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Movie Reviews -- The Host

The Host is the first in a series I like to call Mike's Picks. (I told him Monday night, after his most recent pick, that his welcome-home streak of movie choices is over. My turn again.) It was campy and fun. It was also too long, a little confusing, and very frustrating.

First off, this is a South Korean horror film. I think some of the subtitles were mis-translated, but it's pretty easy to follow along. Sort of, depending on how much you care about the movie. There's a slacker guy who has a little girl and they live with his father who runs a snack shop on the riverfront. A monster jumps out of the river one day, eats a bunch of people, and carries some away to snack on later, including the little girl. (Did you catch that? Snack shop owner? Snack on the snack shop owner's granddaughter?) A bunch of people who were in contact with the monster get sick. Due to the confusing subtitles, I thought the sickness was SARS and I spent most of the movie thinking the South Koreans were overreacting just a tad to a SARS outbreak. But Mike said it was "like SARS." Oh. And the river monster is The Host to the disease. SARS or not, I don't think they spent enough time worrying about how to catch the monster. It was all quarantines and no dredging of the river.

The grandfather, and the guy, and the guy's brother and sister find out the little girl is alive and have to escape the refugee hospital to go rescure her. And hilarity ensues. Not really. A severe police state interferes and makes things difficult and there's a lot that could have been cleared up with the use of some simple technology, like the call log on the cell phone that the little girl uses to call her family.

Are you confused yet? Imagine watching all this unfold for over 2 hours in Korean. It was mildly entertaining but there were a lot of annoying continuity problems, even for a campy horror flick. If you're going to see it, it's good to see on the big screen so that the monster is super large. There's definitely an audience for this movie. I just don't think I was meant to be a part of it.

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