THE HOSTKorea-119 Mins. 2006

Directed by Joon-ho Bong

Written by Joon-ho Bong, Won-jun Ha and Chul-hyun Baek


Kang-ho Song as Park Gang-Du

Ah-sung Ko as Park Hyun-seo

This is an odd entry into the giant monster film genre. The creature resembles a fisherman’s worst nightmare. The first half or so of the film up to and including when the creature first appears is top-notch. However I felt that it kind of bogged down in the second half and I found myself wishing that it would get to the conclusion. All in all, though, there is just enough comedy to keep it interesting and enough action to keep it rooted in the giant monster from an Asian country genre. Question is, do I recommend it? Hmm….I’d have to say yes. Stay scared, everybody!!


The event described in the beginning of the film is based on an actual event. In February 2000 at a US military facility located in the center of Seoul, a US military civilian employee named Mr. McFarland was ordered to dispose of formaldehyde by dumping it into the sewer system that led to the Han River, despite the objection of a South Korean subordinate. The government attempted to prosecute Mr. McFarland in court, but the US military refused to hand over the custody of Mr. McFarland to the South Korean legal system. Later, a South Korean judge convicted Mr. McFarland in absentia. The Public was enraged at the government’s inability to enforce its law on its own soil. In 2005, nearly five years after the original incident, Mr. McFarland was finally found guilty in a court in his presence. However, he never served the actual prison sentence, and there have been no sightings of a mutant creature in the Han River – yet.

The crew of the film used metal barrels to make the splash effects whenever the monster would dive into the water.
Director Joon-ho Bong and the designer of the creature nicknamed it Steve Buscemi, based on the actor’s screen persona and the way he acted in the movie Fargo.

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