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The Host

Released on 21 May 2007

Featuring: Song Kang-ho, Bae Du-na & Ko Ah-sung

Format: DVD | Rating: 15 years & over

3.0 out of 5 (18 customer reviews) | Write a review

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The Park family seem to lead a quite ordinary and peaceful life; well, maybe a little poorer than the average Seoul citizens. Park Hee-bong (played by Byun Hee-bong) is a man in his late 60s running a small snack bar on the banks of the Seoul's Han River and, living with his two sons, daughter and granddaughter.

Hee-bong's elder son Gang-du ( Song Gang-ho) is an immature and incompetent man in his 40s, whose wife left home long ago. Nam-il (by Park Hae-il) is the youngest son, an unemployed grumbler, and daughter Nam-joo (by Bae Du-na) is an archery medallist and member of the national team.

What the three generations of the Park clan doesn't know, is that a bloodthirsty mutant of indeterminate origin is about to rise up unannounced from the Han River. When the creature abducts the granddaughter and the dysfunctional remnants of the group decide to come together to save her, so begins a terrifying lesson of a new concept of family...

Echoing the jet-black B-movie horror comedy of Tremors, Bong Joon-ho (best known in Europe for his excellent serial killer thriller Memories Of Murder) gives the time-honoured creature feature an intoxicating spin with buckets of blood, brilliant comedic touches and a healthy slice of biting social satire!

customer Reviews

 Average rating (18 reviews)

 Great

| | See all Bassman85's reviews (9)

A great creature feature! definatly worth the 5.99! if you dont mind subtitles, lots of blood and don't take your films to seriously this is perfect for you! Kinda like a good godzilla

 First rate

| | See all dirtyrottenpunk's reviews (34)

Has to be the best monster movie so far. Loved the elements of humour coming from the male lead.
Can't wait for the sequel a must has to be seen.

 Excellent, very entertaining

| | See all KirstyE's reviews (6)

I had bever heard of this film until my boyfriend steered me in it's direction. We purchased The Host and Cloverfield at the same time and after watching Cloverfield first in all of it's hideous tediousness, The Host showed us how a proper monster film should be done.

These were characters you grew to know and actually care about, even if the lead character's personality WAS slightly confusing. There was one part of the film which I found a little over-the-top but it didn't spoil the film.

I thought the monster was great, although in my opinion, CGI is not usually a good thing.

Overall a great movie that I'll definitely watch again.

 Good but not great - thoroughly entertaining

| | See all CaptainCumberland's reviews (9)

I should say first off that I really enjoyed this film - I didn't really know anything about it, but I know the director from his other work, and I'd heard some good things. It was a thoroughly entertaining watch!

On the good side, the creature, the 'Host', is superb, and it makes a great change to have it out in the open causing mayhem. It's movement and reactions are fantastic and more natural than Hollywood would ever allow, and it looks and feels like a real animal because of it. The first 'rampage' is thrilling, and gets things off to a fantastic start. The main characters, especially the father of the little girl taken by the creature, are brilliantly engaging, and I really cared about the outcome by the end.

There are some big problems with this film. The main one is a distinct lack of really chilling or frightening moments, although there are plenty of jaw-dropping and exciting ones instead! The fact that this film was made in Korea, and by a truly original director, are the main reasons for its appeal for me - the look and feel, the entire approach are different from what we expect, and it keeps your interest. However sometimes the differences distract from the story - the emotions of the characters at key moments sometimes seem very strange and jarred with my own.

Overall I would certainly recommend it - for those who enjoy Asian cinema, for horror fans who don't demand too many 'shocks' or for anyone who enjoys something a bit different from the norm. It's an original, enjoyable but somewhat flawed effort, and I'm not sure if I'll watch it again in the near future.

 A hit or miss film, honestly!

| | See all Listless's reviews (19)

Personally I did not think this film lived up to the hype. I was left disappointed on many fronts;

The CG is rather obvious and though they made the brave move to show the whole of the monster; it ultimately fails to impress because CG still looks hollow and lifeless.
The characters are unlikeable and the attempt to mix comedy with horror in the film is done badly; I neither laughed nor gasped in fright.

The film also suffers from choppy direction. We are left stranded in certain scenes while others take completely unexpected U-turns and the viewer is expected to just believe the character got from A to B.

It's also rather unbelievable. I know, I know; horror films are not meant to be believable, yet the amount of farce in the film and how badly everything is handled makes you wonder if the situation was really as dramatic as the film makes it out to be. They seem to be at odds to take the most ridiculous solution to what is only a relatively small problem.

Its attempt at political satire is also about as subtle as being slapped with a fish and thus fails to actually leave any lasting questions on American and western governmental practice.

It does have some things going for it though. In areas it is mildly scary and it also demonstrates how useful the homeless can be in a monster crises.

Yet ultimately, and to my disappointment I might add, a movie that tries to juggle too many genres and fails to do any of them well.

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ActorsSong Kang-ho, Bae Du-na, Ko Ah-sung, Park Hae-il & Byeon Hie-bong
DirectorBong Joon-ho
Certificate15 years and over
LanguagesDolby Digital (5.1)
Duration1 hour and 59 minutes (approx)
RegionRegion 2 - Will only play on European Region 2 or multi-region DVD players.