Once of the most eagerly-anticipated (in some circles, anyway) films to premiere at Cannes this year was The Host, a monster movie from Korean director Bong Joon-ho. The film, which screened as part of the Directors Fortnight, is about "a mutant creature that inhabits Seoul's Han River and a half-witted father trying to rescue his daughter from the monster's clutches." Budgeted at only $10 million (a sum that, according to an article on the director in today's New York Times, is unimpressive even by Korean standards), the film nevertheless features work from several international effects houses, and the footage that's shown up on the internet so far is pretty freaking awesome -- how often are directors confident enough of their CGI work to send monsters out in the middle of the day, just wandering around in parks and picking off random schoolgirls?

Happily, thanks to the geniuses/foolish risk-takers at Magnolia Pictures, those of us the US are actually going to get to check out those effects on the big screen. According to a report out of Cannes a few days ago, the distributor has picked up the rights to release the film in not only the US, but also the UK and Australia. Needless to say, the people who hold the money at Magnolia were wildly impressed by Bong's film, calling it "The most impressive and imaginative monster [we've] seen in a long time." Sweet. I tend to avoid horror, but even I can't wait to see this one -- when a release date surfaces, we'll let you know.