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“The Host” (2006, Bong Joon-ho South Korea)


“The Host” is a 2006 South Korean monster, science fiction and drama film that was released two years after the SARS epidemic ended, which killed 774 people in total. Following the epidemic, South Korean filmmaker, Bong Joon-ho created this monster movie, where the monster was the main source that presumed an epidemic would arise. The actors that took role as the epidemic response team phenomenally reacted in comparison to how America handled the current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Prior to the outbreak, the main character, Park Gang-du was delivering food to customers by the water and everyone saw a mysterious creature.


Several scientists decided to experiment what would happen if they dumped formaldehyde into the river. A few years went by and a mysterious creature arose which later captured several people including Park’s daughter. Following the capture, the community had a memorial service in a school gymnasium where the military later came in to look for contacts with the monster. Everybody that was in contact with the monster had to be quarantined at hospital where tests were being done to learn more about the disease. During the hospital scene, Park ironically got a phone call from his daughter that she is alive and was placed in a sewer. Once Park received the call, he and his family escaped quarantine to save his daughter.


While down in the sewer, his daughter met a homeless boy who was also captured by the monster. In the sewer, the daughter and boy had nice conversations of what they would like to do once they were released. Eventually, the daughter tried to find solutions to escape the sewer, but time she tried to escape, the monster interfered delaying her plan to escape. Finally, Park escaped quarantine yet again but that time, he and the military were trying to kill the monster. Following several attempts from using fire, agent yellow, gunshots, Park was able to kill the monster by stabbing the throat with a pole. Unfortunately, Park’s daughter did not survive when he recovered her body inside the monster. However, the boy that was trapped with his daughter survived and Park decided to raise him because the little boy knew her and that was Park’s last piece of her.


Bong Joon-ho’s film was a really good movie because it attracted viewers to the monster. Several of the shots were crystal clear just like a movie seen in 2021, where there were some CGI effects that made the monster look real. Historically, South Korea was under a military dictatorship for several years where there was a lot of censorship within films. Also, during this time, South Korea was warming up to Western countries. It was interesting that Bong Joo-ho used American government agency in his film. Overall, “The Host” was a thrilling film to watch because it took a long time to defeat the monster and to recover Park’s daughter which was unfortunately too late.

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