Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The American Host

According to SCI FI Wire, "Bong Joon-ho, director of the Korean-language monster movie 'The Host', told SCI FI Wire that Universal Studios will remake the film for American audiences and that he hopes they do the original film justice. The studio has purchased the rights to The Host, which centers on a dysfunctional family that must overcome its differences to save its daughter, who's been grabbed by a creature that an unresponsive government declares is the host of an unidentified virus."

"Maybe three or four years down the line, if 'The Host' [remake] comes out, and there's a cool director who takes it on and makes it a real great film, then I'd be very happy," Bong said in an interview, through a translator. "On the other hand, if it's just crap, I think I'd be happy, too, because then people would be like, 'Oh, yeah, Bong's original was really good.' So, for me, it's a win-win situation. But Universal has a tradition of doing horror and creature films, so I anticipate that they will do a great film."

According to Variety, "Universal Pictures and Gore Verbinski will remake the 2006 Bong Joon-ho-directed Korean thriller 'The Host,' with commercials director Fredrik Bond making his feature helming debut and Mark Poirier ('Smart People') to pen the script.

Story follows a town terrorized by a giant mutant squidlike creature hatched by toxins that flow into a nearby river from a military base. When the creature grabs a little girl, her dysfunctional family must band together to rescue her.

Verbinski will produce with Vertigo's Roy Lee and Doug Davison, along with Paul Brooks.

Bond has directed campaigns for Nike, Adidas and Levi's. He and Verbinski had been looking for a project to do together, and Bond said he embraced the opportunity to mix a larger-than-life monster with a heartfelt family drama."

First of all, how good is the original "The Host?" I have not seen it, so I will have to rely on others who have.
According to Rope of Silicon, "Bong gets his point across in regards to meddling governments, mistrust, lies and deceit, but he does so at the expense of proper storytelling and pacing. Bong’s intentions are interesting as we will soon see, but as a film it all doesn’t quite work.

The film’s antagonist is a mutant creature that swims in Korea’s Han River. The reason this monster comes into existence is actually based on real events. In 2000 an American military civilian employee named Mr. McFarland was ordered to dispose of formaldehyde by dumping it into the sewer system that led to the Han River despite the objection of a South Korean subordinate. This scene is duplicated in a rather childish manner and actually opens the film.

The mutant creature (is it a fish, tadpole, what?) is where the film obviously deviates from real life. After its first attack along the Han River shore the media and government step in and create a massive scare, but the scare is not specifically dedicated to the monster, instead it is what the monster is “hosting”. The government claims the monster is the host of a terrible and unclassified virus and begins to fumigate the area and begin testing those that were in direct contact. The primary candidate for testing is lead character Park Gang-Du whose daughter Hyun-seo has been captured by the terrifying monster. Gang-Du and his brother (Nam-il), sister (Nam-Joo) and father (Hie-bong) are being held in a hospital until they finally escape, setting off a media storm. The media catches wind that the virus is no longer contained and the public panics.

Some have said that this is an anti-American film, but I think it is more of a 'stop lying to me and leave me the heck alone' film. There is even a jab at the gas guzzling lifestyle during the final moments of the film, which only prove the monster is just one more metaphor (is it the government? is it society? is it both?) in this film that is anything but what it seems on the surface.

The film is billed as a comedic horror and really falls more in line as a political commentary on as many things Bong could think of to throw in the script. (The score alone makes this anything but a horror film as it is almost more operatic at times of concern.) Like I said before, I don’t think this movie is anything special and certainly nothing I would like to watch again, but it was definitely interesting to see the first time and then tool around the Net to see what others thought."

It all sounds interesting to me and I will probably have to check out the original before seeing the American remake.
Check out this neat clip here!


bandito said...

Hahaha, that doesn't look like such a bad movie. It made me laugh

Head Hero said...

Yeah, it is categorized under "comedy horror," so I kind of want to see it.