Political Skullduggery And Monster Mayhem Clash In Korean Period Piece ‘Monstrum’

Don’t expect this to be another 'The Host'.


Monstrum (PG13)

Starring Kim Myune-Min, Lee Hye-Ri, Choi Woo-Shik

Directed by Huh Jong-Ho

The Korean creature-feature Monstrum — that’s ‘monster’ in Latin — is set during the reign of King Jungjong of the Joseon Dynasty. 

When the King gets wind of a plague-spreading beast terrorising the villagers near Mt Inwangsan, he suspects it’s a ruse (fake news!) by his enemies to destabilise his regime. 

So he sends a retired loyalist general (Kim Myune-Min) to ascertain the truth. And guess what? The beast is [expletive] real! 

The part about the timeless tactic of wielding misinformation as a political weapon is interesting, but the mammoth-running-amok component less so. 

The abomination, covered in pus and boils, is a CG-creation that comes out only at night. (It’s hard to tell but it kinda looks like a Japanese Chin with the face of King Kong.) 

The run-of-the-mill mayhem has nothing on the death and destruction caused by the mutant fish in Bong Jong-Ho's The Host, still the gold standard in Korean monster flicks. (**1/2)

Photo: Golden Village 

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