Here’s the next installment of my top 31 horror films since 2000.
#15 The Host (2006)
Well Korea’s back with what many have called the best monster movie since Jaws. Maybe, maybe not, but it’s a breathtaking movie, with a wondrously weird monster and characters, and a beautifully tragi-comic story to boot.
The Host is the antithesis of what you’d expect from classic monster movies. Writer/Director Joon-ho Bong turns almost every genre trope on its head: the heroes are a family of bumbling failures, the monster is just as dumb and not as scary looking so much as it is fascinating to watch. But it’s not without its charms – the biggest being that it’s the antithesis of every other monster movie out there. It’s both hilarious and sad. The characters are well rounded and wonderfully flawed, complex in their simplicity. And it’s scary, but in a “what did I just witness” kind of way, like watching a bear maul a zookeeper.
The story is simple: toxic waste is spilled in the river Han, creating a weird fish meets salamander-like beasty that runs amok along the riverside parks, swallowing up people to regurgitate later back at its den, which is hidden in the labyrinthine sewer works of Seoul. A clumsy dad loses his young daughter to the beast, and after receiving a jumbled cell phone call from his daughter’s phone (soon after one of the most bizarre grieving sequences in film) he gathers his father, brother and sister to join him in tracking her down. And so begins a strange and very messed up adventure for the family who must also evade a paranoid military presence, anti-pollution activists, crazed scientists, Americans, and their own frailties in order to find their missing kin. Each must dig real deep to pull from what seems like their only redeeming asset and pull together in order to be victorious. This is the heart of the film; the belief that a uniform band of nit-wits, bonded by their love for each other, can do the impossible. Well, almost.
Check out the trailer below and be sure to tune in tomorrow for #14.
Half way there. The list so far.
#31 The Damned (2014)
#30 A Serbian Film (2010)
#29 The Inside (2012)
#28 Calvaire (2004)/Inbred (2012)
#27 Frankenstein’s Army (2013)
#26 Thale (2012)
#25 Bridgend (2013)
#24 The Grey (2011)
#23 Across The River (2013)
#22 The Pact (2011)
#21 Rec (2007)
#20 Baskin (2016)
#19 Let the Right One In (2008)
#18 Resolution (2013)
#17 I Saw the Devil (2010)
#16 Spring (2014)