review for Mondo Cane a few days ago, I mentioned that only it and a movie coming later on the list had won Oscars. It turns out that was wrong - An American Werewolf in London won the Oscar for Best Makeup, and rightly so.
Tonight's movie was The Host, a monster movie from South Korea. The monster was kind of like an Asian Cloverfield, by which I mean smaller and more polite.
Actually, there are only some surface similarities to Cloverfield, but I just couldn't help making my awful, awful joke.
The movie starts with a scene inspired by a real-life event, where a Korean worker at a US Army base is instructed to poor a large amount of chemicals down the drain, eventually to end up in the Han River. Time passes, and a few years later two fishermen notice a mutant fish in the river. A few years after that, people relaxing by the river notice something strange hanging below a bridge, something which dives into the water, swims to shore, and goes on a rampage. The rest of the story mainly centers around one family trying to find their teenage relative who was abducted by the creature, and believed dead until she is able to send them a signal.
This was a pretty effective movie. I'd have liked if they'd ratcheted up the tension more in a few places, and if there had been more of the monster, but it keeps you off balance enough that it brings a few good scares. Much like the monster is kind of incidental to The Thing, with the real story being the paranoia between the other characters, the monster in this movie ends up being sort of secondary to the story, with the family's search and the frustrations of government bureaucracy being the main threads.
I give this three Cup Noodles out of five.