1.) Let me first think about the formaldehyde poured down the drains into the Han River thus creating the monster which wreaks havoc in Seoul. I cannot help but wonder that if The Host were an American film, the formaldehyde would not have been from the home country. Instead it would have come from somewhere else, most likely an Asian country who dumped the chemical in the Pacific Ocean leaving it to travel over to America. However the Korean assistant ordered to dispose of the formaldehyde down the drains was commanded to do so by an American senior. There are constant and purposely obvious connotations behind this film that the Western world unintentionally causes more harm than good.
2.) The American industry loves a happy ending, or at least a resolution – there is no such thing with this film, at least not anything stereotypical. If they were to be clichéd then Gang Du’s daughter, Hyun Seo, would have survived and father and child would live happily ever after. She would not have lived for so long to only die once being physically rescued by her father who went through so much to bring her back to safety. However for me, the resolution to The Host is Gang Du’s established relationship with Se Joo, who also lost a family member to the monster and who was ultimately saved and cared for by Hyun Seo whilst trapped in the monster’s lair. Although they are not related by blood, there is a real affection shown between the two whilst they eat dinner together in the last scene.
3.) A gas called ‘Agent Yellow’ is repeatedly referred to and used in The Host and this is highly reminiscent of ‘Agent Orange’, employed by both Britain and America during the Vietnam war. ‘Agent Orange’ caused a lot of physical and mental damage to the citizens of Vietnam; such extensive damage that the effects are still noticeable today. ‘Agent Yellow’ is introduced to this film as a means of killing the monster, however the health of Korea’s population is not considered. It is the perfect example of how governments and the military believe they are doing right by a country when really they are chipping away at whatever positivity still prevails amongst it’s people, whether that be physical goodness or a sense of internal happiness.
Who knew a monster flick could be so political?! Round of applause to the Korean film industry.