The Host, 2006 – ★★★★½

Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite was one of the greatest films I’d ever seen, and I waited far too long to watch his kaiju drama, The Host. What leaps out immediately is that Bong’s grasp of cinematic convention and the breaking thereof sits heartily alongside the greats of the medium: Kubrick, Spielberg, Coppola, Scorsese, etc,  His creature feature melds its conceptual ties to fifties monster movies, paranoia, xenophobia, and sinister governmental actions, with an incredibly human story about a dysfunctional family trying to survive outrageous circumstances. The cinematography is gorgeous, the CGI creature stunningly effective, and the abrupt narrative changes and swings that are Bong’s signature are on full display. Not once did I know where it was going, and every time I suspected a twist, the plot lurched in the opposite direction. Now that Bong has taken home the Best Picture/Director/Screenplay trifecta for Parasite, I cannot wait to see his future projects.

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