the host

After seeing the preview months ago, I expected "The Host" to be a campy korean monster flick. And yes, the horror is absurd in certain parts if not thrilling...but I was suprised to find a dynamic mix of political commentary and some heartwarming/humorous dysfunctional family satire.

The origins of this mutant river monster was inspired by a real life scandal that started anti-American protests in South Korea back in 2000. In the movie, a U.S. military scientist instructs his Korean underling to dump thousands of bottled formaldehyde down the drain - which leads into the Han river. 6 years later, a mutant river monster emerges and starts to kidnap and eat humans. However, I enjoyed the fact that the monster wasn't one-sided in its villainy or monstrosity. It does kill and eat humans, but its also graceful in how it swoops and dives into the water. It can also be delicate as shown by how it handled the heroine when she tried to escape the sewer. The girl's father is a loveable clumsy slob who slapsticks his way into hero mode to save his daughter alongside his family.

It was refreshingly genuine and free of smart-ass one liners that pollute most American action/horror flicks. The effects were good - especially the rumbling sound effects -and I was thoroughly entertained.


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