Aneesh Chaganty

Movie #201 The Host

In Uncategorized on May 14, 2011 at 5:45 AM

Movie #201 The Host

(2006, S. Korea, d. Joon-ho Bong)

One of my favorite directors in the present market, Joon ho-Bong (or Bong Joon-ho – I never know what order to put these Korean names in), has produced some of the greatest films in the last decade. It seems that every one of them tackles a varying genre: he’s done the crime thriller (Memories of Murder), the mother-son thriller (Mother), the dark comedy (Barking Dogs Never Bite), and pretty soon he’ll be tackling the action/caper. The Host is a monster movie, in the finest regards. When I first saw it, I thought it was comparable to Jaws, not only in its style, but the quality of the film as well. It borrows a lot of techniques and strategies from Spielberg and Hollywood blockbusters and throws them in with what I like to call a dose of “Korean originality”. That’s a good thing, by the way. The Host is funny, scary, touching, and action-packed. It’s well-written, well produced, but most of all: accomplishes everything it set out to do. Anchored again by a solid performance by Song Kang-ho, who delivers the performance on the line between stupid and ‘camp’ I was inferring in my review for The Dinner Game, The Host is at its core, the story of a dysfunctional family. Every member has his or her quirks and as they battle against the Korean police forces, American antagonism (insinuated through a chemical weapon cleverly titled “Agent Yellow”), and monsters, we begin to fall in love with each of them. Surprisingly containing a lot of humor (comparable to D.J. Caruso’s Disturbia in that sense), The Host is one helluva film. Check it out. Don’t let the subtitles stop you.

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