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The Host [2006] (2 -DISC EDITION) [DVD]

4.1 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Kang-Ho Song, Hie-Bong Byeon, Du-Na Bae, Ah-sung Ko
  • Directors: Joon-Ho Bong
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: Korean
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Optimum Home Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: 5 Mar. 2007
  • Run Time: 119 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000KRNMVC
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 53,374 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Korean special-effects-laden horror with comedic overtones sees dysfunctional family united in opposition to a gruesome foe from parts unknown. The Parks are an average suburban Seoul family; Park Senior, in his 60's, runs a kiosk by the Han River; his eldest son is a bit of a waste of skin whose wife has left him years ago with a young daughter; his younger son is a layabout with no intention of working; his daughter alone makes him proud - an prizewinning archer of note. Granddaughter little Hyun-Seo is the apple of everyone's eye so when she's abducted by a horrible monster that emerges from the depths of the Han one day, the family is righteously upset. The prospective loss of the only thing holding them all together, galvanizes them into a monster-hunting posse extraordinaire and off they go to slay the dreadful beast.

From Amazon.co.uk

The Host has managed to become Korea's most successful film to date, winning acclaim both domestically and internationally, and it's easy to see why. At first glance, it looks like any other monster movie--an amphibious creature from the depths stalks and devours an urban population--but there's actually much, much more going on beneath the surface. Not that there needs to be: although it has a fairly hefty 119-minute runtime, The Host is fast moving, with plenty of action and a truly gruesome-looking monster. Visually, it's a gorgeous movie, with stunning special effects and beautiful settings (even the rather nasty sewer scenes look perversely great). However, the real crux of The Host isn't really anything to do with the monster: at heart, this is a family drama, not a horror movie.

The story focuses on one small family and how they react to the weird goings-on all around them. When the youngest member of the family, Hyun-seo, is snatched by the titular monster, the family is devastated until a call from her mobile phone gives them fresh hope. Unfortunately, everyone who came into contact with the being has been quarantined due to a virus scare, so they have to escape the Korean authorities to go on a rescue mission. Then the American army steps in, and all hell breaks loose...

It's a very original idea, with nuanced and well-written characters, plenty of humour, and a darker undercurrent of social and political commentary, topped off with a thrilling monster-killing adventure. Brilliant, in other words. --Sarah Dobbs

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I saw this film after a review alerted me to its original format. Unlike holywood which relies either on making us wait a long time to see the monster, or revelling in gore rather than story, this Korean flick gives us the monster straight up, and follows with lots of story. It is a most original and engaging take on the horror/monster genre. The movie is about the struggles of one family who lose a daughter to it early in the film. Which is not to say it lacks suspense or action. It has these in globs, and all the more hard hitting as we can believe in these very real character's lives, and through them believe all the more in this fascinating monster. I only hope Holywood does not buy the rights to this, yet another piece of fresh imagination from the east, and and make a travesty of it. The bluray version is great, as unfortunately the normal DVD version is a poor grainy transfer.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
From a fantastic and versatile director (someone who excels in crime like Memories of Murder, drama like Mother, distopian adventure like Snowpiercer) comes a surprising and moving horror/drama, a curious and perfectly accomplished mix of Alien and King Kong.
With all the thrilling but also the mercy for the beast,
It is not just a director amusement, but another way, another occasion for this highly talented guy to decline his sense of drama to the next genre, and still engage and enthrall the audience.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Far and away the best film of 2006. On the face of it your average big monster creature feature but not so. This film has everything. Action; comedy; drama; fantasy; horror; sci-fi; pathos; heroism; political comment and an examination of that trickest of life's challenges - family relationships. The characters are heroic but deeply flawed and prone to failure, in short really human.

I hate when people give the whole plot away, so I won't, but I will say take note of the opening scene it is a reconstruction of what was actually a quite horrifying true event. What Joon-ho Bong the Director does is extrapolate from that event and using an accessible entertaining film subtly comments on the real horrors that such cavalier attitudes will lead us to and no I don't mean the monster - state interference; state indifference, rumour and obfuscation; deliberate demonising everything we can see already in a world deliberately being taught to be afraid of its own shadow.

And the finale - Hollywood would never have the nerve.

Above all a cracking film - enjoy!
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
There are are a lot of great reviews for this film so I may have had my expectations set too high - 'The Host' certainly has fantastic special effects and has good production values but I found the comedy elements overpowering resulting in a story that came across as rather silly. Considering the monster was killing large numbers of people and appeared to be responsible for transmitting a dangerous virus there seemed to be very little interest by world governments in capturing or killing it. And the only people up to the task were a very dysfunctional family whose collective skills (and plenty of luck) did the trick. It didn't help that the family weren't particularly interesting or likable. Also some severe editing might have helped bolster interest and improve the pacing by cutting 15 minutes or so off the extremely long 2 hour running time. The disk attributes are excellent - strikingly clear picture and excellent Korean PCM multi channel sound (although there are lots of different sound options you can choose from, including English dub). Not a film I would want to watch a second time.
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Format: DVD
I was very impressed by this South Korean 2006 monster film. It is a refreshingly original, clever and well done thing. I spend a really good moment watching it. Below, more of my impressions, with some limited SPOILERS.

In year 2000 an American military pathologist orders his less than enthusiastic Korean subaltern to dump a large stock of toxic chemicals into the river Han, which flows through Seoul. Six years later the consequence of this act emerges from water and starts eating people... A not very successful family, the Parks, is terribly affected by the first attack - and they decide to react, in their own, not very brilliant way... And then the film really begins.

After so many monster films, making something original and interesting is a real challenge - South Korean director Bong Joon-ho met this challenge head on and won a BRILLIANT victory! The monster in this film is unlike anything we saw before on the screen - it is part grotesque, part terrifying, it is both animal and not-fully-animal, it is lethal (definitely!) but not invulnerable, it can surprise but can also be bluntly direct, in short this is a complex, fascinating creature, completely unlike most standard-issue Hollywood created monsters.

But the really brilliant move by Bong Joon-ho was to realize that the key to the success of a monster movie is not only the monster - it's also the people and their story. This film is so good because from the beginning we start to care for the Park family and that keeps us interested and creates real tension. I will not say much about the Parks, to avoid spoilers, but they are definitely not the most brilliant of people and they had it rather hard in life - that helps a lot as it is always natural to root for the underdog.
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