movie buff

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 August, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 August, 2006, 12:00am

Monster movie fans, take note. The Host, a popular Korean film about a monster that appears in Seoul's Han River, will hit the screen next month.

Director Bong Joon-ho said he wanted to create a monster with a unique Eastern touch. His creature is a big fish with legs that attacks and devours Seoul's citizens.

Monster movies have a long history in Hollywood. Here are two classic themes:


The shark is one of the most notorious screen monsters thanks to Steven Spielberg's 1975 classic, Jaws. The film was Spielberg's first big break.

It tells the story of the hunt for a killer shark that terrorises the waters of a resort town. A police chief, a marine biologist and a shark hunter head to sea to rid themselves of this killing machine.

The film spawned three sequels, none of which achieved much breakthrough in technology or special effects.

The fish becomes faster, bigger and more intelligent in Deep Blue Sea (1999), a gruesome tale that teaches us not to mess with Mother Nature.

Super-sharks, which have human brain tissue implanted in their brains, munch scientists in an aquatic laboratory.

After being cast in a bad light for almost three decades, the animal finds redemption in Lenny in DreamWorks' 2004 animated comedy, Shark Tale.

Jack Black provides the voice for Lenny, giving a sensitive touch to the vegetarian white shark who befriends a blenny fish (Will Smith).


Ridley Scott's Alien (1979) is a definitive work in the monster genre. The sinister creature, designed by Swiss painter H.R. Giger, eats everyone except Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and a cat.

Giger's alien remains one of the most popular sci-fi toy figures today.

The alien finds its nemesis in AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004). Pure trashy entertainment, the film pits the creature against another extraterrestrial monster with green blood - the predator.

Audiences were introduced to this vicious invader in Predator (1987), where a team of US Special Forces, headed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, are butchered in a jungle.

Another popular alien is the parasite monster from outer space in John Carpenter's The Thing. The film is a remake of Howard Hawk's 1951 classic, The Thing from Another World.

The monster, which resembles a pile of flesh with tentacles, infects life forms and imitates their appearance to launch a surprise attack.

Carpenter's monster failed to beat Spielberg's E.T. at the box office, but it has gradually become a cult favourite.