South Korea, 2006
Director: Joon-ho Bong
I definitely have to watch more horror movies from South Korea. Already seen the outstanding "A Tale Of Two Sisters", the entertaining "Thirst" and the creepy "Whispering Corridors" -
and now another excellent Korea-flick: "The Host", one of the most extraordinary movies I've seen in a long time; a fabulous blend of monster movie, comedy, horror movie and family drama.
I love how it's written, paced and directed: it jumps from gripping suspense to over-the-top action to hilarious comedy to saddening drama back to comedy, back to action, and so on - a bit odd but eventually really enjoyable (reminded me a bit of "Kontroll").
Same for the acting: sometimes amusing, sometimes serious and always awesome, most notably the performances from Song Kang-ho, Byeon Hee-bong and Ko Ah-seong.
Highlight of the movie is of course the monster, a fabulously designed CGI creature that looks just terrific. I daresay that the monster's first appearance (when it attacks the people at the riverside) is one of the most amazing and most thrilling things I've ever seen in cinematic history.
Other highlights: the super-weird mourning scene (starts out emotional and sad, but suddenly gets incredibly humorous), the scene where the monster vomits out all the human bones, the little girl's attempt to escape from the sewer and the disquietingly calm epilogue-ending.
A remarkable and exceptional film, highly recommended!