seeing an event movie; instead i took it for what it is. What is amazing about this movie is how it defies the conventions of horror, comedy, & Unlike other writers posting here, I didn't watch Host with expectations of being scared, or seeing an event movie; instead i took it for what it is. What is amazing about this movie is how it defies the conventions of horror, comedy, & blockbuster to become a potent satire of the world's current collective paranoia & technological disconnectedness. When was the last time you heard a kid say "let's turn off the TV & focus on eating"? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
ChrisK.Mar 19, 2007
Two days ago I saw "300", yesterday I saw "The Host"... which one did I like the best? The Host, and judging from the audience reactions... I was not alone. This film breaks all the rules and has fun doing it. It doesn't have the Two days ago I saw "300", yesterday I saw "The Host"... which one did I like the best? The Host, and judging from the audience reactions... I was not alone. This film breaks all the rules and has fun doing it. It doesn't have the brooding suspensful music, barely lit scenes, buckets of blood and dismemberments of most horror movies and maybe thats why it worked so well. If you don't mind subtitles and you like monster movies ( the old fashioned kind where the monster is not a psycho killer) then GO! You will not be disappointed. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BobbyD.Mar 8, 2007
Althought millions of americans will go see 300 this weekend, the true gem worth watching is The Host. It is smart, funny, scary, and very gripping. It is a perfect film for Americans, despite its Korean name and success, because it, like Althought millions of americans will go see 300 this weekend, the true gem worth watching is The Host. It is smart, funny, scary, and very gripping. It is a perfect film for Americans, despite its Korean name and success, because it, like the NBC Heroes and the ABC Lost, depicts fascinating and unbelievable stores, in your face, so well that you forget it is a foreign film. A masterpiece. The best monster movie of the last 8 decades. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
NickV.Apr 21, 2007
Absolutely fantastic and original horror film stuffed with harsh political commentary. Would have gotten a 10 had the film not climaxed in the first 20 minutes. I honestly feel bad for those too closed-minded to appreciate the nuances and Absolutely fantastic and original horror film stuffed with harsh political commentary. Would have gotten a 10 had the film not climaxed in the first 20 minutes. I honestly feel bad for those too closed-minded to appreciate the nuances and originality of Asian filmmaking who whine because they went in expecting the same old predictable crap and got something they couldn't instantly wrap their little heads around. See this film with an open mind and forget all of the silly comparisons to "Jaws" and "Alien"; this film is a true original. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
MichaelZ.Apr 30, 2007
I liked it. It was good... Great? Umm, I liked the acting, the special effects were very good, and I enjoyed the soft jabs at the good ol' USA. ("Agent Yellow" drew a chuckle from the audience I was with.) "Harsh political commentary?" I liked it. It was good... Great? Umm, I liked the acting, the special effects were very good, and I enjoyed the soft jabs at the good ol' USA. ("Agent Yellow" drew a chuckle from the audience I was with.) "Harsh political commentary?" I didn't see that, but I would have welcomed it. "Defies convention"? Pretty conventional to me, though nobody is safe in this film, which is refreshing. If this was done by an American studio, with a 'star' headlining, it would have been roundly panned by critics. The principles here were excellent - all fresh faces to me, mixed a bit of humor in well with the 'horror'. Good film! But "instant classic"? Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JamesLAug 3, 2007
A great monster movie that is deceptively simple on the surface. To fully appreciate this film, one must not only understand Korean cultural ideals, but also the attitudes of the various cliques and classes of the society. Each of the four A great monster movie that is deceptively simple on the surface. To fully appreciate this film, one must not only understand Korean cultural ideals, but also the attitudes of the various cliques and classes of the society. Each of the four main characters represent familiar archetypes of Korean society. The jokes that seem like mindless slap-stick are often messages of satire. Most of the low ratings people give seem to be based on simplified views of the movie, which is like taking a literal interpretation of 'Alice in Wonderland' or 'Animal Farm.' Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
DinjerrD.Jan 14, 2008
At first I watched it as a monster film, which despite the latest effort by WETA at the time, wasn't that remarkable. But once the realisation kicks in that the actual thing driving the movie is the black humour, you'll begin to At first I watched it as a monster film, which despite the latest effort by WETA at the time, wasn't that remarkable. But once the realisation kicks in that the actual thing driving the movie is the black humour, you'll begin to enjoy it for what it is. Truly successful in constantly breaking your expectations of what's about to happen right to the end. (this includes the protaganist surviving the lobotomy, you sure expected him to come out retarded, didn't you?). Those searching for true comedy/monsters/action movies should go elsewhere, this movie is for those searching for dark humour and something different than the standard Hollywood plotlines. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
