Wednesday, January 02, 2008

The Host with the most

Sometimes I just need a monster movie, and The Host satisfied my craving. A creepy US Army mortician orders his assistant to dump toxic chemicals down a sink that drains into the Han River in South Korea. A few years later, a giant tadpole with a vagina dentata face terrorizes picnickers in Seoul.

Sometimes The Host wants to be Shawn of the Dead, sometimes Godzilla--in other words, it's sometimes intentionally funny, and at other moments it's unintentially so. But the film is not particularly derivative, and in fact there are some quite effective moments (the monster's initial appearance on land, for instance, is handled cleverly). There's some implied criticism of how governments use fear to manipulate their citizens, but screw that high-fallutin' stuff and enjoy the beastie.

Had this been a 90-minute film, I'd call it a must-see monster flick. At two hours it's a stretch, and requires some forward scanning to get through.

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