The Host (2006), a delightful South Korean creature feature, is a bizarre often hilarious dysfunctional family drama of a passionate but clumsy clan of characters who become the Avengers when one of their own is kidnapped by a sea monster lurking in the Han River. An alien story with a big emphasis on family, it’s Little Miss Sunshine (2006) meets Super 8 (2011) in Korea.
Inspired by tales of the Loch Ness Monster, director Bong Joon-ho has created a suspenseful adventure film that’s both funny and creepy. Much of the movie takes place in the massive network of sewers under the streets of Seoul, Korea and towering bridge structures that span the great River Han, making the movie visually reminiscent of Alien 3 (1992), with its subterranean rainy industrial decay.
Unable to get any help from the Korean authorities the family breaks out of quarantine and form a search party to find their young daughter. Meanwhile the creature continues to attack and carry off unsuspecting victims to its lair for later consumption. Now fugitives pursued by the police, the family must battle the creature on their own but first they must find it and hope that it hasn’t eaten Hyun-seo yet.
Since The Host, Bong Joon-ho, has directed the highly acclaimed film, Mother (2009) and will be coming out with a new Sci-fi action drama called Snowpiercer (2013), coming to cinemas this year. Also look for a sequel to The Host, already in the works and scheduled for release next year.