KentC.Jan 15, 2008
Well done. A 1 or 0 is way too harsh. Everything worked in this movie, except the most important thing for a monster movie: horror. The movie wasn't scary at all. Not counting that, it was fun, well acted, and an overall well balanced movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
OliverC.Jan 21, 2008
Let's not get carried away here.. This movie was good for a monster movie. The acting and special effects were mediocre, the movie itself was hardly frightening. I found myself rooting for the monster at times. However, the directing is Let's not get carried away here.. This movie was good for a monster movie. The acting and special effects were mediocre, the movie itself was hardly frightening. I found myself rooting for the monster at times. However, the directing is really a lot of fun and the movie has a point its trying to make, for which it deserves some credit. Not great, not jaws, but certainly one of the better monster flicks. Definitely better than cloverfield. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DaveLJan 22, 2008
Fun, action-filled, humorous film. A must see for those who enjoy Asian films.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
TedSFeb 1, 2008
If you rent this movie, beware that your DVD player doesn't default to play you the dubbed version, as mine did. After sitting through half the movie and wondering how anyone could have enjoyed it, I switched over to the original Korean If you rent this movie, beware that your DVD player doesn't default to play you the dubbed version, as mine did. After sitting through half the movie and wondering how anyone could have enjoyed it, I switched over to the original Korean dialogue with English subtitles. It becomes a different movie, almost literally--and a far superior one. Some of the dialogue is so different between the dubbed and the subtitled English, you can't believe it's coming from the same source. What seems clownish in the dub becomes effective and even stirring when the original dialogue is playing. Whatever you do, don't watch this dubbed; the film's dark humor and queasy tonal shifts make it suffer even worse than most from the process. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JLNov 16, 2007
Genius. A film for the intelligent; those who don't "get it"will still be able to enjoy some laughs here and there.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
ErikH.Nov 19, 2007
I don't think the movie nearly met the critical adulation bestowed upon it. While the monster effects were impressive and uniquely designed, the acting was lousy. It's worth renting, just don't expect a masterpiece.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JefferyS.Nov 4, 2007
I dont get why anybody wouldn't like this movie.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
EricC.Dec 7, 2007
Kind of like what would happen if Wes Anderson directed an Asian monster movie. No, it's not scary (when are monster movies ever?). But the monster surprisingly takes a small role, as the family take center stage, and rightly so. Kind of like what would happen if Wes Anderson directed an Asian monster movie. No, it's not scary (when are monster movies ever?). But the monster surprisingly takes a small role, as the family take center stage, and rightly so. It's one of the best disfuncional families I've ever seen. Simply put, it's so much more than just a monster movie. The numerous themes are incredibly relevant (though the whole American ignorance thing might offend some people, even though the guy trying to be a hero and the jerk scientist were hilarious). Monster movies never get respect come award season, but this flick has scored higher than almost all other foreign films, so why not atleast nominate it? It's got more heart and soul than all the shallow oscar bait. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JoelR.Mar 24, 2007
Held my interest from start to finish. Best monster movie I've seen, with good glimpses of modern South Korea, to boot. This is a monster with intelligence and wit.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BillyB.Mar 25, 2007
Not only was this movie hilarious in it's own creepy way, but it made me remember what horror movies were supposed to be about: slimy monsters that made you squirm!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
GregoireM.May 19, 2007
I must say when I started watching this movie I was unsure as to wether it would be that good. After sitting through the entire movie I can truly say that if your a horror/monster movie fan you will not be disapointed in this movie. The only I must say when I started watching this movie I was unsure as to wether it would be that good. After sitting through the entire movie I can truly say that if your a horror/monster movie fan you will not be disapointed in this movie. The only reason it lost points was that it could have been shorter, cutting out some extended grieving scenes would have made the movie better. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
CharlesS.Sep 12, 2007
The film directing is so good that subtitles are not needed to follow the storyline. It deserves an Oscar!!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DavidD.Dec 17, 2007
One of the best ever in the giant creature subgenre and definitely the best Asian monster movie I have ever seen.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
