|Joon-ho Bong Director||previously directed Memories of Murder|
A mutated fish in the Han River terrorizes the citizens of Seoul, particularly one family who battles to save their daughter from the creature's hidden lair.
The Director and Designer of the creature nicknamed it Steve Buscemi in regards to the famous actors appearance and performance in the movie Fargo.4 More Trivia
Monster chases crowd up banks of Han River in a tribute to "Potemkin".2 More Movie References
|Kang-ho Song||Kang-doo Park|
|Hae-il Park||Nam-il Park|
|Doona Bae||Nam-joo Park|
|Ah-sung Ko||Hyun-seo Park|
|Dal-su Oh||The Monster (voice)|
|Je-mun Yun||Homeless person|
|Roe-ha Kim||Yellow 1|
|See Full Credits|
Also known as Gwoemul, The Host is a South Korean film by director Joon-Ho Bong. The plot involves a monster known as 'the Host' which emerges from Seoul's Han River after dangerous chemicals end up contaminating the waters. When Hyun-seo, the daughter of the central character, Gang-Du, is abducted by the monster, the family attempts to rescue her by visiting the lair of the mutated creature.
The term "the Host" is applied to the creature as it is believed in the film that the monster is the host to a deadly virus, which the government of South Korea attempts to isolate by quarantining anybody who has come in contact which the creature. This creates a problematic situation for the family as they must escape quarantine before they can rescue Hyun-Seo.
The director, Bong Joon-ho, was inspired by real events to make this film. The event being, the American military dumping chemicals in Seoul down a drain, which led to possible hazardous conditions to the civilian populace. He intentionally wanted the film to have an "Anti-American" undertone.
The film opens with a Korean assistant being ordered to pour hundreds of bottles of formaldehyde down the drain by his commanding officer. Despite the fact that the dangerous chemical could contaminate the waters of the Han River, the American officer orders the reluctant assistant to empty the bottles.
The central character of the film, Park Gang-du, is an under underachieving and somewhat dimwitted individual who runs a small snack store of the edge of the the Han river with his father Hee-bong. Gang-du's daughter Hyun-seo, a student, is disappointed with her fathers lack of motivation and achievements and having to take her alcoholic uncle, Nam-il, to father-daughter day at school. Gand-du's sister, Nam-joo, is introduced as an archer competing in an archery tournament or competition.
After Gang-du is told to deliver food to patrons on the river, Gang-du notices small crowd gathering at the waters. While peering into the water, the monster emerges and begins to attack people residing by the river. During the panic and confusion of the monsters attack, Hyun-seo is taken by the monster and presumed dead by the family.
While the family is mourning the loss of Hyun-seo, the Korean government quarantines the family and others in fear of a virus spreading through the city of Seoul. The virus, which is believed to reside in the monster, causes panic amongst the government even though there is no solid proof the virus exists.
Later, after receiving a phone call from Hyun-seo, Gang-du and the family decide to attempt a rescue but cannot leave due to the quarantine and the government not believing that Hyun-seo may still be alive. While in quarantine Hyun-seo is trapped in a deep pit in the sewers of Seoul, where the monster stores its food for later use.
After a successful escape the family searches the sewers but fails to find any trace of Hyun-seo. Returning to the snack stand on the side of the river, they wake to find the monster outside the snack stand and begin to fire on it. As the monster flees the family chases and Hee-bong is killed by the creature. Gang-du is captured by soldiers while Nam-il and Nam-joo escape.
Gang-du later escapes the military by taking a medical nurse hostage and finds himself on the edge of the river once more. Now free, Gang-du discovers the monsters feeding pit but cannot find Hyun-seo. After searching, Gang-du see's the monster fleeing with a child's arm in his mouth and Gang-du assumes it must be Hyun-seo.
Later, all three siblings meet up at the river where they battle and kill the monster after Gang-du pulls two children from the monsters mouth. One child being Hyun-seo, and the other a small boy who was also taken by the monster. Despite the efforts to save Hyun-seo, she is found to have died of suffocation while inside the monster, the other child survives the ordeal.
The film ends with Gang-du and the small boy living together as a family in the snack shop.
Much of the movie was filmed in real sewers, leading to health concerns for the cast and crew. Everyone involved in the underground scenes required inoculations for tetanus, plus there were concerns for the dust that was present during the summer shooting.
Weta Workshop, a special effects company based out of Miramar New Zealand, was responsible for all the models and animatronics. They were given the specifics of what the creature looked like by Chin Wei-chen, who initially designed the creature. The creature's CGI was was done by a company in California, The Orphanage.
After the hype of it's premiere at the Cannes Film festival, it set a new record in the South Korean box office, earning 17.2 million dollars on opening weekend of August 6th. Going on to earn 48.5 million within a month of release.
The film has also received very positive reviews from critics. It has a 92% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and has an 85 out of 100 on Metacritic. The film is on Quentin Tarantino's list of top 20 films since 1992, and in on a number of critics' top 10 lists.
The Host has won numerous awards. It won best picture in the 2006 Blue Dragon Film Awards, 2006 Korean Film Awards, 2007 Baeksang Arts Awards, and 2007 Asian Film Awards. It also won the jury prize at the 2007 Pusan Film Critics Awards.