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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2006!
THE HOST, 2006
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hae-il Park, Du-na Bae, Ah-sung Ko
A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people.
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One of the Eastís most famous exports, especially regarding film, is Godzilla. It has been attacking screens for over 50 years now and other than maybe King Kong there really is no rival in terms of monster movies, though both have suffered from the detriment of rather irksome American remakes. Itís fascinating then to find this little gem from Korea, a country whose cinema has really taken off over the last decade thanks to a crowd pleasing ethic regarding style, some trail blazing and critically acclaimed directors and not least some interesting stories to tell.
Host may be a genre piece but in terms of success and enjoyment it certainly hits the mark. In one of the quickest set-ups committed to film a monster is born in Seoulís Han River after some coroners dump old formaldehyde into the water system. Years later before the first strike we are introduced to Gang-du and his family. Gang-du is an apathetic young single father who works at his fathersí river side cafe. His daughter is the sweet Hyun-seo who returns from school eager to watch her aunt, Gang-duís sister on television. The aunt/sister, Nam-joo, is an archery medallist representing her country. Later we also meet gang duís brother Nam-il who is an out of work graduate.
Back to the river side though whilst trying to run the cafe and watch Nam-joo on television people notice some life under the water. Thinking it to be fish they start to throw their fast food into the water. Suddenly a giant creature leaps out of the water and begins to attack and devour onlookers, who by now are starting to flee in panic. In the affray Hyun-Seo is taken by the monster across the river and out of sight into the sewer system. Gang-du, distraught is then rounded up with the masses by the bungling authorities.
The people are held and treated, but the authorities want to quarantine those that came into close contact with the creature as they believe it to be some kind of viral problem. Gang-du is immediately taken aside but in hospital at night he receives a call from Hyun-seo and tries to launch some kind of rescue attempt. But rather haphazardly the authorities donít believe his story and merely put his actions down to grief. He manages to convince the rest of his family and they break out of the hospital and head for the sewer system to rescue Hyun-seo.