CharlesV.Dec 18, 2007
Watch the movie in Korean, with subtitles. Brilliant film. Scary in its own way.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
Paul_YoonSep 19, 2010
Although the movie isn't too scared compared with other monster movies, The Host successsfully harmonizes the relations between the family and the environmental issues.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
HalfwelshmanApr 12, 2012
To shamelessly appropriate and warp the catchphrase of a beloved cartoon character, The Host is smarter than the average monster movie. As is the case with all truly great monster films, the narrative isn't about the monster at all, notTo shamelessly appropriate and warp the catchphrase of a beloved cartoon character, The Host is smarter than the average monster movie. As is the case with all truly great monster films, the narrative isn't about the monster at all, not really, it only serves as a device to move the story along. Also, the creature itself does not present the real threat to our heroes, rather it stands in for a greater evil of society, in this case, the corruption of the Korean government and state-run institutions and the morally questionable invasive interference by the USA in Korean affairs. Writer/director Bong Joon-ho has not only created a smart and entertaining thriller, but a tender family drama and a rip-roaring comedy. The hilariously dysfunctional Park family are all great characters, and you can really empathise with their plight as they frantically search for their youngest, Hyun-seo (Ko Ah-seong) who has been taken by the monster. Son Kang-ho as always makes a compelling central protagonist, and makes the perpetually napping failure Gang-doo a comical but incredibly sympathetic character, and he is reunited with fellow regular Bong Joon-ho collaborators Byeon Hee-bong, Park Hae-il and Bae Doona playing the rest of the constantly bickering Park family. Their squabbles and ever-increasing desperation in failing to find Hyun-seo, though undeniably poignant, also provide plenty of opportunity for humour. Bong is a true master of black comedy, extremely skilled at getting a laugh out of the most unexpected situation - take, for instance the scene where the Parks gather around the shrine for the dead and missing post-monster attack. In most films, this scene would be a solemn one, but here Bong uses the family's extreme reaction to their plight, the unanimous blame of Gang-doo for the accidental loss of his daughter, and the insults the family trade with each other for their various shortcomings to provide the funniest moment of the film. It's a perfect balance of tone, of the dark and the light, of tragedy and comedy as the Park family clumsily grapple with each other in their hysteria and collapse, wailing on the floor in a heap. The more restrained, emotionally sensitive moments in the film are handled no less skillfully (particularly the lip-wobbling moment when the family patriarch Hee-bong finally opens up to his children and confesses how much he truly cares for his eldest son Gang-doo while said son is apparently fast asleep) and the action is thrilling, with the CGI holding up remarkably well considering the film's modest budget. Bong Joon-ho continually pushes boundaries and challenges filmmaking conventions, but never loses sight of what really matters - character, story and entertainment. You'd have to be a complete moron to dismiss The Host as just another dumb creature feature. It's incredibly intelligent, political, and despite its sci-fi trappings, it is grounded in believable human experience. Most directors, if they're lucky, will produce a single masterpiece in their career. Bong Joon-ho has thus-far only directed four feature films, and two of those - Memories of Murder and The Host, in my humble opinion, are masterpieces. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
TodlfMay 3, 2013
The Host is thrilling and scary for what is it going to do. Well what the monster is going to do to the place. O-O Amazing and Enjoyable The Host is the perfect thrilling pondering movie of intense.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
JacobDunstanJan 4, 2014
Terrific film that succeeds on many levels; to judge it purely on its merits as a 'horror movie' or 'monter movie' would be to miss the point entirely. What sets 'the Host' apart from other films of its type (or any Hollywood film for thatTerrific film that succeeds on many levels; to judge it purely on its merits as a 'horror movie' or 'monter movie' would be to miss the point entirely. What sets 'the Host' apart from other films of its type (or any Hollywood film for that matter) is the rather idiosyncratic, oddball family presented to the viewer and the way it deftly incorporates dark humour and (credible) tenderness into proceedings. The scenes featuring the 'monster' don't disappoint, but the interstitial scenes not featuring the voracious, squid-like monstrosity (and there's a lot of them) are among the best moments in the film. The performances are spot-on, and the script is insightful, and oftentimes witty. 'The Host' is a film with an important underlying social commentary; a family drama pitched as a monster movie whose mishmash of ideas and genres make the film consistently engaging. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
jevans26May 23, 2012
Boasting very strong visuals (thanks to Weta and Orphanage VSFX companies), The Host is one of the most unusual and jarring films I have seen in a long time.

