By Bassam Tarazi | Image property of respective holders.
Now THIS is a thriller! American filmmakers take note. See, for a film to work, you need something other than the just the monster and honestly, I haven’t seen it done better than in The Host for a long, long time.
DVD Review: The Host
What is that other ‘thing’ that you need? Ah yes, a story, of course. Director Joon-Ho Bong does not leave much to the imagination as far as the monster is concerned for it is introduced to us in all its glory relatively quickly as it hops out of Seoul’s Han River and immediately causes immeasurable havoc on the populace close by. But the monster isn’t as terrifying as its American version would be and in fact. I won’t get into how this thing was created (not important) but what is important is the story and Bong not only shows us the flat out human fear and hysteria if something like this existed but also illustrates to us what government control can convince us of.
But the balls of the story is about family and what each of us would/wouldn’t do for our family. Kang-ho Song’s portrayal of a damaged, lazy but loving father is remarkable. His daughter in the story gets kidnapped and the journey that he, his brother, sister and father take to try and get her back at all costs is heart warming. Each family member has their own demons they must over come and you are rooting for every single one of them equally on their own personal journeys.
The extras aren’t much but hearing director Bong Joon-Ho talk about his vision and ideas is quite eye opening and worth a view.
This movie cannot just be put in the horror genre nor should it even. It should be described as a comedic thriller with an important political message all held together by the love a family has for each other. This is a must see film for so many reasons. The Host will be a cult classic. Mark my words.