At a Seoul laboratory the American guy in charge instructs his Korean assistant to pour a whole load of formaldehyde down the sink rather than dispose of it safely, bad idea – so what do you think is going to happen?
Yes a bloody great monster erupts from Han River and wreaks havoc on the nearby picnickers. It’s worse for local kiosk owner Gang-Doo (Kang-ho Song), not only is his business ruined, but his daughter, Hyun Seo (Ah-sung Ko) is carried off by the creature for snacking on later. Confined to an isolation hospital Gang-Doo later receives a call from Hyun Seo’s mobile, she’s alive, but trapped in the creature’s larder down a sewer.
Since the authorities won’t believe him it’s up to Gang-Doo and his family to break out, find Hyun Seo and kill the creature, lucky sister Nam Joo (Doona Bae) is an Olympic archer isn’t it?
I found my DVD of The Host in the British Heart Foundation shop for a quid. I thought it was top value entertainment for the two-hour run time, a nicely paced action film with plenty of thrills, but not overly gory hence the 15 certificate. Best of all Hyun Seo and the little kid trapped alongside her in the creature’s larder are not at all annoying, unlike the brats you get in the average American or Brit creature flick, you know the ones that you actually want to see get eaten by a monster. The creature design and effects are nice too, kind of like an Alien xenomorph crossed with a frog, even if it did have one of those annoying composite insect jaws that have come as standard on all these creatures since Predator. Not sure about some of the gurning and clowning from the cast though, I’m sure it probably translates better culturally in Korean.
A slick icky monster thriller I give The Host a 555/666