Based on a true story, Joon-ho Bong's Gwoemul (The Host) is probably the best monster movie put out in years. Scary, original, fun, sad, exciting, disturbing and awesome are just some of the words that could be used to describe this film. I cannot stress enough: At your earliest opportunity go see this film.

The plot is simple. The United States military dumps a bunch of chemicals into the Han river, which years later results in a mutation, a freakish
tadpole/monkey/octopus/fish thing that one day climbs out of the water and starts eating and killing people. A man, Park Gang-Du, with a sleeping disorder fights the creature, only to see his daughter stolen away by it. Later, in quarantine, the Park family receives a call from his daughter. She's alive, left in the sewer lair of the monster, unable to escape.

The Park family must escape from quarantine and attempt to rescue the daughter. The rest of the film is a roller coaster ride of a dysfunctional family versus a monster and the oppressive society that doesn't believe that the daughter could be alive. Through the course of the film heroic sacrifices and stunning feats of bravery define the Park family, against a background of incompetence and duplicity sponsored by the US government.

Yes, we're the bad guys.


The special effects are top notch. The creepiness factor is high. Joon-Ho Bong is a director to watch and watch out for. Let's hope Hollywood is paying attention. If Grindhouse is half as good as Gwoemul, we'll be lucky.