The Host

A Korean monster film that received high critical praise, and yet everywhere I look on the internet the average Joe is trashing it. Therefore, I decided it was up to me to watch it and set things straight.

First off: if you do not speak Korean, choose to read the subtitles, do not let this disk play with the American dubbing. The dubbed voices, as is usually the case, do not do the actors justice and makes it a totally different movie; less dark atmospherically.

The opening scenario of the film is poorly acted and is a silly explanation for the creation of the monster to later come out of the river. The entire scene could have easily been cut out of the film. After this scene some of the Asian humor and acting styles kick in and people who have come into the film with doubts may go ahead and hit the power button. The acting throughout the entire movie is hit and miss, with the director taking some long drawn out camera shots. However, the quality of the picture is top-notch.

Once the monster appears, raging out of the river, causing havoc: the fun starts. The special effects rely on CGI, however the introduction and rampage of the creature are a spectacular sight regardless. After the initial appearance of the monster the first half of the film goes back into being sort of slow and with the same quirky humor. One instance in which the comedy really shoots itself in the foot is in a scene where a family is seriously morning the loss of their child and start weeping so loudly and pulling each other in the floor and writhing in a comedic fashion, it just becomes too long a scene again and uncomfortable for the viewer to watch.

The second half of the film is where the jokes start catching on. Either you as a viewer have adjusted or they are just better written. Also we are beyond all of the long set-up and eventually get back to the monster a little bit. The acting becomes better, everything just becomes better, and the picture quality has stayed just as excellent.

The ending showdown with the monster of the film, which is some sort of mutated fish-looking thing, is the best scene of the entire film and for me was worth wading through the movie to get to.

Final conclusion: I was skeptical about being able to sit through the first portion of the film and can easily see where the average film watcher would be turned off by things, however something inspired me to stick with it and I am glad I did because everything about the movie picked up in pace and became fully entertaining. I have to side with the positive critics on this one and would give the film 7.5-8 stars out of 10 if I were using such a rating system. The special features in the DVD version I had were nothing all too exciting or new, deleted scenes and the director reflecting on things, however the movie itself is enough to stand alone and be worth checking out.

1 thought on “The Host”

  1. This is one the best monster movie i’ve ever seen, the monster itself is so awsome its hard to belive it came from korea. A movie this good needs to watched, the comedy mixed with stress is a good adds a bit of freshness to the movie.

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