11 February 2010
What a bizarre combination of tones! Not just scary but brutally dark at times, blackly cynical, broad and maudlin, but also adventurous, tragic, hilarious, awkward, and just plain silly. It's a slapstick with really hefty stakes. The closest western film I can think of off the top of my head to the tone of The Host is maybe The Goonies. A ragtag team with a lot of comic relief get in over their head and the stakes are high and the setpieces are actually kinda scary. This film goes both sillier AND scarier than Goonies, but I don't know what else to compare it to. If I was describing this to someone who'd never heard of it, I guess I might say it's like the Griswolds from Vacation vs. the monster from Cloverfield.
Really surprised with a lot of the twists in this story, the team-protagonist thing, and the tragic elements at the end (which I won't give away). A little confused on the timeline of when the Bronze-medal archer sister and the unemployed grad student brother pass out and wake up, or even how many days or hours are meant to pass throughout this story... on first watching my gut tells me they're playing a little loose with the chronology of events here, but otherwise it's a totally engaging, fun movie. I'm going to have to go back and rewatch Memories of Murder sometime soon. It's been years.