My experience of the day: ‘The Host’

The experience of watching the South Korean movie, ‘The Host’ wasn’t a new experience for me since I have seen many Korean movies and Horror movies whilst growing up. While I am not Korean myself, instead being Vietnamese, my parents constantly watched Korean, Japanese and Chinese shows leading me to have a vast knowledge of South- East Asian Culture.

During the movie, I was not phased by the subtitles at all as I counted on them growing up. I have also picked up various Korean phrases over the years so I didn’t need to depend on the subtitles in parts of the movie allowing me to tweet freely.

The tweeting itself, I was very anxious about before stepping into class as I had no idea how to express myself comically. It wasn’t until about midway through the movie where I felt comfortable with expressing my thoughts.

The movie itself contained many Western horror movie tropes including; the sacrifice of a minor character (the grandpa), the final girl/guy who defeats the villain (Gang -doo) , and the male bravado during a disaster (American military personnel who tries to defeat the monster at the start of the movie). It all led up to the predictable ending with the main character death (Hyun- seo).

‘The Host’ also contained many Korean movie/drama cliché that isn’t present in Western movies yet. The use of children & the death of children in horror movies is a prevalent scary movie trope which is many Korean and Japanese horror movies including ‘Death Bell’ (2008) and ‘A Tale of Two Sisters’ (2003). This cliché has yet to be explored in America due to the morals and ethics of Christianity.

During the film, I thought that this movie was shading major corporations and the military for polluting the earth. This is prevalent in chemical dumping into rivers which created the abomination in the first place and also the solution to the abomination with Agent Yellow which was apparently toxic to biological creatures. In my opinion, Bong Joon Ho’s use of Agent Yellow to defeat the monster is a harsh criticism of America’s use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. 

Overall watching ‘The Host’ while tweeting was not as hard as I brought myself believe mainly because of constantly being exposed to Asian media.

2 comments

  1. Hi @jrong912! I found your perspective on ‘The Host’ very enlightening! Your knowledge and exposure of South-East Asian culture has given you an advantage in terms of understanding and explaining the film from another angle. I think it’s quite interesting how you mentioned that the death of children is a cliché in Asian horror movies but “has yet to be explored in America due to the morals and ethics of Christianity”. While that statement perhaps requires reference to a scholarly source, it raises an interesting point in the contrast between Western and Asian culture that you seem to have picked up on. Perhaps a little more self-reflection is needed on your experience with Western films and whether you have experienced a Western upbringing as well as a South-East Asian one. All in all, great first post!

    Liked by 1 person

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