I feel like this is a movie I should have heard of before it came up as the next podcast movie, or maybe I did and later forgot? The Host, a title I do not believe I understand, tells the story of a chemically mutated fish monster that rises from the depths of the Han River in Seoul, South Korea, and terrorizes, well, obviously the whole city and sort of the country and the world, but specifically a very diversely talented family: the grandfather who owns a food truck down by the river, his daughter who is an Olympic class archer, his son-in-law who is a bit of a layabout, his teenaged granddaughter who is the child of the previous two, and his alcoholic son. They are terrorized, specifically, by the monster choosing to take and devour the granddaughter.
There’s honestly a lot to unpack in this movie. Fears about pollution and the continued US presence in South Korea are front and center, but also fears of central authority, a theme I’ve seen running throughout almost all of the Korean horror (film or TV) I’ve watched over the past several years. But all of that is thesis material I’m just not up to thinking about at the depth it deserves. I bet this dude I know named Trent has some opinions, though.
Really, what it mostly is is an old-fashioned rollicking monster movie, a la Them or Gojira. The effects are dated, but the monster itself is fantastic, and I cared about the family. Will the archer get over her her crippling perfectionism? Will the layabout and the alcoholic overcome their natural proclivities? Will the government stop getting in the way? The more I think about it, the more of a throwback movie it becomes in my estimation. But, you know, in a good way.
The runtime is probably 30 minutes longer than it needed to be, though.
 Gwoemul translates as Monster, a title that makes a lot more sense. *shrug emoji*