The Host (Gwoemul)

The Host Poster

Rated: R

Running Time: 119 Minutes

Year: 2006

Boobs: Zero

One Sentence: I don't think I understand Korean culture.

The Host, the only Korean comedy action horror monster movie I will most likely review this year.  I first heard about this movie when it was shown at last year's Fantastic Fest.  Which is a film festival in Austin.  It buzzed like mad.  Everyone saying it was awesome, worth seeing, and so very good.  So I finally saw it.  Either I don't get Korean culture, or I just don't get it. 

This movie is not a comedy, at least I don't think it should be.  However throughout the movie there are these scenes that would rival Monty Python in sillyness.  Just bizarre acting and behavior that just didn't make sense to me.  Is this movie a comedy or not.  It is scary and sad too, so I just don't know how to feel about it.  This is where I think maybe I don't get the culture.  Maybe the comedy is supposed to be there to lessen the blow of the movie, but to me it came off as campy or overdone.  Not something to maybe take the edge off.   This also included the actors that seemed to also carry this overacted air about them.  However it seemed so deliberate that I think it might be the culture, and not the movie itself.  That the behavior was perhaps normal to someone from Korea, but seems odd to me.  Which I think seems like a reasonable assumption. 

If you get past the acting and comedy, the movie is not bad, but I am not going to be jumping on The Host lovers band wagon.  It was scary, and did make me jump, but not exactly a horror movie.  It had a very cool monster in it, and it convinced me and I think did better at me believing it was there, than King Kong or some of the newer CG fests we have been releasing.  It had action and a good story, but the weird breaks and side steps left me a bit confused.  

I am also not sure of the point.  I think there was a grand big story here that I missed and again it might have been lost in translation.  There was a hint of anti-American sentiment in the movie, and I think that it might have been a stab at current policies.  Which I am fine with let them speak it if they want to, but if that is what it was, or some other commentary on society, I also didn't quite get it.  It seemed to try to speak to something like that, and it just went over my head.  So I guess.  Rentable if you want to go for it, but I don't think its a must rent like some have been saying.  

3 stars

  • I enjoyed the movie, but did thing it was a little strange… I left thinking, “I’m not sure I understood the message they were trying to send.”

    It had scary parts that made me jump, it had goofy parts that made me laugh – I actually loved the scene where they’re all crying so hard that some of the actors are laughing! Reminded me of a good SNL skit. lol

    It did feel pretty anti-american, but didn’t portray ALL Americans as bad people. I did think there was a very strong message about the importance of family in there, and that for ALL loves all things are possible (it’s not just limited to romantic love).

  • anon

    1 word to describe this movie and is probably the word that is said like every 2 seconds HANSEO!!!! this is a pretty good movie for a rainyday with nothing better to do but when u hear that damn girls name over and over i think that is where is the comedy comes from some friends and i have turned it into a joke randomly yelling HANSEO!! at each other only to shout it back dramatically its quite hilarious. but the movie is good not great but good


  • kyuciannie

    I’ve watched vthis movie before on CinemaOne. Filipino Dub

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