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Gwoemul (The Host) (2007)


Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 147
Fresh: 136
Rotten: 11

Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 44
Fresh: 42
Rotten: 2

Critics Consensus: As populace pleasing as it is intellectually satisfying, The Host combines scares, laughs, and satire into a riveting, monster movie.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 175,519


Movie Info

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, her entire family sets out to locate the beast and bring their little girl back home to safety in South Korean director Bong Joon-ho's big-budget creature feature. Hee-bong is a man of modest means who runs a snack bar on the banks of the River Han. Along with his slow-witted eldest son, Gang-du; Gang-du's young daughter, Hyun-seo; archery champion daughter … More

R (for creature violence and language)
Drama , Action & Adventure , Horror , Art House & International , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Ha Jun-weon , Baek Cheol-hyeon , Ha Joon-Won , Hah Joon-won , Bong Joon-Ho
In Theaters:
Jul 24, 2007
Box Office:
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Gwoemul (The Host)

All Critics (151) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (136) | Rotten (11) | DVD (33)

As ebullient and bizarre as a monster that can do back flips, leaving the viewer in a shock of delight.

Full Review… | April 1, 2007
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

A horror thriller, a political satire, a dysfunctional family comedy, and a touching melodrama, Bong Joon-ho's The Host is also one helluva monster movie.

Full Review… | April 1, 2007
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Bravely shifting tones from the horrific to the slapstick and back again, Bong Joon-ho has made a movie that's comprised almost equally of family sitcom, political indictment, high-urban paranoia and maximum-geek, monster-movie delight.

Full Review… | March 30, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Rarely plays out the way you expect. Director Bong is careful to deliver the promised scares, but he is also willing to overlook plot formulas to explore his own interests.

Full Review… | March 23, 2007
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Maybe this is actually a treatise on the dissonance between East and West, science and nature, promise and tragedy. Nah. It's just a dumb, crappy horror movie that wants to be celebrated as such.

Full Review… | March 23, 2007
Detroit News
Top Critic

The film's limber and inventive director Joon-ho Bong keeps The Host creeping and leaping for its entire two hours, which are filled with incident after incident, alternately terrifying, ridiculous, suspenseful and wry.

Full Review… | March 23, 2007
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Joon-ho Bong's The Host is a very different kettle of mutated fish.

Full Review… | November 16, 2012
Empire Magazine Australasia

A livid bureaucratic satire, berserk creature feature and surprisingly somber drama, "The Host" is a convulsive, wild ride - simultaneously eliciting squirms and giggles by mashing up finger-pointing anger with "The Thing's" wiseass wickedness.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010

A pleasant reminder of the pleasures in the low-budget quickly made monster B-film of the 1950s.

Full Review… | August 10, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A subversive blast

Full Review… | August 27, 2009

This monster movie from the Republic of Korea is one of the best films of its kind.

Full Review… | July 14, 2008

Minor flaws in a film destined to be embraced by genre fans worldwide.

Full Review… | June 24, 2008

A fantastic satire/monster movie

January 29, 2008

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.

January 18, 2008

A rather tender-hearted, often sorrowful, more often hilarious view on the familial conflicts between generations and between siblings.

Full Review… | September 27, 2007
Antagony & Ecstasy

Joon-ho Bong effectue un pied de nez pour le moins renversant à une formule attribuant ordinairement une force psychologique surhumaine à ses protagonistes

Full Review… | September 21, 2007

If the slow pacing and gawky acting seem typical of low-budget monster movies, so much the better.

Full Review… | August 14, 2007
Movie Metropolis

Más que una simple película de monstruos, un raro ejemplo de entretenimiento, drama familiar, crítica política y social y humor muy, muy bizarro.

Full Review… | August 8, 2007
Uruguay Total

like a mutant hybrid spawned from the improbable union of Little Miss Sunshine and Godzilla; for in this family comedy and political satire an unnaturally evolved tadpole just happens to loom (very) large.

Full Review… | July 9, 2007
Eye for Film

The Host is a decent little monster movie that fans of the genre should enjoy.

Full Review… | June 25, 2007
IGN Movies

I was disappointed what started out as a very promising genre pic became weighted down by its own pretensions.

Full Review… | June 21, 2007
Film Scouts

a terrific popcorn movie that ... contains equal parts humor, horror and drama and turns out to be a thoroughly enjoyable "creature" movie that also contains an underlying environmental message.

Full Review… | May 7, 2007
Murphy's Movie Reviews

click for full review

Full Review… | May 3, 2007
Movies for the Masses

In spite of its assorted lumpy bits, this is a far more successful monster movie than any creature feature Hollywood has churned out in a LONG time

Full Review… | April 24, 2007
Dark Horizons

A self-aware throwback to the giant ants and nuclear-spawned mutant movies of the 1950s...

Full Review… | April 20, 2007
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Mixes the chemically enhanced intensity of a Godzilla sequel with the single-minded mission status of Harold and Kumar.

April 19, 2007

Audience Reviews for Gwoemul (The Host)

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.

John Manard

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Not since the original Godzilla film has a monster movie been so great. The Host is a standout monster horror film that is superbly acted and directed. This is a straight forward back to basics film that doesn't overdo anything with its material. With this film, the filmmakers have created an intense and memorable monster movie that echoes some of the best in the genre. The story is well crafted and it keeps you involved from beginning to end. Nowadays, monster movies go for the found footage angle, which was good at one time, but now, it feels clichéd. The Host on the other hand differs significantly from this aspect, and creates something totally refreshing in the process. With that being said, this is a fine film that is edge of you seat entertainment and is sure to delight genre fans and any viewer looking for a good monster yarn to watch. This is a creepy and atmospheric horror film that uses elements of previous monster films to create something new and exciting. I really enjoyed the film and it ranks up there with the original Godzilla film as one of the greatest monster films ever made. This is what monster films should be, a simple, yet effective picture that manages to tell a good story with effective monster carnage. Most films with monsters that have been released Stateside, don't have that same appeal. I did enjoy Cloverfield, but it wasn't great either, it all style with barely no substance, it was fun, but it didn't have the elements to make it a standout monster picture. This film on the hand is a prime example of a great movie that stands out in the genre and can give American monster films a run for their money. The Host is a great movie that I recommend not only to genre fans but to anyone looking for a well crafted monster flick.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

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.

Liam Gadd
Liam Gadd

Super Reviewer

Gwoemul (The Host) Quotes

You mean there's no virus? Right? There's no virus!
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

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