So I just saw The Host again... sort of.
OK, so I went to see The Host again tonight, since I kinda loved it the first time. And the wierdest thing happened. It was 20+ minutes SHORTER! Yes, that's right. Somehow, 20+ minutes were just cut right out of the film. Right when it was getting really good, they just skipped a whole huge chunk that was A) the best part, and B) kind of crucial to the plot. I don't get it. But I swear, that was what happened. It's a two hour movie, but this time, after starting at midnight, the film was DONE at 1:38, with credits rolling. I couldn't figure out whether this was some kind of legit shorter cut of the film (maybe the A.D.D. American version?) or if the projector just somehow skipped over 20+ minutes of footage. In any case, it was very weird, and HIGHLY unsatisfying. Thank god I'd seen it before, the real way.
Maybe I should've tried to get my money back? I did after all not get what I paid for. But I am too mild-mannered for such heroics. And I don't think the other people noticed anything wrong.
I thought of putting like 1.8 next to the title now in my sidebar, (the number of times I've seen it), but that'd be too cheeky... or would it?
Anyway, the first cut is still great, even if the second makes very little sense. I think this thing deserves oscar nods across the board (cinematography, score, sound, editing, visual F/X, directing, and best picture), and it's probably the best thing that's been in theaters so far this year... I can't compare it to Grindhouse, Zodiac or The Lookout, but I'd be VERY surprised if those were as good as this.
The Host is just so cinematic in its building of suspense, and so operatic in its drama... it also plays as rather quirky, partially I think due to cultural differences, but partially cause it just is. Humor is found in unlikely places, and some of the music is rather odd, though beautiful. The film is also delightfully subversive in its mixing of genres: it's mainly action/horror, but dabbles in absurdist comedy and straight-up drama. But its masterstroke is the fact that the true source of its horror is not found in the fantastic spectacle of its big mutant monster, but rather in very real societal ills such as abusive of the environment, inefficiant beaurocracy, government scandals, etc. Like another horror fave of mine (the brilliant Carrie), The Host uses superficial, visceral scares to illuminate REAL problems that are truly and deeply scary, and that's a big part of why it's great.
But damn, a film sure does get screwed up when you just cut out a big giant chunk of it. All that masterful pacing just thrown out the window. Has this happened to anyone else? Seriously. I have vague memories of being a little kid watching the same movies and shows on TV and stuff several times, and thinking they were different each time (Zoobilee Zoo in particular... don't ask). It totally freaked me out. Like, it throws the whole universe askew. I'd always just chalked it up to my being a little kid and a little bit delusional, but now... I really don't know.