The Host (Standard Edition)First of all, pouring countless bottles of formaldehyde down a sink drain is a bad idea. Especially when that drain runs into Seoul’s Han River. And especially when said formaldehyde mixes with an existing creature in the river and mutates into a giant blood-thirsty crocodile-squid-alien that immediately begins to ravage the city. A young scientist learns this lesson within the first ten minutes of the pulse-pounding horror-comedy The Host.

Unwilling to stick to the typical monster movie layout, The Host is two hours of almost constant, frenetic action sequences following the quest of one family to reclaim their youngest member from the mutant beast’s lair deep in the sewer. After a brutal attack on a lakeside park, the government and U.S. armed forces descend on the city and quarantine everyone who was near the location, claiming that the creature is a host of a terrible virus that must be contained. But with young Hyun-seo still alive and trapped in the monster’s hiding place, one family can’t let government policy stand in their way, as they set out to find and free the young girl.

The Host is an intriguing mix of strange comedy and frightfully scary horror sequences. With more shots of the creature than any similar movie to date, The Host gives audiences what they came to see: an expertly crafted and showcased horror monster running amok on the shore and then diving back into its home in the water. The gaping maw filled with razor-sharp teeth is reminiscent of Alien, while its size and swimming ability are like bringing Jaws onto the land.

Sometimes the story gets a little confusing, but Eastern films have a tendency to do that to our Western minds, especially horror films that are based around scaring you silly rather than maintaining a solid through-line. Made in Korea, The Host manages better than Japanese films such as Ju-On and Ringu to follow a legitimate story through to its thrilling end. It’s difficult to classify The Host as just one type of movie, considering it has sequences of action, adventure, horror, comedy, drama, fantasy, sci-fi, and the good old fashioned thriller mixed together into its own new breed of film (perhaps there’s some formaldehyde thrown in there for good measure).

Horror fans will find that there’s more than enough to keep them interested and constantly impressed, while movie-goers who appreciate solid acting will also be able to enjoy the film. Overall, The Host is a solid recreation and rebirth of the creature-feature for the 21st century. With a bigger monster, more realistic story, and intense and lingering shots of the ferocious beast, The Host is sure to be an instant horror classic.

To purchase The Host, visit Amazon
To view the trailer, visit YouTube

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