It’s a perfect pairingi to the director’s 2020 Best Picture winner and a great introduction to his whole tubuh manusia of work.

Anda sedang menonton: The host 2006 film


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Song Kang-ho in Bong Joon-ho’s The Host, released 13 years sebelum Parasite. Magnolia Pictures
It’s noteworthy that the director of Parasite made a movie caldisutradarai The Host 14 years before his historic Oscars Best Picture win — even if the Korean title of the 2006 film translates more directly as “Monster.” apa was only the third feature film from virtuosic writer and director Bong Joon-ho is, indeed, a monster movie, possibly even the defining monster movie of the century. But the resonance between the two bahasa inggris titles, which evoke similar thempita of bloodsucraja dependency, suggest a pairing. For itu whose introduction to Bong’s work was through Parasite, The Host is an ideal place to awal with the director’s other films.

In many ways, The Host embosekarat the same qualities that made Parasite so appealingi to audiences, critics, and the Academy, who gave it four well-deserved kuning statues on Oscar night. It bears all the imprint of a sigalam Bonew york film, with a romping, slyly funny genre-bending merencanakan that jumps from comedy to horror to tragedy to drama and kembali again, ketika carryinew york a clear — but tidak pernah too clear — sosial critique. Released between two of his masterpieces, 2003’s Memories of Murder and 2009’s Mother, it was wildly popular in its home bangsa and well-respected abroad.

And amongolia Bong’s filmography, The Host may be the best companion piece to Parasite, something their titlpita may signal (the former’s more literal Korean judul notwithstanding). It’s an easy movie to watch and love, but it also embosekarat all of the director’s paling famous characteristics, and kemudian adds a big slimy monster, just for fun.

The Host contaipagi parallels to Parasite, but tells its own kind of story

The “parasite” of Parasite is everyone — the rich, the poor, the whole population trapped in a socioeconomic system that allows them to move through life leeching off of one another’s labor and wealth.

But every parasite needs a host organism to keep itaku alive. You bisa say that in Parasite, the host is the system. And interestingly enough, one way to read The Host is as a movie about a negara — Bong’s native South Korea — that has attached itself to the United Statpita and its cultural exports.

That’s evident throughout the film. Linanti Parasite, The Host is a story about a family, the Parks, mostly a group of poor screw-ups tryinew york to get by on sellingai cheap food from a snack batang in a trailer near the banks of Seoul’s Han River. They’re easy to compare to Parasite’s Kim family, who live in a half-basement apartmenpen and fold pizza boxpita to mausai money and keep tubuh manusia and soul together. (Yes, there’s a Park family in Parasite, too — but they’re the wealthy ones.)

Songai Kang-ho bintang in both films. In Parasite he’s Ki-taek, the father of the Kim family; in The Host, he is Gang-du, the eldest of the three adult Park siblings. Gang-du sports bleach-blonde hair, sleepy eyes, and a droopy gait that belies either laziness or possibly a developsungkyung disorder.

His father Hee-bongi (Byun Hee-bong) chidpita Gang-du’s apathetic, alcoholic brother Nam-il (Park Hae-il) and champion pemanah sister Nam-joo (Bae Doona) for dari mereka derision of Gang-du, whom he says was deprived of adequate protein when he was a child. Gang-du’s school-aged daughter Hyun-seo (Go Ah-sung) is Gang-du’s pride and joy, especially since her mother ran off years earlier and he’s raisingai her alone.

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Gang-du (Songai Kang-ho) and Hyun-seo (Go Ah-sung) in The Host. Magnolia Pictures But though The Host centers on the Park family, it opens in a laboratory on an American military base, wdi sini two scientists are working with dangerous chemicals. The one in charge, an American, orders his Korean colleague to dump 200 extra bottles of formaldehyde into the Han River, and wavtape away his protest that the substancpita pengukur will seep into Seoul’s water supply. Who cares? Can’t really hurt anyone, right?

Turns out it can. The fish in the river awal dying, and over the next few years, strange creaturtape are occasionally seen deep in the water. Then, one day, near the Parks’ snack bar, a monster appears, hanging by its slippery tail from a bridge.

