The Host (Gwoemul)
A blockbuster in South Korea, this monster flick is now working its way into your cineplex. By all means, embrace its ugly-ass terror. Is it that scary? Yes. Will it reduce you to quivering jelly? Oh, my, yes! Does it bust the bonds of the Godzilla formula to fuse fright with feeling? Better believe it, dudes. Director Bong Joon-Ho (Memories of Murder) begins by showing the U.S. Army recklessly tossing pollutants into Seoul’s Han River. Six years later, that lethal lump of goo you see in the poster (left) pops out and it’s treating the panicky populace as sushi on the run. The digital effects are done by the Orphanage in San Francisco, and they’re indelibly icky. After sticking it to America, the movie lavishes its humor and its heart on a nutso family trying to rescue their little Miss Sunshine (Ko A-sung) from the beast, who’s saving her for a snack. Their individual stories bog down the film’s pace, but The Host recovers quickly to redefine horror for the new millennium. This you have to see.