The Host is a 2006 Korean spectacular about a monster discovered in the Han River. It is Godzilla on another scale, combining horror, drama and war in a neat two hours. It’s a giant monster sci-fi with giant potential.
Snack vendor and shop owner, Park Hee-bong lives with his two sons, daughter and granddaughter on the bank of the Han River in Seoul. They lead a very ordinary life when daughter, Nam-joo isn’t winning medals for Korea’s national archery team. The story revolves around the eldest son Gang-du and his young daughter, Hyun-seo. Gang-du is portrayed as useless and incompetent and his eleven year old daughter seems to be the mature one. Disaster strikes when an unidentified creature is spotted hanging under the bridge. Momentarily, the creature launches an attack on innocent onlookers, consuming them whole and chasing after crowds. Gang-du turns around to find his daughter in the clutches of the creature before it retreats back to the river. The family is in utter turmoil at the loss of Hyun-seo and the whole country is at war with the unidentified monster. Hope is restored when the family receives word that Hyun-seo is still alive.
The Host exceeded all expectations for a sci-fi, apocalyptic film throwing in drama and family genres into the mix. It is an intense thrill with moments of despair, anxiety and hope. It is a crazy ride of emotion with an incredible cast to support it. A stand-alone masterpiece luckily without a sequel in the works. The special effects are nicely implemented. It isn’t over the top or tacky but obviously looks a little dated with it being ten years old. If you’re a fan of ground-breaking sci-fi, fantasy and monster films you’re probably already familiar with The Host. If not, do not hesitate to watch it!
Check out the trailer!