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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.