Movie Review: The Host (2006)

Posted: April 11, 2016 in Reviews
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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Tail, Claws, Teeth, Cement Tile, Street Sign, Bare Hands, Pump Shotgun, Bow & Arrow, Syringe, Revolver, Poison Gas, Metal Pole, Molotov Cocktail, Gasoline

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Reviewed by: Betty the Murder Mare

 

And no. Before we begin, we are not about to delve into the 2008 Twilight-esque movie about chrome plated pacifist pod people aliens with a shitty romance. What we are about to talk about, is the 2006 foreign monster flick that focus on a father’s dedication to finding his daughter.

Judging a movie by its cover, one would assume that The Host was nothing more than another South Korean monster movie. Even the intro is misleading, as we open up to some realistically irresponsible American military men dumping toxic waste down the drain. It nearly fooled me into thinking I’ll be watching an hour and a half long PSA of how I should dispose of my waste properly or else I’ll be directly responsible for mutating a guppy into a man eating river monster. Luckily, it was nothing more than a satirical interlude.

TheHost_SleepyGang-Doo  TheHost_ParkFamilyBawling

Instead the movie focus on a frumpy middle aged man named Park Gang-Doo, who never seemed to amount to very much in his family’s life. He struggles on near poverty as he runs a shabby food truck with his aging father, and his growing daughter Hyun-Seo. The cast of misfits grows as the movie progresses to include Song’s brother and sister. Nam-Joo, an Olympic grade archer, and Nam-il a drunken political advocate.

The plot starts rolling when the monster runs rampant, treating the viewers to some nice visuals of death and mayhem. The gore in this movie isn’t flaunted loudly, but there’s plenty of cringe worthy moments in this movie.

TheHost_Hyun-seo  TheHost_TheMonster

Hyun-Seo ultimately seems to be eaten alive before her father’s eyes, and it sends the entire family into a state of anger and mourning. But against all odds, the father ends up receiving a call from his thought-to-be-dead daughter and realizes she was still somehow alive. The family binds together to hunt down this monster, and fight to save their beloved Hyun-Seo.

What is truly amazing is that this movie plays heavily on your expectations, and it doesn’t take shortcuts. Characters you expect to die, live, and characters you expect to live, die. And it all weaves together into a bittersweet ending that somehow feels complete despite all the loss.

The movie’s true strengths is that while it does handle serious subject matter time to time, it never seems to take itself too seriously. You’ll find yourself laughing more often than you would expect yourself to, despite this movie not exactly being a comedy. The relationships between the characters are also truly touching and refreshingly realistic. The family fights with one another, but it’s never done in a hateful malicious manner. We’re simply being treated to seeing a dysfunctional family doing the best it can in sticking together through difficult times.

TheHost_Nam-Joo  TheHost_GasRelease

It is however not without its weaknesses. The movie as a whole does feel messy and unorganized with contrasting and conflicting methods of film and delivery. Are we in a monster flick, or watching a slice of life? Or, wait, is this a governmental action thriller? However, you could argue that this loose narrative actually is what gives this movie its charm.

A fine film that holds a stronger chance of making you feel rather than jump in your seats, The Host is certainly something worth checking out.

Comments
  1. Dan O. says:

    A whole lot of fun. Nice review.

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