The South Korean monster movie The Host (aka Gwoemul) has been one of the biggest box-office smash hits ever in its home country. Naturally, you know what happens when a foreign film makes tons of money -- an American company decides it's a great idea to remake the film in English. After all, anything in another language is going to be even better in English, right? Look at Point of No Return (remake of La Femme Nikita), The Ring (remake of Ringu) and City of Angels (remake of Wings of Desire) ... yeah, I don't understand why they do it, either. Once in a while it does work: I liked The Departed just fine, although I haven't seen its source, Infernal Affairs, so I don't know if the original is superior. And of course there's always the granddaddy of Americanizations of foreign films, The Magnificent Seven.

It should therefore be no surprise at all to learn that Universal has picked up the remake rights to The Host. The Korean film won't be released in the U.S. until January 27 of next year, but apparently the studio feels certain that we'll love an Americanized version of the film. I saw The Host at Fantastic Fest and I did in fact like the movie a lot -- but I'm not at all sure how it could be adapted for a U.S. setting and still retain its charm. For one thing, the U.S. Army has a moderately bad-guy role in the film. And without giving anything away, I can't see a Hollywood studio-produced film, designed to draw a large audience, with the same ending as the Korean film. On the other hand, American filmmakers are top-notch at depicting hilariously dysfunctional families like the one that faces the creature in The Host ... so perhaps that could work.

If you've seen The Host, do you think an American remake could be successful? (Don't give away the ending when you answer that.) Are there any American remakes that you think are better than their source materials from other countries?

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