Summer 2007 Summer Films series
Sunday, July 15, 2007 at 8:00pm
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
Starring Ko A-sung, Du-na Bae, Hae-il Park, Hie-bong Byeon, and Song Kang-ho
Rated 14A ·
Korean and English
Bong Joon-ho’s The Host is a giddy revelation — an inspired and unexpectedly moving contribution to the monster movie genre. Several years ago, a crooked government official from the United States ordered the dumping of toxic substances into Seoul’s Han River. Years later, the hapless Gang-du (Song Kang-ho) is working at his father’s food stand along the river, caring for his bright daughter Hyun-seo (Ko A-sung). But one day, a monstrous creature emerges from the water and embarks on a murderous rampage throughout the community, swallowing Hyun-seo whole.
Gang-du’s bullish younger brother Nam-il Park (Hae-il Park) and sister Nam-joo (Du-na Bae) condemn him for being such a failure, while their father angrily chastises them for being so cruel. But when Gang-du receives a cell phone call from Hyun-seo, the family must band together to reclaim her.
Unfortunately, at this stage, the government has announced that the monster is the host of a dangerous virus, and anyone who has come into contact with it — namely Gang-du — must be isolated. As the monster continues to wreak havoc on Seoul, Gang-du, his father, and his siblings must learn to work together to bring Hyun-seo home.
Bong Joon-ho’s third film, after Barking Dogs Never Bite and Memories of Murder, firmly establishes his status as one of the world’s most gifted storytellers. Not simply a monster movie spectacle — though it is certainly that and then some — The Host also works as a poignant family drama and a biting critique of America’s invasion of Iraq.