The Host (2 disc) DVD
This DVD is currently unavailable to order
Directed by Joon-Ho Bong
Produced in 2006
Main Language - Korean with English subtitles
Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon
Just when you thought the monster movie genre had run its web-footed course, The Host, a cracking South Korean effort from director Joon-ho Bong, jumps out of the water and swallows you whole.
Billed as The Royal Tenenbaums vs Godzilla, Little Miss Sunshine vs Tremors, or (my personal favourite), The Royle Family vs Pulgasari, Bane of Koryo, The Host dispenses with shock scares or knowing camp to focus on a family of misfits as they defy the authorities to pursue the mutant tadpole that abducted their little girl. The result is a bittersweet comedy as black as undisturbed water; thrilling, gruesome, moving, funny and sad.
Of course, none of this would matter if the creature itself was a washout. Fortunately, it’s a triumph of cold-blooded, gimlet-eyed menace. As rain and mist descends, the beast lurks contentedly in the bone-chilling concrete of the Han River sewer system while its warm-blooded victims huddle together for warmth.
A Hollywood remake is already on the cards, but our advice is to taste this fish while it’s still fresh.
Milo Wakelin on 1st February 2007
Author of 105 reviews
Following a toxic spill, a giant tadpole rampages along Korea's Han River. A family of oddballs must set aside their differences to defeat the beast in a unique fusion of monster movie and family drama. A fantastic monster and some genuinely touching moments set this Korean-language film well above the high water mark.
Publisher: Optimum Releasing
Length: 119 mins
Aspect ratio: 16:9 Anamorphic Wide Screen
Cat No: OPTD0754
Format: DVD Colour
- 2 discs
- Gag Reel
- Audition tapes
- Creature making process
- Deleted scenes
by Anon on 23rd October 2007
Korea’s top-grossing film of all time The Host is a monster movie with a difference. Seen by ten million people during the first three weeks of its Korean release, the... Read on
Korea’s top-grossing film of all time The Host is a monster movie with a difference. Seen by ten million people during the first three weeks of its Korean release, the film directed by Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder), combines genre-typical special effects with family drama, comedy, and political satire. Heroism in the film belongs not to a super hero but to a slightly dysfunctional working class family that bands together when it counts to battle a mutant tadpole that has abducted a member of the family.
Set in Seoul, the Park family operates a snack food stand near the Han River selling squid, candy and beer to picnickers at the beach. The fun starts when a US Army scientist orders his Korean assistant to pour gallons of deadly formaldehyde down the drain and into the Han River. A few years later, fishermen see an odd-looking tadpole but let it go on its way. Enhanced by special effects, the cute little tadpole soon becomes a monster fish the size of a truck that threatens the community. Spoiling a perfectly good summer afternoon, it comes out of the river to capture and kill hordes of innocent bystanders. The creature has no designs for world conquest. It is just hungry and eats whatever or whoever is available for lunch. When the monster captures Kang-du's daughter Hyun-seo, the family decides that they alone can save her.
One might imagine different subtexts to explain the film: fear of the monster that lies within us, the dangers of pollution, our inherent distrust of government, a Western-type arrogance that would rather create lies about a nonexistent virus than face up to reality. Whatever one you decide on will work. The bottom line, however, is that The Host is a scary monster movie that is well crafted and highly entertaining and has a compelling human factor that is both comic and tragic.
by Barry Forshaw on 16th April 2007
The acclaim that greeted this immensely enjoyable monster movie from Korea is hardly surprising, given the number of levels on which the film delivers. Inspired by M N... Read on
The acclaim that greeted this immensely enjoyable monster movie from Korea is hardly surprising, given the number of levels on which the film delivers. Inspired by M Night Shyamalan's Signs (in which an alien invasion is refracted through the experiences of one ordinary family), Joon-Ho extrapolates this into a dysfunctional Korean family’s search for a missing daughter, kidnapped by a monstrous mutated creature. It's the latter, of course, which guaranteed the film such immense commercial success – the director and his special effects team delivers the monster's attacks (notably its first riverside assault) with tremendous panache. Hide
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