Box art for The Host

The Host

  • Rated R

independent, special interest


When a young girl is snatched away from her father by a horrifying giant monster that emerges from the River Han to wreak havoc on Seoul.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    93%
  • Audience Score
    71%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
Consumerism
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
1 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
Sex
0 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5

South Korean creature feature is wild and witty.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that creature-feature loving teens will want to see this movie, subtitles or no. If they go, they'll see plenty of scenes of the half-fish, half-reptile monster chasing, attacking, eating, and ripping up its human victims (its lair is filled with corpses and bones). In fact, the CGI-heavy violence is so excessive that it ends up being somewhat comedic. Humans use a variety of weapons against the monster (and each other), including guns, arrows (some flaming), and gas. The government lies about a virus and then assaults demonstrators with a toxic gas called "Agent Yellow." Some mourning scenes show characters crying over lost loved ones. Subtitled swearing includes multiple uses of "f--k" and plenty more salty language.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about monster movies. What's the appeal of creature features like this one?\ Families can also talk about the Parks' bravery. What brings them together with unity and purpose?
  • How does the movie update and also pay homage to classic monster movies that warn against human carelessness and arrogance, like Godzilla?
  • Are the characters in this movie being warned against anything? What could the creature be a symbol of?
  • How does Hyun-seo become a hero in the film, rather than only a victim?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    93%
    reviews counted: 30
    see all The Host reviews
  • Audience

    71%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh:

- Adam Nayman, Reverse Shot, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fresh: A perfect mixture of the silly and the grave.

- Anthony Lane, New Yorker, Monday, March 12, 2007

Fresh: Imagine Little Miss Sunshine and Alien mixed together and you'll have an inkling of what South Korea's The Host has in store for you.

- Beth Accomando, KPBS.org, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

This was a top notch monster movie and even though the dubbing was pretty bad and it more than likely added to the confusion it was a pretty solid thrill ride.

- jmanard52, Sunday, May 11, 2008

3 stars

It was not entirely enjoyable because there were some dull moments which was hard to avoid, but it was not that bad either. I did liked it. But I found one odd scene which was where the whole family gathers and cry and roll on the floor. Was that a joke? Didn't found that funny though. The ending was unexpected. I was hoping they will find the girl at the end but dead? That was not what I expected (especially after all those dramas). But it was nice to see that the dad found another kid to live with.

- 3niR, Tuesday, September 21, 2010

3 stars

Like a mix of Little Miss Sunshine and Cloverfield, this South Korean genre mix follows a rather dysfunctional family through their battle against a mutated river creature who kidnapped their youngest. Most scenes including the monster are actually pretty exciting and well done. Unfortunately, the movie falls back to somewhat out of place humor and a red herring sub-plot that could easily have been left out. The movie is everything but predictable, though. Some parts have you scratch your head, maybe due to cultural differences, but at least you never know what's gonna happen next. Fans of Asian cinema and unusual monster films should definitely have a look.

- ironclad1609, Monday, August 2, 2010