The Host

Continuity-Challenged and Misanthropylicious

Posted on March 15, 2007. Filed under: film reviews, Musings, The Host |

So it occurred to me that I have probably mentioned The Host at least five or six times since the birth of the Lair. For those obsessively tracking my every move, I suppose an update is in order.

I did go see it last weekend – at my favorite theater in all of Manhattan – The Sunshine Cinema. I can’t think of a more accurately titled venue. This location surpasses all in terms of projection quality, caliber of theater patrons (for the most part, you can’t always avoid douche bags), popcorn savoryness, and programming. It truly fills me with “sunshine”. When I cross the threshold into my personal church, it’s as close to having an authentic religious experience as I can get being that I have recently reached the pinnacle (hopefully) of my jadednesses. I haven’t stepped into a church since I was ten years old, because even then the sight of hypocrites getting weepy over parables about chubby babies getting sawed in half overworked my delicate gag reflex. Although I will begrudge that the more macabre elements of the bible did perk my interest in the darker themes running through some of my now favorite films.

But digression over. Back to The Host. Bong Joon-ho manages to, for the most part, successfully weave jump out of your seat monster thrills with a heartfelt family story. Up until now, I had never seen a monster movie before where I truly cared about the victims. I just wanted to see them be gobbled up or maimed, but a true personal attachment formed to his main characters, to my surprise, within the first ten minutes of the film. These were more than meat sacks for the mutant to ravage – they were complex people who reached me. I am known to be a crier, but never in monster movies. I wept like a little bitch more than three times during this film, I won’t deny it.

The Host, for me, was further proof that no matter what genre you are working in, there is no excuse to create a crappy movie. He had all the elements/excuses to blame – a huge budget, CGI, predictable story line, but still – it’s a work of art. It digs deeper than is required and pulls out something that is ultimately genre defying.

…Kurt Loder recently reviewed The Host. I agree with most of it but I feel that calling it a film with “raggedy esprit” only validates stupid moves like it being remade by an American filmmaker. If any of my friends go see the remake they will instantly become my enemies and I will proceed to stone them to death right in front of the ticket booth.

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