Thursday, July 31, 2014

Good Flix: The Host (2006)

Damn you, Stephanie Meyer.  Today's films is the South Korean Horror/Thriller called The Host.  Thanks to that apparently-bad book and film adaptation of the same name by the Author of the 'Twilight' books, I now have to *specify* if I'm talking about THIS film and not her's.  Bitch.  Anyhow, this Host is one of my favorite movies ever.  It is just damn good.  On the surface, it is the tale of a mutated tadpole-thing that starts wreaking havoc and killing people in South Korea.  Beneath that basic Plot, you get Themes of Father-Son bonding, family togetherness, government control, issues with raising children and an economy that doesn't support new people coming into the workplace.  It does all this is a nice and subtle way, so it doesn't feel preachy.  On top of that, so many of the issues are topical to the time and place (or country), but still work for other people.  Besides, the creature- nicknamed Steve Buscemi by the Director- is kick ass!  Do you need to know more?  That's why I'm here then.  Since this film is great and I want more people to see it, I will keep it as SPOILER-FREE as possible.  To find out why you should get off your ass and see this film (again, if you already did), read on...
A nice family runs a Food Truck (sort of) by a main river in South Korea.  All seems well until...
A mysterious creature appears on a nearby bridge, drawing the attention of all of the onlookers- including our lead.  What could go wrong?
Oh right- that.

I should have seen this coming.
'Steve' is not friendly.  He is also ugly as #%$@!
Our hero's daughter is taken by the creature and he can't save her.  Bummer.
The rest of the family is reunited, but finds that the local authorities are not going to help them alot.  It is all because one injured man from the attack comes down with a virus, making anyone exposed to the creature the titular host of something.
The daughter turns out to be alive, but now trapped in the Sewer Lair of the creature, along with alot of bones and bodies.  Can she escape?
Will the allied governments finally get off their asses and stop the monster?
If all else fails, can our heroes take the responsibility into their own hands and kill 'Steve?'  To find out, watch the movie.  The End.
It is still damn good.  Some films lessen for me on repeat viewings- like Return of the Evil Dead-, while others- like Top Secret- find me noticing more to enjoy.  In this case, The Host ages quite well.  It helps that this is the only version of this Story- at time of writing- since the U.S. Remake has not panned out and the Sequel has yet to hit our shores.  One thing to bear in mind is that I'm not a huge fan of K-Horror in general, but I love this film.  The movie is so good that it got past my inherent dislike of a whole Genre!  The Characters are deep and nuanced, while the Pacing is not sacrificed for this character work.  The design work behind 'Steve' is still one to marvel at.  Is it the best CG out there?  Probably not.  However, the amount of detail and the creativity in the design elevates it to another level.  The fact that there is actually a good film behind this CG helps alot- I'm looking at you, Transformers films!  Have you not seen this film because it is Foreign?  It has dubbing and Subtitles- take your pick.  Have you not seen it because it is a Horror Film?  It is far more than that, so give it a try.  If you still need more incentive, it also features 'Herschel' from The Walking Dead...
Since I want to put off my Project Terrible Films for one more day, let me take a look at the other The Host.  Roger Ebert's final review in his lifetime was a mocking of this film, so who am I to disagree?  Stay tuned...

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