The thing from South Korea

`Host' whips up a blend of horror and humor, but it's no `Jaws'

review c+

March 23, 2007|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic

At exhaustive length and with unseemly pride in itself, The Host tells what happens when an American military base in South Korea dumps formaldehyde down the drain and spawns a monstrous Franken- fish. It turns the Han River, which bisects Seoul, into its own Cafe Han.

The proletariat revelers who fish and sunbathe and make out by the river get refreshment from modest food stands that sell fresh-cooked squid and packaged goods. But when the Thing - it becomes known as the Host - springs full-grown from the riverbank as a sloppy Joe sort of a dragon, it makes the humans its fast food. No fire emerges from its mouth, but the halitosis is awesome.

The Host (Magnolia Pictures) Starring Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Ah-Sung Ko, Du-na Bae. Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Rated R. Time 119 minutes.

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