Plot: On February 2000, the American military base of Yongson releases toxic chemicals in the drain to the Han River under the direct order of an arrogant coroner. Six years later, a mutant squid monster leaves the water and attacks people on the side of the river. The teenager Park Hyun-seo is carried by the creature and vanishes in the river. While grieving her loss, her slow father Park Gang-du; her grandfather and owner of a bar-kiosk nearby the river Park Hie-bong; her aunt and archery medalist Park Nam-Joo; and her graduated unemployed uncle Park Nam-il are sent by the army with all the people that had some sort of contact with the monster to quarantine in a facility. During the night, Gang-du receives a phone call from Hyun-seo telling that she is alive in a big sewage nearby the river. Gang-du tell the militaries but nobody believes on his words, saying that he is delusional due to the shock of his loss. The Park family joins forces trying to find Hyun-seo and rescue her.
Awards and nominations: 2006 - Asia-Pacific Film Festival Won Best Editing (Seon Min Kim ) Won Best Sound (Tae-young Choi ) Won Best Supporting Actor (Hie-bong Byeon)
2006 - Blue Dragon Awards Won Blue Dragon Award - Best New Actress (Ah-sung Ko) Won Blue Dragon Award - Best Supporting Actor (Hie-bong Byeon) Won Blue Dragon Award - Best Visual Effects
2007 - Fantasporto Won International Fantasy Film Award - Best Director (Joon-ho Bong)
2007 - Grand Bell Awards, South Korea Won Grand Bell Award - Best Director (Joon-ho Bong) Won Grand Bell Award - Best Editing (Seon Min Kim)
2007 - Baek Sang Art Awards Won Baek Sang Film - Best Film Won Baek Sang Film - Best New Actress (Ah-sung Ko)
«The Host doesn’t really have any higher reason for being than simple entertainment. It’s more Godzilla 1998 than Gojira. You won’t come away from it with any greater concern for the environment, fear of military meddling, or anything of the like. You will, however, be awed. The Host’s special effects are remarkable. While Weta has been getting much of the fan-boy attention, the real artists worth lauding are San Francisco’s own The Orphanage. You see, Weta created the scannable maquette, but The Orphanage’s CG artists made it move. Frankly, The Host’s monster is one of the most convincing special effects creations ever to hit the screen.»
«Despite cartoonish flourishes, it has never functioned at the level of movies like Tremors or Eight Legged Freaks or even Jurassic Park. This is a portrait of a country's deepest anxieties, which just happen to be distilled into a mandibled squidlike reptile. It has the tang of social realism. »
«But the anti-American subtext is easy to catch for any audience; as the Japanese monster movies of the mid-Twentieth Century were often about the atomic bomb and its effects, The Host could easily be read as, what else, an allegory for The War on Terror. When the American military uses violence, against a monster of its own creation, mind you, it's mostly a lot of innocent civilians who are hurt in the process.»
«The high tech wizardry involved in creating the monster from the Han River was absolutely impressive and as good as anything I have seen from Hollywood. Obviously on the most basic level, the Host is an impressive sci-fi film in the summer blockbuster variety, but note that the heroes in this film are not super soldiers or the military with their high tech weapons. The heroes were ordinary people, battling to save the life of one of their family members from a beast that was ultimately created by the military.»
«Special effects fall a bit short of the best. The creature roils and slithers convincingly at a distance and sometimes looks fearsome in close-ups, but its movements can be unnatural. (John Cox's Creature Workshop, which created it, got its start doing the cuddly farm animals of "Babe"!)»
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