Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Host 2: Running to Catch Up

The Host [aka Gwoemul] (South Korea-2006; dir. Joon-ho Bong) -- an unusual and highly effective giant monster film that managed to combine great monster effects with a socio-political message and very human characterisations -- was a huge success worldwide for the director and the South Korean film industry. Sure, some didn't take to it, but it has in a short time pretty well earned a place on Top 20 Giant Monster lists everywhere.
With its careless disregard for the "rules" that normally govern blockbuster monster pics, The Host proves to be an utterly engrossing, stylish and intelligent foray into the genre, replete with a powerful sense of reality that doesn't falter even when it flirts with cliché. It is in turns funny, suspenseful, startling, awe-inspiring, melancholy, bleak, satirical and optimistic. Not an easy palette of moods to effectively control -- yet it does so, and the result is a completely satisfying cinematic experience. (See full review here.)
Talk of a US remake and a South Korean sequel has been ongoing ever since the first film's release, though there has been little visible movement on either front. Now, however, Twitchfilm has word on the remake at least. The "facts" are: a different director and cast is likely; it will be a prequel set during the Cheongyecheon restoration of 2003 (offering nice potential for socio-political commentary); US$5 million of the budget will come from Kelvin Tong’s Boku Films from Singapore; all CGI SFX will be handled within Korea; and "the Government — through the KOCCA (Korea Creative Content Agency) — will fund the project with over 1.8 billion won spread over 2 years, as part of its Global Project funding policies" (Twitchfilm).

Then there's this first glimpse of the film:

A bit of monster action on the highway!
  • Source: Twitchfilm via Avery