The film revolves around Park Hee-bong, a man in his late 60s. He runs a small snack bar on the banks of the Han River and lives with his two sons, one daughter, and one granddaughter. The Parks seem to lead a quite ordinary and peaceful life, but maybe they are a bit poorer than the average Seoulite. Hee-bong’s elder son Gang-du is an immature and incompetent man in his 40s, whose wife left home long ago. Nam-il is the youngest son, an unemployed grumbler, and daughter Nam-joo is an archery medalist and member of the national team. One day, an unidentified monster suddenly appears from the depths of the Han River and spreads panic and death, and Gang-du’s daughter Hyun-seo is carried off by the monster and disappears. All of the family members are in a great agony because they lost someone very dear to them. But when they find out she is still alive, they resolve to save her. –IMDb
BONG Joon-ho studied Sociology at the Yonsei University and graduated from the Korean Film Academy. By 1995 he made three short films Memories in My Frame, White Man and Incoherence. He wrote and directed his first feature, Barking Dogs Never Bite, which won a Fipresci Award at the Hong Kong Film Festival in 2001. His second feature Memories of Murder won the Silver Shell award for the best director in San Sebastian Film Festival in 2003. In 2006 his third feature film, The Host, was selected for the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. —london.korean-culture.org
A variety of genres and styles mix and match in this very well-done monster movie that not only has a satirical subtext but also has a touching human story that is largely ignored in the genre.