Verbal Diorama - Episode 210 - The Host (2006) - Verbal Diorama

Episode 210

The Host (Gwoemul) (2006)

Published on: 1st June, 2023

Bong Joon-ho is a fascinating director, and for the start of Kaijune, a theme month dedicated to cinematic monsters, I simple had to start with The Host, one of his lesser-known films but also one of his most accomplished.

Bong Joon-ho does tend to make movies about monsters, but usually they’re figurative monsters. Capitalism, colonialism, greed, class inequalities, social injustice. But here, this is a literal monster born from humanity's greed, government conspiracy and environmental disaster. A monster who will eat anyone and anything in its path. A monster Bong was insistent to show in its entirety up front, and in daylight.

Centred around the everyday Park family, and hapless father Gang-du, a shop worker who's pitied and berated by his family, loses his daughter in the panic after the monster appears out of the Han River. Gang-du ends up incarcerated and lobotomized, but still does everything in his limited power to find and save Hyun-seo, who refuses to be damselled and in turn protects and saves a younger child from being eaten by the monster.

But is the monster really the monster? Or is America the monster?

It's a deeply personal and relatable family story, wrapped in a monster movie. No wonder it broke box office records in South Korea...

I would love to hear your thoughts on The Host (Gwoemul) (2006) !



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About the Podcast

Verbal Diorama
The podcast on the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't.
Are you interested in how movies are made? Do you wonder how a film went from conception to completion? If so Verbal Diorama, hosted by Em, is the podcast for you!

Movies are tough to make, and Verbal Diorama is here to celebrate the coming together of teams of extraordinary cast and crew, bringing us movies that inspire us, delight us, make us laugh, make us cry and frighten us. This podcast discovers the stories behind the scenes, and proves how amazing it is that movies actually exist!

Welcome to Verbal Diorama. The podcast all about the history and legacy of movies you know, and movies you don't! Subscribe on your favourite podcast app, and enjoy new episodes every week.
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About your host

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Em .

Hi! I'm Em. I created Verbal Diorama in 2018, and launched the podcast in February 2019 to rapturous applause and acclaim.... from my cat Jess.

The modus operandi of Verbal Diorama is simple: movies are tough to make! The coming together of a team of people from all walks of life to make something to entertain, delight and educate us for 90+ mins is not an easy task, and yet so many succeed at it. That must be something to celebrate.

I'm here to do just that - to celebrate movies. Their history and legacy, and why they remain so special to so many of us.

Episodes are audibly book ended by Jess. She sadly passed away in March 2022, aged almost 18. She featured in many episodes of the podcast, and that's why you can hear her at the end of every episode. The role of official feline producer is now held by the comparatively quieter Evie.

I love podcasts, and listen to many, but never my own.

I unashamedly love The Mummy (1999) and Grease 2. I'm still looking for a cool rider.