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Gwoemul

The Host

South Korea 2006
produced by
Choi Yong-bae, Jeong Tae-seong (executive), Kim Woo-taek (executive) for Cheongeoram, CJ Entertainment, Showbox, Mediaplex
directed by Bong Joon-ho
starring Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hie-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Du-na, Ko Ah-sung, David Joseph Anselmo, Oh Dal-su (voice), Spencer Jay Kim, Paul Lazar, Park No-Shik, Scott Wilson, Yim Pil-sung
written by Bong Joon-ho, Baek Chul-hyun, Ha Won-jun, music by Lee Byung-woo, special effects by The Orphanage

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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The Park family - father Hee-bong (Byeon Hie-bong), sons Gang-du (Song Kang-ho) and Nam-il (Park Hae-il), daughter Nam-ju (Bae Du-na), who's also a championship archer, and Gang-du's daughter Hyun-seo (Ko Ah-sung) - live off daddy's foodstand on the banks of River Han, when some day, out of the river, a giant (circa 20 feet) monster - a mutation grown out of toxic waste from a nearby American laboratory - appears, goes on a rampage killing everybody in sight ... and abducting young Hyun-seo.

The Parks soon believe the girl is dead, but they are not allowed to grieve but are put under quarantine ... then though Hyun-seo calls her daddy via cellphone and tells him she is held in the sewers bythe creature, by now dubbed the Host, and now the Parks are hell-bent on making an escape and saving her - even if they are made public enemy #1 once they are out because the gouvernment claims they carry a virus (which will later turn out as a piece of typical official misinformation). However our heroic foursome goes down into the sewers armed to the teeth with guns and bow and arrow, and they try to track the creature, while at the same time being hunted by gouvernment officials. Soon though they have to realize that even a 20 foot creature can be a sneaky little thing, and eventually, dad winds up dead, Gang-du is recaptured and performed brain-surgery on - not that that would slow him down - and Nam-il is on the run from a group of bounty hunters, but finally they find out where Hyeon-seo is, and while the gouvernment and the Americans fail to kill the Host with Agent Yellow, Gang-du, Nam-ju and Nam-il manage to exterminate the Host using a combination of Molotov cocktails, bow and arrow and a stake through the heart ... however, Hyun-seo had to die before they could save her, so they instead take care of a little boy, an orphan, Hyun-seo gave her own life to save ...

 

My synopsis to this film might just sound horrible, and silly as hell, the film however is not, I am almost tempted to dub it the thinking man's monster movie - only almost because the film, while being intelligently written, doesn't take itself too seriously (hey, it's about a giant monster, how could it take itself too seriously) but never forgets to entertain. What definitely sets this film apart from its competition is that it doesn't concetrate on it's great special effects (though the monster is quite impressive) and have some cardboard characters do some talking inbetween. Instead the film concentrates on a bunch of loser characters and their way of dealing with a situation that just happens to involve a monster ... and though I like monster movies as such, this is the far more interesting approach. And thanks to a cleverly written, satirical script and a slick, fast-paced direction, the film is amazingly entertaining as well.

Recommendation !!

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Thanks for watching !!!

 

 

Robots and rats,
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love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD