Unwatchable - Subtitles too small and obscured by background. Have attempted to get a refund from Amazon but option appears to have been removed. Don't waste your money on this film. Amazon please make it possible for people to claim valid refunds
'The Host' is one of my favourite movies. Often described as 'Gojira' meets 'Little Miss Sunshine', this is one of those movies that's difficult to categorize. In 2000, an arrogant American scientist orders his Korean assistant to dump all of the expired formaldehyde into the sewer, and all of the toxic waste goes into the river. Six years later, the product of the chemical waste, a mutant creature the size of a bus, starts chasing and eating people. Two men arrive on the scene to help. One is Donald White, an American soldier living in Seoul with a Korean girlfriend. The other man is the protagonist, Park Gang-du. Gang-du is one of the most unique heroes in cinema. He is the clumsy, slow-witted eldest son of a working class snack vendor, and he has a neurological condition which gives him social ineptitude and mild narcolepsy. He also has a teenage daughter, Hyun-seo and he only seems to be wide awake when his fatherly instincts kick in. When Gang-du accidentally causes Hyun-seo to be carried off by the monster, he, his frazzled father, his alcoholic brother and his hesitant archer sister all take her for dead. But one night, Gang-du gets a call and finds that she's still alive. Unfortunately, no one believes him and continuously treat him as insane, so he and his family take it into their hands to try and save her. Meanwhile, down in the sewer where she is trapped by the monster, Hyun-seo, growing in courage, fights to survive. This movie has everything: action, comedy, family drama, political and social satire, and strong central characters. It's beautifully filmed, and director Bong Joon-ho really knows how to use colour in his film. If you are autistic like me or have any other special needs, you can definitely relate to Gang-du, who despite his social problems has a massive heart.
The acting is excellent. Byun Hee-bong is an actor I like to call the Korean Takashi Shimura, in looks as well as in ability. Song Kang-ho is wonderful as always in the role of Gang-du, and so are his co-stars, Ko Ah-sung, Park Hae-il and Bae Doo-na. Yoon Je-moon is near unrecognizable as a vagrant. And it's got a cute small boy, too.
Bong Joon-ho's quality as a director varies wildly, but I think this film is his best. It will make you laugh, cry, scream and cheer with delight.
This is a brilliant Korean movie and is one of south Korea's most celebrated movies of today. I wouldn't say it is much like "Jaws" or "Jurassic park" like it says on the DVD but is still "hugely entertaining." It is about a chemical spill in a river in Seoul that mutates a fish into a monster. The monster comes out of the water and attacks a park before snatching a little girl and takes her to it's lair. The whole film is about the family desperately trying to get her back, But will time run out? The film has a good mix of action, sadness and comedy (although sometimes the comedy can get a bit over-powering and can come in at the wrong times). The first monster attack scene at the park is full of great action. I loved the characters and they have a great bond. Please don't be put off with it being in Korean as the subtitles are very easy to read. Is it worth the money? With great action and special effects I'd say it is worth the money. If you buy the 2 disc-edition DVD it has almost 3 and a half hours of interesting special features that shows you many things that you don't notice and appreciate during the film. the second disc includes things like deleted scenes, making of's, getting to know characters and crew members, what the CGI looked like before and after, Gag reels and tonnes of other stuff. That is really worth the money! I enjoyed this monster movie and would happily watch again. I can see why it was a box office hit!
This isn't a scary horror film; so think of Rampage (with Dwayne Johnson and the giant alligator) more than, say, Alien. It's as much about a dysfunctional family as it is about the monster which grabs the little girl... and there' a lot of subtext about US interventions in Asia.
It was South Korea's most financially successful movie. Made for washers (if the slightly wobbly SFX are anything to go by) but it dragged in gazillions at the box office. And in truth the CGI was no worse than some bits of Solo… Features plenty running and screaming, as you'd expect from a monster-runs-amok (well, monster-hops-amok, actually) movie; a dash of Asian slapstick at unexpected moments (tends to confuse western audiences); an adorable slavering beast; stacks of incidental anti-US sentiment (you’d think it was a remake of Godzilla…), and possibly the worst English subtitles of all time. The dialogue probably didn’t make much sense to start with, but rendered in white, on a white background, in a teeny-tiny font, it was 80% incomprehensible.
A brilliant evening’s entertainment which I commend to you all. 7/10
ps: the Korean title translates as ‘Monster.’ Why is it called ‘The Host’?
I do have a soft spot for South Korean movies. Gave the film four but it would be 7/10. Fun story. Maintains interest. Blinking white subtitles are sometimes placed on a white part of the set so small bits of plot could get lost. Or perhaps I just need even stronger glasses.