YMMV / The Host

The Stephenie Meyer book:

  • Fandom Rivalry: With Animorphs.
  • Growing the Beard: On the author's part. Whether you consider The Host to be better than Meyer's previous work or not, it is certainly better received.
  • Misaimed Fandom: The ending of the book and movie ends with Wanda getting her own body and being able to finally be with Ian. Multiple reviewers make a point that Wanda's new body is relatively attractive, which makes the relationship with Ian and Wanda more based off physical appearances rather than genuine loving.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Several reviewers have commented that the beginning is weaker than the rest of the novel.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks: Mentioning this book in Animorphs or Stargate fan circles is generally a bad idea.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The book has a lot of room to be really, really good, what with benevolent aliens taking over the world, the divide between what's ruled by your body and what's determined by your mind, the difference between Wanda's love for Ian (purely mind, since she doesn't have a body) and Melanie's love for Jared (more body, since her mind is overpowered by Wanda's), the morality of Utopia Justifies the Means... it could have been really awesome if it hadn't been eaten by the weak beginning and worse ending.

The 2013 film based on the Stephenie Meyer book:

  • Critical Backlash. The movie has been near-universally panned by critics and currently holds a score of 9% on Rotten Tomatoes. Moviegoers' reactions have been rather more mixed.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: "Radioactive" by Imagine Dragons in the trailer.
  • Narm: Turns out having your main character be a prisoner in her own body, who spends most of the story impotently screaming at the person controlling it, is rather silly to see on film.

Tropes applying to the Korean film:

