South Korean film The Host follows an aquatic, man-made monster as it terrorizes people along the banks of Seoul’s Han River. When it captures a young girl, Hyun-Seo, her family resolves to find her, no matter what the cost.
Unlike Peter Jackson’s 2005 King Kong remake, The Host doesn’t suffer from its long running time. In two hours the film creates a rich story filled with believable characters, intriguing sub-plots and some very impressive CGI. The narrative progresses at an even pace as it slowly builds to a tense, unforeseeable ending. From start to finish, this is an attention-grabbing monster movie.
Perhaps The Host’s strongest element comes from its unique strain of dark humour. The initially laughable mistakes made by lead character Park Gang-Doo can often turn into genuine tragedy seconds later. This cements the notion that this is an average man, propelled into an extraordinary situation. His personality almost lampoons the typical traits main characters often possess in various blockbuster films.
This is one of the best-made monster movies in the last twenty years. It’s tense, character driven and unpredictable. Expect to find a beautiful and haunting addition to the horror genre.
Highlights: Hyun-Seo’s desperate attempts to escape the monster’s lair.