9.25.2007

The Host




Kang-ho Song in The Host (dir. Joon-ho Bong, 2006).

Giant mutant tadpole terrorizes Seoul, family pulls together to attempt to rescue young girl from its clutches. Korean government screws up quarantine efforts, American government stomps in and makes everything worse. I think the combination of humor and horror--or more specifically, of wacky upbeatness and sobering downbeatness--that many viewers find hard to process must have to do with a particular filmic grammar (Korean, possibly Japanese as well?) that is sufficiently like Western grammar (since it borrows extensively from it) to seem familiar, but deviates from it just enough to be disorienting. Anyway, it's sort of hard for me to say whether I "liked" it or not. It made me realize that past a certain point, I'm still a conventional enough viewer to depend on the discreteness of different genres.

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