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The Host
Saturday, 12th May, 2007 Posted by Beren @ 21:04:18

Last week I went and saw the Host, a (south) Korean scary monster type movie. Going into this movie I wasn’t expecting it to be that great. I have never been a huge fan of the mysterious killer monster genre. I am still yet to be bothered to see Peter Jackson’s re-imagining of King Kong. So I really was not expecting to enjoy the movie very much, however I found myself very pleasantly surprised by the film. And over the last week and a half I have been telling everyone I have seen to see this movie.

The movie is without a doubt a solid monster flick, but it also has so much more. The main characters feel like they could probably fit into an ensemble comedy movie that stands by itself minus the monster. The setup for the movie, and then many references to the American military throughout the film, also add enough material to label the film a political commentary. So with such a rich depth of elements in the film and with many genuine funny and scary moments, the film really does rise above most other movies in this genre. The movie also does away with a lot of the normal Hollywood gaff that makes such movies predictable. Overall this movie is like a breath of fresh air.

The characters in the film really are quite well written. They are a very believable normal family that certainly has many conflicts within itself, but when some person (whether it is a massive monster or the military with their scientists in plastic suits) tries to come between them they defend each other fervently.

There is some fairly cynical commentary of American within the film, including the implied creation of the monster as a result of pollution caused by a U.S military base. This part of the plot is in reaction to an actual spill that occurred in the year 2000. Further comments are in relation to the past usage of Agent Orange, although in the film referred to as Agent Yellow. In relation to these things the director said the following: "It's a stretch to simplify The Host as an anti-American film, but there is certainly a metaphor and political commentary about the U.S."

From a Christian perspective, if you compare the movie to a hollywood monster movie it is far more wholesome. If you directly compare it to Hollywoods latest monster flick "Snakes on a Plane" (which in itself was quite humourous), The Host has virtually no swearing that I can recall. Further, there is no nudity or sex scenes. The Host does not resort to such things to please the audience, and results in not only a better movie, but a much cleaner one.

So, to sum up: go see this movie before you see the American rip off version which won’t be a patch on the original. While I usually also watch American versions of foreign films, The Departed released last year was the first one that I have seen (of many) that was actually better then the original.

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