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Spence Welcomes THE HOST!!

Merrick here...

Here's Spence with a look at THE HOST -- which will screen at this year's Fantastic Fest, and is currently positioned to open in the U.S. the first quarter of next year.

This one's from Korea. Anyone out there seen TUBE? It's trippy. Sort of a Michael Bay-esque, DIE HARD inspired film also from Korea. If you're ever in the mood for a slick-but-funky actioner, check it out!

You can see HOST's trailer HERE!

Hey Harry,

As promised a review of The Host from Fright Fest in London.

Well just got back from seeing The Host at London?s Fright Fest, we were lucky enough to see the 2hrs 11 min cut which I do believe will not be the version us westerners see on release.

I don't know how many of you have seen Memories Of Murder, which is an absolutely criminally underrated classic of Korean cinema, now I know you yanks are scared of non American flicks (love that Severance feedback!!!) and well subtitles , that is some amount of concentration for you, words & pictures!!

But anyway, Joon-ho Bong directed Memories Of murder, which I personally think is a better picture than Old Boy, yeah it doesn?t feature that hyper kinetic style and outrageous set pieces, but it has a lot more style, substance and characterisation . So I was pretty excited to see that he had decided to make a giant monster on the rampage flick , it?s been a good nine months since pictures surfaced on the net, and well now it's finally here, the theatre was rammed, and there was an air of expectancy all over especially as this has turned out to be the highest grossing film in Korean history.

The movie begins with an actual event that happened in 2000 when a US military facility dumped a huge amount of formaldehyde in the Han River, in real life the a US military employee was convicted but served no jail time , in the movie a giant monster is mutated and lives in the river just waiting to go on the rampage, personally I?m glad we went with the giant monster, as a five year trial may not have been to interesting.

I don't want to go into spoilers, but basically the flick centres around Park Gang-Du and his family, during the initial monster rampage Gang-Du?s daughter ,Hyun-Seo is taken by the monster , the government don?t believe she is alive and have Gang-Du committed ,and well the family have to fight not only the monster but the Korean authorities to get her back. This is the movies trump card, instead of being just a monster movie the director throws a huge amount of politics into the mix, the tension of the US and Korea boiling over into how they deal with this threat, the government announces that the monster is a Host for a new deadly virus, worse than sars, and then uses draconian measures to keep the people in check.

Myself and my girlfriend both loved it, although we disagreed on the humour , I thought the slapstick was unnecessary and detracted from the sombre, human story of loss and struggle, whereas my girlfriend argued that without the funnies it would have been to dark and depressing and the comedy made her care more for the tragedy that befell the Gang-Du?s , without doubt a lot of the humour does not translate, we saw it in a crowd that was split fairly evenly between Westerners and Asians , and a lot of the home-grown humour was lot on us westerners.

But if my only gripe is slapstick comedy then , well, that isn?t too bad, the cinematography and direction are outstanding, there is a scene at the beginning of the film involving a suicide of a businessman that is simply beautiful and heartbreaking, again as in memories Of Murder Joon-ho Bong uses the rain in such a poetic manner that it almost becomes a character of the movie.

I don't want to give you any spoilers, as what happens to the family and the people they encounter, is nothing short of shocking and unexpected, with many twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

The CGI is okay, it isn't amazing , the Host itself looks like a giant salamander that walks on it's hind legs, but the film looks beautiful and has a very human heart.

This is a treat from start to finish and I hope everyone gets to see it on the big screen, where it belongs.

I think this will end up being remade, and fucking ruined by some hack US jobbing director. I know you lot are going to fucking moan how there isn't enough info in the review but, I just wanted to give you a feel for it.


Readers Talkback
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  • Aug. 29, 2006, 10:28 a.m. CST

    You know how I know you're gay?

    by darquelyte

    You watch Korean action Korean.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 10:28 a.m. CST

    zombie first

    by kidjingo

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 10:30 a.m. CST

    You weren't first...

    by darquelyte

    ....and please stop posting links to that "movie." It sucks. It's lame. It's not very good. It's boring. It's already old.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 10:37 a.m. CST

    I probably won't watch this movie

    by Everett Robert

    not because it isn't good or because I can't stand subtitles. I can watch subtitled movies and it does look interesting, but I won't see this because I live in the middle of nowhere Kansas, so it means I'll never see it in the theatre and probably not even on related, couldn't hardly read this because of the ? where ' were supposed to be

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Memories od Murder was great

    by Mantenna

    I wish Kang-ho Song would be in every single korean movie.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 11:07 a.m. CST

    Hold on now

    by Mits777

    Memories of Murder was awesome but it definitely is not better than Oldboy. Check out this awesome review website.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 11:15 a.m. CST

    Monster Movies

    by Brendon

    From 2006's best Monster Movie, The Host, to 2007's - Romero's Diary of the Dead. Here's lotsa spoilers: Sounds good, doesn't it?

