Godzilla lives in The Host, a South Korean monster movie that combines contemporary technique with the oblique social commentary of those old giant lizard films from Japan. The creature here isn’t a lizard, but some sort of mutated combination of frog and fish which prowls the Kafkaesque concrete bridge system of the Han River. When he first reveals the monster, writer-director Bong Joon-Ho displays a flair worthy of Spielberg. He expertly milks the tension among those picnicking along the river – their first instinct is to feed the thing – then unleashes a full-out attack that’s as ingeniously staged as anything in Jurassic Park. The Host is loaded with cultural idiosyncrasies, from the jarring forays into broad humor to the social critique bubbling under the surface. America largely gets the blame for the creature (the movie opens with a U.S. army doctor brazenly dumping chemicals into the river), while SARS still spreads a haunting fear (a rumor immediately circulates that the creature carries a virus). Thrilling and unnerving, The Host itself is infectious.