The Host (2006)

I had the pleasure of catching this one at the AFI film festival last November with the director, Bong Joon Ho, present. Bong directed one of my all time favorite Korean movies, Memories of Murder, so expectations for his follow up, The Host, were sky-high on my end.

The movie was just released in the US by Magnolia pictures and I managed to drag quite a few friends to catch last Saturday at the Arclight. I love the movie, I think it’s hugely entertaining and well deserving of the critical and commercial success it received in Korea. I still felt it was a step down from Memories of Murder, but I think that is to be expected as that is a really hard film to top, perfect in every form and way. I thought The Host would be an excellent introduction to Korean cinema and I think most of my friends liked it. My friend Brian found it boring, but not because this is a Korean film. He just felt the movie to be a bit too commercial and enjoyed the parts where it focused more on family life in Korea than the big set pieces that involve the huge monster. I could understand his critique and it’s always interesting for me to see how different people react differently to the same material.

I still enjoyed it a lot second time around. Bong did an excellent job on this one and I still believe anyone with even a passing interest in cinema (and Asian cinema specifically) should check this one out. It’s much more than just a monster film, it’s a unique combination of Monster film, family drama, comedy and super-slick action movie with some social commentary thrown into the mix. You don’t get to see a movie like this everyday.

Box office results were published yesterday and it looks like The Host didn’t really make too much money, despite being really well reviewed here. I was really bummed to see that as this can pretty much seal the fate of many other Korean movies in the US. It seems like CJ entertainment is going to release King and the Clown later this year so perhaps there is still hope. For now I guess I should just be content with being able to catch this one of the big Arclight screen in all it’s glory and hope that the new mpark4 theater in Koreatown brings over more films with English subtitles.

Enjoying a cold one

Song Kang Ho and Ko Ah Sung kicking back and having a cold one. Just one of the many charming moments in The Host – So much more than just a monster movie.

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~ by bettertomorrow on March 13, 2007.

One Response to “The Host (2006)”

  1. […] Original post by bettertomorrow […]

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