'Parasite': Bong Joon Ho reveals surprising double-meaning behind the title of 2019's most buzzed-about film (exclusive)

As we know by now, Parasite is not a sequel to The Host, Bong Joon Ho's 2006 breakout film about a monster that emerges that emerges from the Han River in Seoul, South Korea and starts attacking people. But the Oscar-nominated writer-director understands why it could've initially been perceived that way.

"Because of the title, a lot of people in the international community mistook this film as a sci-fi film," Bong says, aided by a translator, in a clip from a Q&A available on the film's new home entertainment release (watch exclusively above).

Even in Bong-ho's native South Korea, the title of the critically adored film – a dark comedic thriller about a despondent family of four who scheme their way into jobs working in a wealthy household – proved tricky. “[It] was considered almost a little risky and dangerous, particularly the marketing team was pretty hesitant because in Korea the word 'parasite' has a very realistic and negative connotation."

As for whom exactly the title refers to, it's not so simple.

"Because the story is about the poor family infiltrating and creeping into the rich house, it seems very obvious that Parasite refers to the poor family, and I think that's why the marketing team was a little hesitant," Bong said. "But if you look at it the other way, you can say that rich family, they're also parasites in terms of labor. They can't even wash dishes, they can't drive themselves, so they leech off the poor family's labor. So both are parasites."

In other words, it's all so metaphorical.

Parasite is now available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD. Buy it on Amazon.

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