Now I love K-horror, and I love the somewhat threadbare charm of the maritime-themed Neptune theater in the U District, and I don’t really care

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Terror Beneath Filmgoers' Feet!

The Host hosts another kind of beast.

Now I love K-horror, and I love the somewhat threadbare charm of the maritime-themed Neptune theater in the U District, and I don’t really care if people spill their popcorn on the floor. For me, ringing cell phones or talking during the show rank as bigger transgressions than litter. Still, when I recently went to see a creature feature in which pollution gives rise to an avenging beast, the balcony was brazenly patrolled by one of those extremely healthy, middleweight seven-inch rats (nose to tail, per NYC measuring standards). In The Host, deservedly well-reviewed and which I strongly recommend you see, toxic waste discharged into the Han River by the U.S. military causes a mutant tadpole to grow to the size of a carnivorous school bus. And naturally it develops a taste for Korean flesh. So, I wondered of this case of life-following-art, how large might a rodent get on a diet of errant Junior Mints, puddles of Diet Coke, stale popcorn (with real butter!), and Red Vines? What else might it like to nibble during the show? And might it not learn something from being exposed to The Host four times daily? It's like a perfect laboratory experiment in behavior modification, as if designed to turn a timid scavenger into an aggressive, under-seat marauder. Rats are smart, after all, capable of learning from what they see. So here's my advice for moviegoers: don't wear flip-flops or open-toed shoes to the Neptune; don't let your fingers dangle too close to that half-empty popcorn bag you set on the floor; and if you feel an unspeakable sense of tingling terror that something monstrous is about to pounce and devour you, you're probably right.

 
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