Monday, April 2, 2007

Jason watches "The Host"

And it's a pretty cool Korean monster movie (with moster effects from SF's own The Orphanage, so it's got a local connection). In fact, it's the highest grossing Korean movie ever (that is, demostic gross in South Korea). I like pretty much everything about this movie. The monster's cool looking and scary. The humor works, the pathos works. But most of all, the heavy anti-authoritarian message really, really works.

It starts out with an anti-U.S. statement, as the evil American doctor in the morgue on a U.S. military base forces his Korean assistant to dump hundreds of bottles of formaldehyde down the drain, just because the bottles got dusty. The drain goes to the river, and creates a giant mutant monster. But if the Americans are corrupt, the Korean authorities are complicit--either through corruption or incompetence, as the resulting monster quickly rampages out of control, and is the host for a virus that slowly kills anyone who touches it. Caught in the rampage is the Park family--specifically Park Gang-Du, a really bad father who misses his daughter's parent-teacher day but makes up for it by giving her an ice-cold beer because after all, she's in junior high now. His daughter Hyun-seo is taken by the monster, and thought to be dead, until he gets a phone call from her the next night. She's trapped in the sewers somewhere, so he has to break quarantine and find her, with the help of the whole family--Grandpa, uncle Nam-il (brilliant college graduate, but drunk and unemployed), and aunt Nam-joo (a bronze-medal archer, but would be gold if she wasn't so hesitant).

This movie is great, and works on so many levels--comedy, horror, politics, family, everything.

Okay, I've already written more than I typically do for general release. Got to to read tons more reviews (it's got a 92% fresh rating as of this writing).

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