One second you will be wracked with emotion for the characters, deep despair...then
Boasting very strong visuals (thanks to Weta and Orphanage VSFX companies), The Host is one of the most unusual and jarring films I have seen in a long time.

One second you will be wracked with emotion for the characters, deep despair...then the director pushes it a bit further and you wonder if the scene is a joke. Just when you are comfortable enough to assume that the scene in question is a joke and laugh at it, the director throws an emotional or terrifying curve-ball that instantly sobers you and induces a bit of guilt for even laughing at the cleverly constructed joke. This entire process happens many times during the film and can last anywhere from 10-20 seconds. The Host is filmmaking at its finest. No joke.
Very few films can elicit genuine laughs without shattering the tension and integrity of the characters, and this is a VERY character centered movie. It is a sly combination of Little Miss Sunshine, Jaws, and Jurassic Park.

I could keep drooling over how wonderful this film is but, honestly, what would that accomplish. There are two major flaws in this film:
1) The Premise: How the creature comes to exist is terribly paper thin...we're talking 1950's comic book thin here. However, in the films defense, the plot uses the creature as a means to tell a powerful and compelling story through excellent and memorable characters...so the origin story doesn't actually amount to much. I would have been happy if they had just left it out entirely.

2) The way the creature moves:
When you first see the creature you will be disappointed. Promise. It gets better. I have analyzed the film to figure out why this shift from not believable to convincing (through the movie) exists and I can tell you this: it is not because of the graphics. They are beautiful start to finish. I think it is because when you first see the creature, it is hunting for the very first time and it moves super clumsy...like a toddler monster. We are not used to our cinema creatures being so inept so I think that throws western audiences off to begin with but, as mentioned, the film will quickly suck you back into the land of believability. Those were my only two complaints about the ENTIRE film.
Really.
Go see this today.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
SpangleSep 29, 2016
In 1954, director Gordon Douglas unleashed upon the world his now science fiction classic, Them! The film depicts the after effects of a nuclear tests that has resulted in huge killer ants. Apparently, after years of being stepped on andIn 1954, director Gordon Douglas unleashed upon the world his now science fiction classic, Them! The film depicts the after effects of a nuclear tests that has resulted in huge killer ants. Apparently, after years of being stepped on and killed with ant bait, the species was pissed at humans and were not afraid to show it. 52 years later, the same phenomenon arose in South Korea. Except, it presented the chance for fish to exact their revenge on humanity after millenia of being prey. And exact revenge is certainly the only thing this fish monster is interested in. Created as a result of an American scientist's unwillingness to properly dispose of formaldehyde, this fish is out to wreak havoc on the race that brought it into existence in the name of all of its fish friends. The Host is a truly thrilling, emotionally moving, oddly funny, and expertly executed science fiction film with clear political undertones.

Often times, films such as that offer some emotional moments wind up being far too sentimental. Bong Joon-ho avoids this trap by showcasing real, raw emotion. The pain showcased by all of the characters and the family bonds that are tested through these traumatic events bring an incredible sense of realism. These moments are not overdone or overly emotional. Rather, they are impassioned, low-key, and subtle. What is not subtle, however, is the love held by Park Gang-du (Song Kang-ho) for his daughter Park Hyun-seo (Go Ah-sung). The two's love for one another as father and daughter is terrifically developed and feels authentic to the point that when things go awry for the two, your heart bleeds for them.

The emotional authenticity is just one solid element of this film, as the entirety of the characters are well developed. Though there is not a ton of depth given the type of film this is, what is introduced is always purposeful and used later on in the climax. This is emblematic of how tight this film is with very little filler, both in dialogue and in the general plot. The film shows us what it needs to in order for us to understand what is occurring. There are very few, if any, moments that really feel out of place or do not add to the story. While every scene is obviously not perfect, they all have a purpose and flow together incredibly well. Heck, even the odd moments of comedy tossed in the film, particularly in the refugee camp, work out pretty well and do showcase elements of the characters.