  • Acceptable Targets: Americans. Though the Korean authorities aren't much use, either.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation: This article, on page 83, http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5440&context=etd , implies that Gang-du, who is high-strung, sensitive and whose world centres more on his family than anything else, is complicitly In Touch With His Feminine Side, and adopts a maternal role at the end as well as a paternal one.
  • Awesome Music: Courtesy of the score by Byeong Woo-lee.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • The scene where the family imagines Hyun-seo is with them and they all feed her.
    • Hyun-seo doing anything she can to protect the young hobo child.
    • After the doctors in the gymnasium arrest Gang-du, who confessed to having the creature's blood sprayed on his face, Hee-bong is determined not to leave his son's side, even when he's zipped up inside a bag.
    • The ending, with Gang-du and Se-joo eating together.
    • Hee-bong telling Nam-il and Nam-joo to respect Gang-du a little more.
    • Gang-du could have escaped from the soldiers while he could but he got in quarantine a second time trying to protect his father's body.
    • Hee-bong explaining to Nam-il and Nam-joo that Gang-du is running in the fumes so he can disinfect himself for his daughter. It's clear at this point that he's the only one in the family who understands Gang-du.
  • Genre-Busting: It's generally classified as a horror movie, although it has elements of a political satire, a hostage film, a disaster film, an action movie and a family dramedy.
  • Moment of Awesome:
    • When Gang-du delivers the fatal blow to the creature with full Papa Wolf fury.
    • Nam-joo firing that flaming arrow right into the monster's eye. What was especially special about that scene was how all of the BGM faded away, and all we heard was that arrow launching from the bow...
    • Also, Nam-il gets a CMOA when he has to escape from the office building.
    • As soon as he learns there's no virus, Gang-du, despite under anaesthetic, breaks out of the military hospital to continue his search for Hyun-seo. That's some willpower.
    • Hyun-seo's bravery and resourcefulness alone. Particularly when she makes a daring leap of faith to run along the creature's back and climb up that rope of clothing. Shame that the creature grabs her before she can climb another inch.
    • Even though the creature is paralysed by Agent Yellow, Gang-du fearlessly goes straight up to it, and pulls Hyun-seo and Se-joo out of its maw.
    • The fact that Gang-du managed to injure the monster and live.
  • Narm: The scene where the Park family mourns for Hyun-seo (who is still missing by the way) in the shelter. It's jarring that they ended up rolling on the floor while crying which makes the viewers wonder if they should find this scene sad or funny.
  • Narm Charm: Gang-du is a little overly sensitive at times. But you can't deny his massive heart.
  • Squick:
    • The creature puking out the bones of its victims.
    • The closeup of the needle going into Gang-du's arm, and the closeup of doctors taking tissue samples from his neck.
  • Surprisingly Similar Characters: Park Gang-du and Park Dong-jin from Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. Both men have had their wives leave them and are dysfunctional single parents having to raise their daughters by themselves. Both have had their daughters taken away from them and have gone out of their way to avenge them. The difference between them is, Dong-jin is terribly lost with his daughter gone, and he has no one else to go to for comfort, and since his adversaries are human, his actions paint him as no better than her kidnappers. What's more, Dong-jin is rich and Lonely at the Top. Gang-du, on the other hand, is poor and working class, makes up for the death of his daughter by raising the orphan boy she protected, has his father and siblings as emotional support, despite how much his brother and sister look down on him, and the fact that his enemy is a simple predator makes his actions much more heroic. Also, both are played by Song Kang-ho.
  • Space Whale Aesop: Don't dump toxic chemicals into the river... or a giant monster will come out and eat your people.
  • Tear Jerker: This is one of the few movies that realizes just how tragic the Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever would be.
    • Mr. Yoon's suicide. Need anything more be said?
    • The Park family's mourning Hyun-seo, before it goes from sad to hilarious.
    • Another Mood Whiplash occurs when Gang-du admits that he had the creature's blood sprayed on his face... only for him to be tackled by men and shoved into a body bag, screaming for his father.
    • Gang-du's reaction to the loss of his father . He tearfully kneels beside the body just as the doctors are coming to recapture him and he urges his siblings to get away while they still can.
    • Gang-du, in quarantine for the second time, should be knocked out by the anaesthetic they gave him, but he's so anguished and anxious to save Hyun-seo that he just sits there, muttering in a desperate daze, so the doctors finally ask him what's wrong with him, and the American finally believes him as though he had heard this for the first time.
    Young Korean Doctor: (in English) He says his daughter is in a sewer near Wonhyo bridge.
    US Doctor trying to operate Gang-Du: (in English) Jesus! Why didn't you report this to the police or the military? (the young Korean doctor continues to translate for Gang-du.)
    Gang-du: (in Korean) Because...
    US Doctor trying to operate Gang-Du: (still in English) ... or a human rights organization? (Gang-du tries to talk again but is interrupted by the Korean doctor's translation)
    Gang-du: (sobbing, in Korean) Because nobody fucking listens to me! (The Korean doctor translates into English) Please don't cut me off! My words are words too! Why don't you listen to my words?
    • Moments later he is strapped to a surgical device so they can probe his brain for the virus. The poor man is completely helpless to save his daughter and can do nothing but sob uncontrollably and apologize to Hyun-seo and Hee-bong.
    • Gang-du had just seen Hyun-seo's arm dangling out of the monster and doesn't realize she's already dead, so he's running along the bridge desperately, screaming "Hyun-seo! It's Daddy!"
    • Gang-du finally finds his daughter but it's too late, and he holds the body tightly, carrying it slowly away from the monster.
    • Counts as a Heartwarming moment, but the desperate pleas of Hee-bong for Nam-il and Nam-joo to respect Gang-du more is quite heartbreaking.
      Hee-bong (to Nam-il and Nam-joo, who have already fallen asleep from the lecture): I really need to say this to you. Be as nice to Gang-du as you can. Don't scold him, okay?
    • On that note, Gang-du's backstory. He used to seem really smart as a child, so smart that people would ask him for directions, but the poor motherless boy, with a busy father, had to fend for himself and suffered from a lack of nutrition, which Hee-bong explains as to why Gang-du is slow-witted and falls asleep all the time.
    • While looking for Hyun-seo, and calling Gang-du to tell him where she is, Nam-joo is rammed into by the monster and thrown against a wall. She appears to be killed by the blow, and Gang-du calls her name in a panic.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Weta were involved. Bonus points for having a lower budget than District 9 (roughly 10 million in American Dollars).
  • The Woobie:
    • Gang-du. Loses his daughter, blamed by his siblings, and targeted for carrying an imaginary virus... even his victory over the creature costs him something big.
    • Hyun-seo. Gets captured and trapped by the monster in an enclosed sewer space, missing her family and imagining the food she could eat when she escapes.