The Host (80)
Giant Monster Movies
I don't remember where I heard about the Host but I know it had a good reputation. I was intrigued to say the least. I'm not a huge fan of Giant Monster movies or Kaiju films. However, this one is really clever and it feels like it's a bit self aware and satirical. It has a surprisingly deep storyline. Nothing seems out of place.
Park Hee Bong is an elderly yet spry munchies vendor on the Han River. He is a single father and taking care of his sons and daughter. All a real cast of characters. Gang-du is his eldest son and a bit of a let down. One day a giant monster emerges from the Han River! Mutated from chemicals dumped by the US Government. The monster tears through Seoul and steals Gang-du's daughter Hyun-seo. As Seoul is thrown into upheaval and chaos ensues. Gang-du has to allude a government mandated quarantine to find the giant monster and free his daughter.
Bong Joon-Ho does a wonderful job mixing ingeniously strange, slightly over-the-top performances with the tradition of old Kaiju pictures. You get your key scenes of plethora's of people running in terror from this massive beast. But then you also get this great look at how the entire city of Seoul is thrown into utter chaos. The CGI isn't the greatest. I am not a huge fan of the overuse. However, I understand what he was going for. I am pretty sure the director had a pretty decent blend with practical effects.
The scariness factor is pretty low. It's just a really good movie. Kang-Ho Song does a great job of getting on the audiences side. Gang-du is a great character. Scott Wilson (The Walking Dead) plays a nefarious doctor. So, that's pretty neat.
It mixes horror and comedy really well. If you're looking for something interesting that has a bit of a funny edge to it, then check this out. Some people will complain about reading the subtitles but it's not a chore. It's a great movie that might appeal to a lot of viewers if they can just have it shown to them.