Opening

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Gwoemul (The Host) Reviews

Mark Holcomb
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 5/5

November 17, 2011
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

May 13, 2009
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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As ebullient and bizarre as a monster that can do back flips, leaving the viewer in a shock of delight.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 1, 2007
Jim Emerson
Chicago Sun-Times
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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 Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

April 1, 2007
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
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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 Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

March 30, 2007

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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March 24, 2007
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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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 Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

March 23, 2007
Tom Long
Detroit News
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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 Source: Detroit News | Original Score: D

March 23, 2007
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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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 Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

March 23, 2007
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
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Barely five minutes into The Host, it's already clear that a classic movie monster has been superbly unleashed. Its introductory rampage on the banks of the Han River instantly qualifies as one of the best monster attack scenes ever.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

March 16, 2007
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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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.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

March 16, 2007
Dana Stevens
Slate
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The movie pops up out of nowhere, grabs you in its big, messy tentacles, and drags you down into murky depths, where social satire coexists with slapstick, and B-movie clichés mutate into complex metaphors.

Full Review Source: Slate

March 15, 2007
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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It's unlike just about any other monster movie I've ever seen.

March 12, 2007
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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A perfect mixture of the silly and the grave.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

March 12, 2007
Scott Tobias
AV Club
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Bong still offers a powerful rejoinder to his Hollywood counterparts: Anything you can do, I can do better.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: B+

March 10, 2007
Mark Holcomb
Time Out New York
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[A] scary-funny romp.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 5/6

March 10, 2007
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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If this madly entertaining movie has a fault, it's that it's too ingenious for the genre it ostensibly inhabits.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

March 9, 2007
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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What a pleasure to watch an ambitious horror film that not only frightens but also surprises and engages us completely with its artful shifting of tones.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 9, 2007
Peter Hartlaub
San Francisco Chronicle
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A great piece of filmmaking and a legitimate science-fiction/horror classic.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

March 9, 2007
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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The problem with the film is that the sum isn't greater than the parts and the pieces don't fuse in a way that's consistently pleasing or cinematically satisfying.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 9, 2007
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The first good horror movie of the year.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3/4

March 9, 2007
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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The Host is a loopy, feverishly imaginative genre hybrid about the demons that haunt us from without and within.

| Original Score: 4/5

March 9, 2007
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
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The Host is a horror movie with a difference. South Korea's biggest box-office hit ever, the thriller -- by director-writer Bong Joon-ho -- is a fantastical genre-buster.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 9, 2007
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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Bong Joon-ho's cheerfully outrageous monster movie is set to attain instant cult status.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

March 9, 2007
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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Monster movies tend to be as misunderstood as their creatures, but dating back to 1931's Frankenstein, some haven't been about scaring us so much as enlightening us. The Host does this while disgorging a lizardlike carnivore.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 9, 2007
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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At heart, it's a monster movie, but it's one creature feature that refuses to settle into a mold, and that's precisely why it deserves a look.

| Original Score: B

March 9, 2007
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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The Host is at best a well-made entertainment mixing drama with humor, with enough populist touches to endear itself to audiences.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 9, 2007
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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The mix of dark humor, creeping suspense, and a sort of apocalyptic tenderness makes this the best horror flick in years.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 9, 2007
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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It's Godzilla with a severe case of Murphy's Law, and it is never less than bizarrely delightful.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 9, 2007
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The Host works on so many levels simultaneously that it's like getting a film series for the price of one. You must, must, must see this movie.

| Original Score: 4/4

March 8, 2007
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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A cross between Godzilla and Jaws, it manages to be both truly scary and truly funny -- sometimes all at once.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: A-

March 8, 2007
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
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A film that will catch you leaning in one direction and abruptly pull you in another, all the while building to a surprisingly emotional climax.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 5/5

March 8, 2007
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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It's a comedy, it's a vivid evocation of a dysfunctional family that comes together in crisis, it's a wondrous homage to the courage of children, it's a biting critique of the government.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

March 8, 2007
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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[Director Bong Joon-ho] brings to his subject a humanistic affection and expansive knowledge of the real world rarely found among filmmakers who single-mindedly nourished their childhood imaginations on things from black lagoons.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

March 8, 2007
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Throws a lively party with a little of everything: scares, laughs, politics and a bit of archery.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 8, 2007
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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The Host is first and foremost an ecstatic monster movie, as terrifying as it is funny.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: B

March 8, 2007
John Anderson
Newsday
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Like Wes Craven, [director] Bong recognizes the possibilities for artistic and editorial expression that lie in the fertile ground of the thriller/horror/slasher genre.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3/4

March 8, 2007
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
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A thrilling ride and a sometimes dry, sometimes sweet comedy, but beneath all that is a humane and tragic view of life worthy of the greatest films. Even those without rubber monsters.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

March 7, 2007
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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[This] wildly entertaining saga should become the hip, thinking-person's monster movie of choice.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

March 7, 2007
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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The Host, Bong Joon-ho's giddy creature feature, has an anarchic mess factor worthy of a pile of old Mad magazines.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 6, 2007
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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The Host begins with a dry, frequently absurd comic sensibility, but steadily grows darker, more intense and truly thrilling.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

March 6, 2007
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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This is a portrait of a country's deepest anxieties, which just happen to be distilled into a mandibled squidlike reptile. It has the tang of social realism.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

March 5, 2007
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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The thinking person's giant mutant tadpole pic, and just how many of those have you seen lately?

Full Review Source: Time Out

January 25, 2007
Elizabeth Kerr
Hollywood Reporter
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Bong's typical satirical, almost absurdist humor is in evidence here -- most vividly in a funeral scene that disintegrates into hysterical fisticuffs -- along with a touch of socio-political comment.

September 25, 2006
Derek Elley
Variety
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Pic, which is not even in widescreen, will be best appreciated by auds who just go with the quirky flow rather than expect regulated, U.S.-style thrills.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 25, 2006
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