Title: The Host (Official site)
Tag Line: Love Never Dies
Release Date: 29 Mar 2013
Runtime: 125 min
Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Sci-Fi
Series or Standalone: Series (assuming)
Where Seen: Theatre (screening)
Production Company: Chockstone Pictures, Nick Wechsler Productions
Distributed By: Open Road Films
Director(s): Andrew Niccol
Writer(s): Stephenie Meyer (novel), Andrew Niccol (screenplay)
Stars: Saoirse Ronan (Melanie Stryder/Wanda), Max Irons (Jared Howe), Jake Abel (Ian O’Shea), William Hurt (Jeb Stryder), Chandler Canterbury (Jaime Stryder), Diane Kruger (The Seeker), Scott Lawrence (Doc)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
The Series Order (assuming based on book series order)
Film 1: The Host
Film 2: Untitled (Book to be written)
Film 3: Untitled (Book to be written)
Its no secret that I am not a fan of the Twilight books and as such never watched those movies. But despite my dislike of that series I still gave Stephanie Meyer’s adult sci-fi book The Host a shot. While I didn’t love the book I did like it better than Twilight and so decided to see the movie when an opportunity presented itself.
The movie version of the The Host follows the book pretty closely. Yes, there are lots of things cut out as the book weighs in at over 600 pages. But in this case I think the cuts help to make a better and more streamlined story. Though there were some events that did happen to quickly for realism because of it. But I’d rather have some quick relationships form than to be bored out of my head with a long drawn out plot.
The ending of the film is a little different than in the book but just in setting the events do play out as written. So there is a slight cliff hanger/open endedness to the movie. Though if Meyer’s never writes the rest of the series I don’t think all will be lost. The major plot point of this particular movie was completed and the open endedness of the ending gives the viewer the opportunity to imagine where things progress from that moment. I know some people don’t like that, but I for one don’t mind it.
There were some things that distracted me throughout this movie and that was the stylizing on the aliens. The footwear and the too short pants just drove me bonkers. The friend I was with mentioned how it was probably to appear a bit Stepford Wiveish and I get that. I didn’t mind the pretty clothes but the short pants! And the shoes! If you see this movie then you’ll know what I mean. The vehicles used by the Seekers also distracted me a bit with all their chrome and super shininess. The mirror of which reflects sunlight so very brilliantly that its amazing that these aliens were able to take over the world as stealthy they are not.
I also have other issues with how the aliens take over the planet….but they really don’t reflect on the movie so I won’t mention them here. Unless you want to know then just ask in the comments! Essentially though its about my need to know HOW things happen…I like history and backstory and that is often lacking in a dystopian type book/movie.
There was also some overly cheesy dialogue that would sometimes have me rolling my eyes and some in the audience groan. But there were also lots of one liners that had everyone laughing. Most of these came from William Hurt’s character Jeb but all the characters seemed to have their moments. The rest of the cast all performed their roles really well. Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, and the others who played the aliens all had just the right amount of other worldliness about that they never seemed quiet right or human. Which they weren’t, not fully, so this was a success. Max Irons and Jake Abel also were great on screen in their respective roles and I liked them both a lot.
Much of this movie involves an internal monologue between Melanie and her occupier Wanderer (Wanda). While The Host doesn’t do as good a job as Peter Jackson did with Gollum it was done in a way that made you believe there were two consciences living in one head. Saoirse Ronan acted her dual role well and I think she was a good choice to play the lead in this movie.
Finally, the effects. Some of which were just bad like a car accident scene that happens in the beginning (its in the previews too). It just looked so fake to me. But the aliens in their true form were a thing a creeptastic beauty. I say creeptastic as the aliens true form reminds me of these creepy centipede like bugs….only they are pretty too as they are all glowy and non-insect like and yet they are. Its weird but I liked it and you’ll just have to see the movie to understand.
Final recommendation: I did like The Host but I’m not sure if its one that I’d want to see in the movie theatre. If you are unsure of it then wait for the DVD. If you a big fan of the books then its worth checking out on the big screen.