The Host / Gwoemul (2006)
Korea knows horror, but hell I’m not here to get political on your asses this is about escapism, gore, really bad jokes, and not a lot else. As far as I’m concerned whether it’s origin is North or South, in the realm of the horror film there is no divide in the excellent films produced in the last few years.
In fact, Korea is the boundary pushing, dark horse in the running in the horror genre and as Hollywood is rapidly and embarrassingly becoming the lame duck (don’t be fooled by my cute metaphor and feel sorry for Hollywood – it became lame while eating babies and recording musak albums to torture you in lifts with) waddling next to thoroughbreds like Spain, Japan, and the Netherlands the future is looking gorey and pretty much nowhere near that big sign in the hills.
The monster movie is a particularly difficult one to pull off by any standards – living up to the standard set by 50’s B Movies is difficult enough, never mind classics like Jaws, but occasionally someone gets brave and throws another one into the mix, and I’m sooooo glad they do because without those brave little toasters The Host would never have made it to my screen – and that, my friends would have been a travesty!
The plot begins with two morgue workers pouring copious amounts of formaldehyde down the sink, leading to the genetic mutation of a creepy looking fish living in the Han River – kind of like a modern day version of the Lambton Worm (for none Mackems I shall provide a link so you can find out what the funk I’m going on about).
The fish thing grows bigger than you’d like anything that looks that nasty to be and starts attacking folk both on land and sea, because oh yeah, did I forget to mention that the fish thing has legs too? Sea monsters are bad enough in water, seeing as though I cant swim it’s not really an issue for me, but give them legs and I’m basically screwed, because I cant run for shit either (Yes I am truly athletically blessed – I think when we all were queuing for attributes I must have been queuing for a Big Mac and a beer.). And to make matters worse – anyone that comes into contact with fishy gets a nasty virus of which fish dude is The Host – geddit? Clever huh?
This film is honestly one of the cleverest, not to mention funniest horror films I’ve seen in a while. It’s not so predictable with the kill rota either, and there are some genuinely surprising moments that make this one of my all time favourite films. There’s even a few underlying messages there for the horror buff that wants more for their money, about pollution, government control and censorship and y’know the most obvious one about not throwing stuff at massive mutated fish things – because duh, they get annoyed and eat you.
If you liked Jaws, The Blob, or Cloverfield (I added this one because Cloverfied was atrocious and by watching The Host you’ll hopefully realise this and grow as a person), you will surely love this and it will possibly make your life complete.
If not, well, it was just a film so y’know ..get over it?
The Lambton Worm – If Anyone Cares … – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lambton_Worm