“The Host” (also known as “Gwoemul”) broke the best selling movie record in Korea in 2006. Themed as a monster movie, The Host offers a lot more than horror… in fact it hardly qualified as a horror movie; it combines comedy, dark humor, suspense, action and just a bit of horror.

Korean movie The Host

The movie was directed by Bong Joon-ho, and starred Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hee-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Du-na and Go Ah-sung etc. None of the stars were big names before the movie, they are now.

The best selling point of the movie is perhaps on the unpredictability… it surprised me again and again with its plots when I first watch the movie. Another factor for its record-breaking in Korea was the teasing towards the Korean and US government… non-Koreans might not have the rapport though, but it’s still a good movie nonetheless.

Here’s the plot… I’ll cut it short; don’t want to spoil the suspense factor…

Year 2000, a US researcher commanded his Korean assistant to dispose formaldehyde down the drain and into Seoul’s Han River. (based on a real incident, the rest is fiction obviously)

The story then shift to present with the Park family. Hee-bong was the old father, who made a living with his eldest (and a bit useless) son Gang-du selling groceries near the Han river. Hyun-seo was Gang-du’s daughter and stayed with her father and grandfather.

Then a monster appeared from the Han River, killing people and dragging people into the river. Gang-du showed some heroic act to save others, but could not save his daughter Hyun-seo from being grabbed by the monster.

Hee-bong and Gang-du thought that Hyun-seo was dead, and the news spread to Nam-joo and Nam-il, Gang-du’s sister and brother. Then came the surprise, as Gang-du received a phone call from Hyun-seo calling for help.

Gang-du and family tried to get assistance from Korean military to save Hyun-seo, but the government officials thought that Gang-du was hallucinating, and quarantined him fearing that he might be infected with some diseases because of his close contact with the monster.

Gang-du and family had to escape from the military and pursue the monster themselves to save Hyun-seo…

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