The Host. 2006. South Korea. Directed by Bong Joon-ho. Screenplay by Bong, Ha Won-jun, Baek Chul-hyun. With Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il. 35mm. In Korean; English subtitles. 120 min.
A monster appears within Seoul’s Han River, snatching the daughter of a family running a riverside snack shack before disappearing back into the depths. In Bong Joon-ho’s hands, this vignette expands into a combination of monster movie, family comedy, and social commentary, as the family battles government and monster alike on a quest to save their daughter. Emblematic of Bong’s characteristic wit and nuanced social takes, and starring Song Kang-ho, longtime Bong collaborator and star of Parasite (2019), The Host similarly centers on the socially adrift in Korean society and the looming specter of American imperialist intervention.