Tuesday, March 13, 2007

This Is a Monster Movie

Saturday night Tim, Bobby, and myself had the pleasure of seeing a wonderful movie called "The Host." It's a South Korean film that seems to be only playing in a handful of theaters across the country. That's a shame because this is a great movie.

The premise is your standard B-movie fare of a monster created by something toxic (radiation from atomic bomb testing, chemical spill, etc.) in this case toxic formaldehyde is dumped into a river. Monster then proceeds to wreak havoc. The director takes this framework and twists it around into a funny and frightening family drama.

The monster revealing itself in a terrific opening sequence takes away the Park family's youngest member, a young girl named Hyun-seo. Her father is a bumbling idiot who helps his grumpy grandfather run a small store on the river where the monster emerges. Discovering that Hyun-seo is still alive and captive in the monster's lair, her father and grandfather are joined by her aunt an Olympic-class archer who moves too slowly, and an uncle who is an unemployed salaryman.

Their hunt for Hyun-seo is impeded by not only the betrayal of their friends, their government, and the American military, but by the family's own issues among its members. It's no surprise that Hyun-seo seems to be the only stable member of the family.

Throughout the movie there are jabs at the Korean government and the constant American military presence. The movie is really all about the Parks and their struggle to keep the family together.

There are moments of absurdity, slapstick, horror, and a lot of heart. The middle does drag a little while it focuses on the family turmoil, but it that focus makes the climactic ending resonate stronger.

If by some chance The Host comes to a theater near you I highly suggest seeing it. At least be sure to add it to your netflix, or buy the import on ebay.


bobby said...

It should be noted that one third of our group (Tim) did not like it at all. I suspect that the national average will be higher than one third.

Tim said...

Correction. Tim liked parts of it...but he couldn't get behind it like you two. It could have been an absolute gem, but a few things smelled like bad kimchi to me.

MOL Junior said...

this is actually playing near me...it sounds ridiculous, but i mat see it since you fellas liked it. noy many good indies out theres these days.

more than anything i'm just jealous that you guys hung out when i wasn't there to join in. who gave you permission???