I had to vote yes for this movie for a few reasons, first I think it's an excellent monster movie from a really masterful director who has shown through the variety of movies he has directed that he has can handle any genre. I watched The Host for the first time last week, and have now watched all of Bong Jong Ho's major movies as far as I can tell from his IMDB page, and I'm a huge fan of almost all of them.
A second reason I voted yes on this movie really goes in direct contrast to what Amy saw as a flaw, but what I see as a strength in Bong Joon Ho's work. I guess this might come down to a matter of taste, but I think that the way he handles tone is really incredible. I will admit that it is certainly pushing the edges of what audiences might be used to, but then again I think he keeps it just this side of causing the viewer tonal whiplash, and it works instead to keep you constantly on your toes. I think what Owen said in reference to the Coen's was right on.
In the same vein, the music really worked for me. I don't know that I would say it was constantly the complete opposite of what was expected as Amy was saying, but more that it wasn't what I was always expecting to hear- which I actually really enjoyed. I think too often in recent movies the music fades into the background, sort of generally adding to whatever tone the scene is already conveying, generally without bringing too much attention away from the scene itself. But in the case of The Host I often found myself specifically noticing and enjoying the added layer the music was bringing to the scene.
A small note on the FX, I'm not a 3D animator, but I am an animator, and while I will say that while the rendering of the 3D itself hasn't aged so well (it has been more than 10 years so I think we should cut it quite a bit of slack) the animation of the monster itself to me was excellent. The runs that they did for the character where incredibly cool and I loved the way it moved it's weight around and especially the way it moved like a creature that was clearly not really meant to be running on land.
And a third reason I wanted to vote yes is because I'm not entirely sure when Bong Joon Ho is going to come up for another vote and I think he certainly deserves to be in the Canon. While The Host may not be my favorite of all his movies -- if I had to chose just one from this director as is often discussed on the Canon I would probably go with Mother or Memories of Murder -- I still feel that this director should be in the Canon, and The Host is absolutely a worth candidate ( as would be any of his movies for the record).
I really believe that Bong Joon Ho is an amazing director who is hopefully going to continue making incredible work for years to come. He's doing things with pacing, framing, and tone that feel incredible fresh to me and he's takling all sorts of genres in the process. He's the kind of director who surprises me and makes me excited to watch movies. I voted yes for this movie, and I will continue to hope that one of his others will also be put up for a vote sooner rather than later.
In conclusion, I think this movie is an excellent update on the monster genre from a masterful director and is great example of how to keep your audience guessing when it comes to tone, pacing, and plot without losing them entirely. One final note, I recommend everyone to check out the video about Bong Joon Ho's work on Every Frame a Painting,
, it's the video that first introduced me to him and it's an amazing breakdown of his style of framing.