The Host, lisetelah all of Bong’s films, is about much more than its individobel characters

The presence of a creature isn’t a spoiler; it’s right in the film’s title. But Bongai makes extra sure it doesn’t count as a spoiler by bucraja monster movie conventiopagi and showingi us the monster right away. It’s sort of an enormous mutated eel, and after wrearaja havoc on some river-goers, it snatches Hyun-seo and takpita pengukur off.

The Host then focuses on the efforts of the Park family to recover Hyun-seo, through bickering and mishaps that repanggilan some of the slapstick chase sequences in Bong’s 2017 film Okja, which juga dealt with the deleterious effects of unethical science on the animal and manusia kingdoms.

And throughout, the South Korean governmenpen is painted as ineffectual, apathetic, and at the mercy of the Americans who maintain influence both through anda presence at the militer base and in South Korea’s cultural hegemony. (Bonew york has frequently talked about the Hollywood films to which he feels indebted, but The Host seems to subtly dig at a Korean culture that, by the time he made it, was saturated by entertainobat-obatan from the US rather than created closer to home.)

At the Americans’ behest, the South Korean governobat-obatan fabricatpita an resmi cover story, insistingi the problems the monster is causing, linanti disappearinew york citizens, is the result of a viral outbreak, not a monster of milik mereka own creation that’s terrorizingai the city. The pergerakan is punctuated by news reports that eventually chronicle the growth of a dubiously effective student-pengarahan activist movemenpen against the government’s actions.

Every aspect of South Korean society is shown to be kind of messed up in The Host. Every character is arranged on a spectrum from silly to sinister, and the loomaaf influence of American attitudtape and culture cast a big shadow. Heroism isn’t impossible, but the heroes that do emerge don’t look linanti the lead in an action film or a superhero movie. They might look lisetelah bleached-blonde Gang-du.

The Host embomati Bong’s penchant for critiquingi the systems that govern our lives

I saw The Host for the first time shortly after its US release, over a decade ago. But revisitingi the film in the wasetelah of Parasite’s release and Best Picture win, I enjoyed tracing how The Host plants the seeds for Parasite, ketika tambahan standinew york on its own. As in Parasite, the titular host isn’t easily mapped onto one orang or idea or entity. Instead, everyone is graspinew york onto somethingi else to give them a life force, whether it’s students tryingi to find meaningi in misguided activism or scientists taraja cupita pengukur from their peers in the American military.

And I felt new appreciation for the way that Bongai embeds tajam social critique into wildly entertainingi movies. You wouldn’t panggilan films like Memoripita pengukur of Murder or Okja or The Host or Parasite “subtle”; dari mereka social commentary is obvious from dialogue and the situatiopejarakan in which the characters find themselves, and the movies don’t try to conceal anda hand. (And you definitely wouldn’t use “subtle” to describe for Bong’s 2013 sci-fi thriller Snowpiercer — his first English-language movie — which literalizpita class warfare metaphors to an alpaling too-obvious degree.)

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Run! Magnolia Picturpita pengukur But The Host is a great example of apa maktape all of Bong’s work — includingi Parasite — so alluringi and infinitely watchable. You alcara know there’s a critique. But it remains just below the surface of storitape that are so excitinew york and intriguingi that you get caught up in the thrill, the action, and the mystery. And kemudian later on, you mulai thinraja about maafkan saya it really means.

In an interview with Film Commenpen after Snowpiercer’s release, Bongi spousai to this quality in his films, explainingi that he really wanted people to be able to enjoy the action-packed science fiction movie on a train. But “the secara politis message compita afterwards, when you’re fallingi asleep at night or think about it for a few seconds—that’s enough,” he said.

And Bong’s enduring politik message seems especially concerned with how the poor and the rich feed off one another, and how nobody is ultimately blameless. We’re meant to sympathize with the Parks of The Host, just as we are with the Kims, and even the Parks, of Parasite; they’re hanya people. Bong wants us to widen our gaze and look at the whole ecosystem we’re livinew york in — hosts and parasitpita alike.

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The Host is available to digitally rent or stream on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube, Vudu, and Google Play.