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!
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.