The Host

Looking like the mutant spawn of a Sesame Street creature and a dump truck, the gape-mouthed beast terrorizing Seoul in The Host galumphs around the riverside with a spastic gait, gobbling up onlookers and later snoozing amid their upchucked remains. With random flippers and rolling eyes, he may not be handsome or efficient, like your Godzilla or your Alien fiend, but, dammit, he’s ours—or South Korea’s, in this smash 2006 horror-comedy. No surprise for a movie directed by Bong Joon-ho (Memories of Murder), there’s a political subtext to the occasional gore and family shenanigans. The beast may or may not’ve been caused by toxic waste dumped in the Han River by our U.S. troops stationed nearby. Korea is host to our military, the beast may be host to some kind of virus, or maybe it’s those creepy, lying foreigners—i.e., us Yanks—who are the virus. With a short prologue in English, The Host (also screening Sat.) never dwells on causes. It’s basically a missing child caper movie, with a dimwit patriarch (Memories’ Song Kang-ho) leading the Park family on a fairly inept rescue mission. And as it turns out, their low-tech methods are better suited to varmint killin’ than all their government’s U.S.-abetted might. (R) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 781-5755, $7-$9.50. 12 a.m. BRIAN MILLER

Sept. 27, midnight, 2008

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