28 March 2007

The Host

Well, once again, I found myself with free tickets to a screening. This time, it was for a Korean monster horror movie. I did some research into the film to discover that it was the highest domestically grossing, Korean made film ever made. The articles were saying that it was equivalent to Titanic in percentage of citizens who saw it in theaters. I found that piece of information useless, but interesting nonetheless. I went to this screening with an open mind. The last time I watched a foreign horror movie (the French movie High Tension), I was very impressed.

The Host opens up with an American doctor instructing a Korean assistant to poor down the drain, the contents of all the bottles that have a lot of dust on them. The Korean protests, but the American insists it be done. The portrayal of Americans as carefree about the polluting of the environment only gets worse and kind of hard to stomach at times. We then move a little further ahead in time and see two fishermen in the Haan River catch something that we are not shown. It bites one and they it go and comment on how many tails it has. We then cut to the present time.

A family runs a concession stand of sorts on the riverfront. They are watching an archery contest on the television when a weird creature starts this rampage along the riverside. There is one scene of pure brilliance on the part of the director and sound editor. In the end, the creature takes away/kills the daughter of the son of the grandfather who runs the food stand.

All the survivors are put into a gymnasium while the CDC decides what to do with them. Here, the aunt and uncle of the little girl meet up with the family. This is where the movie goes weird for a minute. There is a moment of pure over the top acting that is hard to watch.

Finally, they end up in a center for disease control. Here, the father of the girl gets a phone call from the girl. She is alive, and he and the rest of the family decide to go find her. Some funny, suspenseful, creative situations transpire while the movie continues on its course. It ends with the US dropping Agent Yellow and a protest against it.

Verdict: If you like the Godzilla style movies, you will like this one. If you like foreign films, you might like this one. It is not your typical foreign import movie. I enjoyed myself, and I do recommend seeing it. Does it have to be in theaters, not really, but that one scene I mentioned, would have to be seen in the theater for the full effect.

*UPDATE: After reading an article off the AP about this film, I have lowered my rating from 7 to 5. I cannot support a movie that admits that the main purpose of the film is anti-Americanism. I am just more patriotic than that.

No comments: