Monday, March 05, 2007

Gwoemul (The Host)

Here Be Monsters

Gwoemul (The Host)
Starring : Song Hang-Ko (Memories of Murder, The President's barber)
Directed by: Bong Joon-Hop (Barking Dogs Never Bite)

It's a given that you imprint the monster in monster movies- - - that corrosive interloper that usurps and upsets the status quo and rallies humankind to restore order to the universe - - -with whatever you want its intrusion and threat and carnage to stand in for. The slime-black Lovecraftian reptile here comes encoded with toxic dumping and not a little wary xenophobia for intrusive Americans. But when it abducts a young schoolgirl ,and her bickering family of four - - - grizzly grandpa, buffoon dad , stoic archer aunt, hairtrigger drunk uncle - - - grudgingly coheres into a combat unit , it's the dysfunction of the family dynamic that full-hogs and heightens the drama. It's no crawl , mind, as it's steeped in another monster movie given: set piece upon set piece of rampage - - - glorious, gorgeous and (here's the killer blow) emotionally resonant rampage at that. But this creature feature's ultimately about fatherly love and the lengths blood will go to to keep its own from harm. * * * * *

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