The Host


Viewed – 20 April 2021 Blu-ray

I’ve been a fan of Korean cinema for a while and when Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite swept the Oscars I felt proud to see an industry I love get the recognition it deserves. This 2006 movie from the same Director, follows a dim-witted man who’s daughter gets taken by a mutated sea creature following an incident where dangerous chemicals are dumped into the local river.

Veteran Korean actor Kang-Ho Song (Parasite, Sympathy For Mr Vengeance) is again great, supported by a very capable cast. Joon-ho’s movie is part creature feature, part family drama, part black comedy, all delivered with the director’s eye for slick visuals. The editing is especially well done, with Joon-ho playing with the viewer’s expectations as situation switches to situation, which kept me glued and eventually caring about each character. The CGI for the monster is effective if not perfect, but with how the movie is shot, still proves (mostly) convincing.

It can drag its feet in places, and some of the humour felt a bit out of place at times … but overall, this was well made, quality entertainment. One to watch.

The Blu-ray, part of the recently released ‘Bong Joon-ho collection’ box set from Curzon Artificial Eye, has the movie presented in a choice of soundtracks, including Korean 5.1 in uncompressed PCM as well as DTS and Dolby Digital. The soundtrack is also available in English dubbed. Extras are plentiful with cast interviews, special effects featurettes, behind the scenes making of, deleted scenes, a gag reel and a trailer. The movie is in great condition too, with a particularly crisp image that really shows off the often vivid colour pallet and eye-catching cinematography. Not too shabby.

Verdict:

(the movie) Recommended

(the Blu-ray) Good