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

5 stars

Just....awesome! A great monster film with its own subtle sense of humour to it. Bong Joon-Ho's direction is superb, which shows in the way he directs some of the most intense monster attack scenes I've seen and providing us with a few memorable shots. This is not only one of my favourite monster movies, it might be one of my favourite movies of the past decade.

- fb100001050230219, Friday, July 1, 2011

3 stars

The Host is at times very odd. But overall it is a fun and entertaining creature feature. It belongs to a genre where it is easy to fail miserably. The Host doesn't fail, but rises above many other creature features because the movie isn't a pure horror comedy like many of the others. It's balance between seriousness and total absurdness is well managed.

- blkbomb, Saturday, May 14, 2011

3 stars

The Host is a pretty cool, if uneven, South Korean monster flick. The premise is simple enough. Dangerous chemicals intentionally leaked into the Han River produce a freakish aquatic mutated animal that goes on a rampage, apparently eating a lot of people. Including the daughter of a seemingly slow-witted man, who later receives a call from the girl and becomes convinced that she is still alive. The man and his two adult siblings and father escape from the military authorities that have taken control of the area, and set out to find the girl. The Host is an action-packed monster feature, but it's also hilarious and tragic. And occasionally dull, if only for brief periods of time. The inconsistent pacing of the movie was really my only big complaint, and did hurt it some in my eyes. The beginning and ending are strong, but the middle lags a bit. The creature itself is incredibly well-designed, which is good because we see a lot of it. It looks more like a living animal than a CGI creation. The actors interact with it nicely in a way that helps immerse it even more into the "reality" of the movie. The combination of thrills, humor, and poignancy make The Host something I definitely recommend. There's even some political commentary here for those who like to think a little deeper while they're being entertained. Not a perfect movie, but certainly an enjoyable one.

- lewiskendell, Friday, April 15, 2011