Host, the/Gwoemul - Good Host

Alliance Atlantis
Duration: 119min
Category: horror
Available: On DVD
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Monster movies are hard to make. They are inherently ridiculous and the film makers have to balance the fantastic with the allegorical aspects. Usually, these films fail in that they arenít scary enough or not believable enough. Fortunately, every now and then a smart, fun little monster film comes along and The Host is one of those.

The best monster movies are scary. They build a tension that can be bought into. The bad ones just have the monster jump out at you and scream. The good ones build a sense of impending doom that carries you through the film.

The Host mostly achieves this. Unfortunately, the film has a sense throughout that itís stalling a bit. There is too much time between the action, and often the action is too brief. Therefore, some of the tension that is built up is lost. Most often it does work and when itís working itís great.

The Host manages to deal with the ridiculous parts well too. It allows for the characters to provide enough comic relief that you can accept some of these crazy situations. You see the monster too much though and the special effects arenít completely up to snuff so that takes the audience out of the film a bit. A bit more mystery would have served this film well. Maybe watching the film on a smaller screen at home would help with that.

The other good thing that a good monster movie does is allegory. There is always a moral lesson, usually about man destroying the environment, and The Host does that very well. Its little subplot about government generated paranoia and biological weapons is classic and timely. The latter half of this decade is the perfect time for a monster film like this and The Host milks it. The only downside again is how much time the film spends on this. It could have been edited a bit tighter. Still, the conspiracy aspects were even scarier than the monsters.

There were a few plot holes that I found confounding. For example, in the end the government deploys ďagent yellowĒ which is to have the effect of wiping out every living being in the area. It does quite a bit of damage to the super strong monster yet many people seem to be able to run around breathing it in without any effect.

Overall, The Host succeeds. I guess we are in for the inevitable Host 2 which will likely drain the series of any of the believability it had left. Until then, rent The Host and enjoy and remember to dispose of toxic chemicals properly.

Review By: Collin Smith

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