Witty horror homage also poignant family drama

The Host

on March 09, 2007 by Kevin Courrier
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What begins as a humorous, wily tribute to '50s monster movies like Creature of the Black Lagoon and Godzilla quickly becomes a surprisingly stirring drama about family honor and loyalties. Director Bong Joon-ho also embroiders into the story a savvy (and thankfully sardonic) political allegory about ecological devastation.

One afternoon along the Han River, the appearance of a slimy reptilian monster shakes up — and eats up — the locals enjoying the sunshine. While wreaking havoc, the creature, a product of chemical pollution, kidnaps the daughter of a rather dim-witted father (Song Kang-ho). Along with his dysfunctional family, he goes on a torturous mission to get her back. Kang-ho's performance begins as a piece of comic burlesque, but before long he transforms into a formidable hero, bringing a tragic depth to the story. The Host evolves into that rare horror film that becomes inconsolably poignant. Distributor: Magnolia
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong and Park Hae-il
Director: Bong Joon-ho
Screenwriters: Bong Joon-ho, Hah Joon-won and Baek Chul-hyun
Producer: Choi Yong-bae
Genre: Horror; Korean-language, subtitled
Rating: Not yet rated
Running time: 119 min.
Release date: January 24, 2007 ltd.

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