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 11:35 a.m. CST

    Fuck off Spence!

    by Frank The Rabbit

    Fucking Limey

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 11:49 a.m. CST


    by tompbeast

    a big, fat, rampaging Tadpole movie! with slapstick?

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 11:53 a.m. CST


    by The_Deathticle

    People walking slowly through a house does not good suspense make. Also... a cat? Did you actually break your "suspense" with a CAT? There is not one thing about that movie that is original or suspenseful. You should have had the girl at least fight the husband zombie. An action scene set against the tired monotone of the radio voice would have juxtaposed nicely and would have at least ratchetted up the suspense some. I say you should ditch the cat. Introduce something truly creepy into it. How about we find out that the couple has a child. The child has gone zombie and the mother is keeping it locked in a bedroom. The child bit the husband. Now the husband is turning too. You know, ramp up the terror just a little.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 11:54 a.m. CST

    You know putting Vs. in the title is not a good move

    by FordPerfect

    It is going to imply that you are just trying to rip something a new one. Also, don't try to make a capitialize on Verns monster review. That Shit was great!

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 12:09 p.m. CST

    What about..?

    by cubik

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 12:24 p.m. CST

    you know how i know you're gay?

    by mocky_puppet

    you're a giant salamander who walks on his hind legs with subtitles.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 12:30 p.m. CST


    by The_Deathticle

    I've gotta second FordPerfect on that point. The headline totally sets up a negative review. I mean, what's going on with the "editors" of this site? We don't need "snappy" titles for the articles that try to shoehorn the title of the film into some stupid pun. And the VS headlines need to go, too.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 12:31 p.m. CST


    by Ace Hunter

    Thanks for the link. I've been jonesing for that flick ever since Project G-light. Definitely won't be no Stolen Summer/Battle of Shaker Heights! Plus, the sooner this comes out the sooner the Project G-light boxset DVD will come out.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 12:36 p.m. CST

    Harry's new Flash Graphic...

    by cerebulon

    Harry... that Starfighter graphic is FRAKING KICK ASS.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 12:42 p.m. CST


    by PwnedByStallone

    Who cares about this crap? I want more Transformers news to bitch about!

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 1:17 p.m. CST

    MAN IN SUIT!!!

    by brycemonkey

    That mutant tadpole is JuggFuckling the Korean authorities... Bastard.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Damn you Girth!

    by brycemonkey

    Well played.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 1:45 p.m. CST

    I was trying to be First!

    by brycemonkey

    with the appropriate use of JuggFuckled in this TB. And you beat me fair and square...

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Spence = Patton Oswalt.

    by fiester

    Still not funny.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 5:12 p.m. CST

    Damn you both.

    by ZombieChrisReeve

    Girth and bryce beat me to the Jugg Fuckle. That, my friends, is the unkindest JuggFuckle of all.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Off the subject:

    by CreasyBear

    ZombieChrisReeve, just when I think I'm inured to all bizarre usernames (e.g., Song of the Sausage, Doogie Howitzer, Mr. Beckinsale, Cumlauncher), you come along.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 7 p.m. CST

    "Welcomes" is even worse.

    by The_Deathticle

    The new article title is even worse. Not only is it now one of those damn "cutesy" puns, but it's used all wrong. You don't welcome a host. The host welcomes you. Wanna try again?

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 7:13 p.m. CST

    My Girlfriends saw this and...

    by Drworm2002

    gave it 6 out of 10 stars. She said there are no twists. You kind of see everything coming. I have to wait till it comes out on DVD here in Korea so I can see it. But she said it was ok to see. She can't watch scary movies too much. She got scared in one sceen of Scary Movie 4, but this movie didn't scare her at all.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 9:59 p.m. CST

    Damn, I thought this was like that X-Files ep...

    by Osmosis Jones

    ...with the mutated Flukeman.

  • Aug. 29, 2006, 11:25 p.m. CST

    Memories of Murder was indeed better than Oldboy...

    by DarthBakpao the reviewer said, it was a criminally underrated movie...

  • Aug. 30, 2006, 1:29 a.m. CST

    thanks for the spyware warning dude

    by tHEmOOG

    you suck

  • Aug. 30, 2006, 10:42 p.m. CST

    What's the matter, Spencer?

    by Womb2dooM

    Can't you concentrate on words AND pictures AND humour? Patronising wanker. I was in a cinema packed with asains and I was the only Australian and I laughed my arse off at the funny stuff. This movie was awesome.