Cinematography-wise, there are a few scenes that stood out to me as being particularly well shot, namely the shot during the protest as agent yellow is released. The shot of the group of people standing with "Free Park Gang-du" shirts and being overtaken by agent yellow is tragic and beautifully executed. The shot itself is incredibly well framed with terrific use of color. Additionally, the final shot of the snack bar set against the ocean as snow falls to the ground was incredibly beautiful.

Politically, the message is clear: Bong Joon-ho does not like American or outside influence in South Korea. The military, American personnel in Korea, the doctors, and even the CDC are all shown negatively for exploiting the Koreans and not caring about what happens to them. Instead, they are shown as being more obsessed with Americans, their needs, and how it will effect the United States should any possible monster or virus appear in North America. The name "agent yellow" especially drives this home as it draws a direct link to Agent Orange in Vietnam and the disastrous effects it had on the Vietnamese and Americans in the country. Though Americans may not be literally killing Koreans at this point, it is clear that Bong Joon-ho is fearful that if their present level of indifference continues, the day in which Koreans die because of Americans is not far off. Thus, the film is not explicitly anti-American to me. Rather, it is a warning of what could happen and something that both sides should be aware of and planned ahead for.

As a whole, The Host provides thrills, emotion, and political overtones in this film about a fish monster killing people and taking them hostage (presumably to eat later). Though imperfect as it does have some iffy pacing at times and the ending feeling a little fortunate, The Host is still an incredibly tight and thrilling experience offered by Bong Joon-ho. Somehow, this is only my second film from him (Snowpiercer being the other). Clearly, I need to see more, even if Snowpiercer was just okay.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
10
sammyramoneAug 29, 2012
This movie takes a tired genre and makes it fresh again.The Host has a assort met off genre all mixed together but the main one is the giant monster genre though,This movie is a satire/dramedy/horror/movie monster/thriller and suspense.TheThis movie takes a tired genre and makes it fresh again.The Host has a assort met off genre all mixed together but the main one is the giant monster genre though,This movie is a satire/dramedy/horror/movie monster/thriller and suspense.The acting in this film is amazing every actor feels right for the role in the get go, storyline isn't weak either it's start out simple than turns into a suspense thriller.The Special effects even though it might look not all that good but it works.Great epic story of how a overly worried problem helps a family come together for once. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
TheRimRiderNov 5, 2015
Fresh, exciting and not your typical cliched Hollywood rubbish. Loved it. Great effects, real tension and all the elements you want in a horror/action film. Those who dont get it should go back to crap like Godzilla.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
9
MacReady10Mar 15, 2014
Amo veramente questo regista, anche in un moster movie riesce a tenere acceso il cervello. Regia e fotografia impeccabile, ottimo ritmo, bravissimi attori. Si riescono anche ad affrontare molte tematiche come la stupidità dei governi, laAmo veramente questo regista, anche in un moster movie riesce a tenere acceso il cervello. Regia e fotografia impeccabile, ottimo ritmo, bravissimi attori. Si riescono anche ad affrontare molte tematiche come la stupidità dei governi, la costante presente dell'esercito americano, l'inquinamento e molti altri. Un bellissimo film per un regista che comincia anche a farsi conoscere, FINALMENTE, anche in occidente. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
7
tethysdustJun 9, 2017
It seems like Hollywood loves gratuitous violence, and South Korea loves gratuitous sadness. The film was entertaining and really funny at points, but I don't understand why every Korean movie I watch has to be so sad.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews
8
johnslegersJan 3, 2016
I watched "Gwoemul" aka "The Host" expecting a campy monster movie in the style of Godzilla or Cloverfield and while I was watching it I learned it was actually a social critique of post-modern South-Korean society and most particular theI watched "Gwoemul" aka "The Host" expecting a campy monster movie in the style of Godzilla or Cloverfield and while I was watching it I learned it was actually a social critique of post-modern South-Korean society and most particular the destructive nature of American political and cultural influence. This critique was done with a clever mixture of drama and comedy behind the backdrop of a monster story and filled with far more symbolism than I've ever seen in any European or American film. The cinematography and the special effects were also more than decent.

Fans of typical monster movies probably won't like this film since it's just not a typical monster movie by any standard. If you are, however, a fan of political satire and you're not afraid of some cultural experimentation you may consider this a masterpiece.
Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
All this user's reviews