The Host (15)

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A definite contender for this year's Best Movie Scene is the one in The Host in which a giant newt hops out of the River Han in Seoul and galumphs along the tow path, munching fleeing picnickers without breaking stride. In a few short minutes, you get adrenalin-pumping thrills, distressing horror, cartoonish comedy, and, ultimately, an aching sense of loneliness and regret as the slobbish hero fails to prevent the creature wrapping its tail around his daughter and somersaulting back into the river. The director of Memories of Murder keeps on shifting seamlessly between moods, but, for all the film's humour and excitement, it's that melancholy air which leaves you shaken. In the past few years, south-east Asian cinema has reinvigorated the horror, gangster, and action genres. Now The Host has leapt from the depths to remind Hollywood how monster movies should be made.