7.0/10
83,962
305 user 376 critic

The Host (2006)

Gwoemul (original title)
Trailer
2:10 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and begins attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Director:

Joon-ho Bong (as Joon Ho Bong)

Writers:

Joon-ho Bong (screenplay) (as Joon Ho Bong), Won-jun Ha (screenplay) (as Jun-won Ha) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
3,989 ( 669)
25 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Mother (2009)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder.

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Goo Jin
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim
Snowpiercer (2013)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In a future where a failed climate-change experiment has killed all life except for the lucky few who boarded the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe, a new class system emerges.

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Tilda Swinton
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae
Thirst (2009)
Drama | Horror | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hee-jin Choi
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Byung-Hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Joon-Hyuk Lee
The Wailing (2016)
Horror | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Soon after a stranger arrives in a little village, a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman, drawn into the incident, is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.

Director: Hong-jin Na
Stars: Jun Kunimura, Jung-min Hwang, Do-won Kwak
The Chaser (2008)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A disgraced ex-policeman who runs a small ring of prostitutes finds himself in a race against time when one of his women goes missing.

Director: Hong-jin Na
Stars: Yoon-Seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.

Director: Jeong-beom Lee
Stars: Won Bin, Sae-ron Kim, Tae-hoon Kim
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After being wrongfully imprisoned for thirteen years and having her child taken away from her, a woman seeks revenge through increasingly cruel and brutal means.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Byung-Hun Lee, Woo-sung Jung
Action | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Stars: Yoo Gong, Yu-mi Jung, Dong-seok Ma
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
Kang-ho Song ... Park Gang-Doo
Hee-Bong Byun Hee-Bong Byun ... Park Hie-bong (as Byun Hee-bong)
Hae-il Park ... Park Nam-il
Doona Bae ... Park Nam-Joo (as Bae Doo-na)
Ko Asung ... Park Hyun-seo (as Ko A-sung)
Dal-su Oh ... The Monster (voice)
Jae-eung Lee Jae-eung Lee ... Se-jin
Dong-ho Lee Dong-ho Lee ... Se-joo
Je-mun Yun ... Homeless Man
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
David Anselmo ... Donald (as David Joseph Anselmo)
Martin Lord Cayce Martin Lord Cayce ... U.S. Senator
Cristen Cho Cristen Cho
Philip Hersh ... Additional Voices (voice)
Paul Lazar ... US Doctor trying to operate Gang-Du
Brian Lee Brian Lee
Edit

Storyline

The film revolves around Park Hee-bong, a man in his late 60s. He runs a small snack bar on the banks of the Han River and lives with his two sons, one daughter, and one granddaughter. The Parks seem to lead a quite ordinary and peaceful life, but maybe they are a bit poorer than the average Seoulite. Hee-bong's elder son Gang-du is an immature and incompetent man in his 40s, whose wife left home long ago. Nam-il is the youngest son, an unemployed grumbler, and daughter Nam-joo is an archery medalist and member of the national team. One day, an unidentified monster suddenly appears from the depths of the Han River and spreads panic and death, and Gang-du's daughter Hyun-seo is carried off by the monster and disappears. All of the family members are in a great agony because they lost someone very dear to them. But when they find out she is still alive, they resolve to save her. Written by Plot Summary

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Du är vad den äter. [You are what it eats] Swedish DVD release See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for creature violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

South Korea

Language:

Korean | English

Release Date:

30 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Host See more »

Filming Locations:

Seoul, South Korea See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

KRW 12,215,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

KRW 10,002,411,650 (South Korea), 30 July 2006, Wide Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$314,488, 11 March 2007

Gross USA:

$2,201,923

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$89,431,890
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The computer graphics of the creature were done by Orphanage, Inc. See more »

Goofs

The sewerage they are searching the monster in, is dry and clean. See more »

Quotes

Officer: Your daughter, Park Hyun-seo, a seventh grader at Dangsan Middle School. She's on the deceased list.
Park Gang-Du: Yeah, she goes to Dangsan School... she's deceased... but she's not dead.
[the officer laughs]
Park Gang-Du: I mean, she died, but she's still alive.
Officer: Now you're talking in circles.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Just before the credits ends, you can hear a loud roar of the monster. See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Modern Monsters in Movies (2016) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Brilliant opening attack leaves the film rapidly going downhill from then on
24 April 2008 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

A release of chemicals into Seoul's Han River has an immediate and deadly impact when a mutation occurs within the animal life. The extent of this is made very clear when a massive creature attacks those enjoying a summer's day in the park. Many are killed, including young Hyun-seo. The military move in, quarantining everyone despite their grief. However Hyun-seo is still alive having been dumped in the creatures layer, deep in the sewer and uses a mobile recovered from another body to contact her father. Nobody believes his claims that his daughter is still alive though, so the family go out to hunt down the creature.

From the plot summary you would be forgiven for believing this to be a simple creature feature and indeed this idea is reinforced by a really stylish and exciting opening twenty minutes. Sadly this is not continued or indeed ever matched as the film seems to have far too many ideas and themes and far too little idea of how to pull them all together into a coherent or engaging story. It happens at the start with a clumsy and obvious "message" scene about pollution but I forgave this since everything from there went so well and the attack on the park was so professionally done. The sense of panic and voyeurism is conveyed convincingly while the action is so exciting. Once past this though we get lots of stuff about military intervention, mistrust of authorities, US intervention in Korea, foreign corporations and the inability of the man in the street to stop (or care about) any of it – or, as my partner described it, "lots of random sh1t". I do not agree with her rather harsh summary because in theory there is plenty of value in the themes and ideas that the film tries to work with and I could even accept it if I had not understood everything because I do not have the Korean frame of reference.

The problem was though that it didn't come together and the allegories and thematic content only served to slow and dull the film while also completely throwing any hope of a consistent tone. So we get suffering thrown up against comedy; horror thrown up against conspiracy; politics thrown up against family threads etc. And none of them merge at all with the end result of a film that constantly had me wondering where it was all going and, more importantly, when was it going to end? The latter question is valid because, with all these ideas the film runs to almost two hours – a trifle if a film engages you but for one this messy and erratic it is far too long a running time for this to carry.

The cast seem as lost as I was at times and their performances vary wildly. They are asked to be real people but yet also expected to carry the poor mix of humour, horror and political meaning and they cannot manage it. Ah-sung has the easiest ride as she is very much in the horror part of the film but the rest (Kang-ho, Hie-bong and Hae-il) has significantly harder roles that they cannot save from the rest of the film. Joon-ho's direction on the action and horror sequences is impressive and it is a shame that he fudges almost every other aspect of it.

The overall result is a horror movie that simply never gets close to the impact of the opening few scenes. The horror is lost in a clumsy and ineffective attempt at wider meaning and at two hours, it is far too long to sustain itself – long outstaying its welcome. Unfortunately this is one Korean film that does not deserve the hype and is only worth seeing for the excellent opening attack sequence.


8 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 305 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed