I really wanted to give this film a good chance. I really wanted to come out of it saying I liked it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I really wanted to say, even though it originated from the same place as “The Twilight Saga”, I still recommend seeing it.
But really, who gets everything they want in life?
The Host wasted 125 minutes of my life that I will never get back.
The film is set in the distant future, where Earth is invaded by an alien race that injects “Souls” into human beings, taking over their bodies with the justification that they are saving the race from themselves – saving them from their self inflicted violence and destruction. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is one of the last few human beings alive, and is on the run with her brother, Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and her lover, Jared (Max Irons). Eventually she gets captured and injected with a Soul, named Wanderer. Through a series of internal (and annoying) arguments, debates and turmoil between Wanderer and Melanie, they escape and eventually attempt to search for her loved ones.
Whilst I thoroughly enjoyed Saoirse Ronan’s performance in Atonement, and even The Lovely Bones, I can’t say I felt the same about her in this film. 90% of the movie consisted of Melanie / Wanderer wearing an incredibly pained and confused look on her face which I’m assuming, mirrored mine exactly for the entire two hour film. Combined with her pained and confused face, was her irritating dialogue. Within the 10 minutes of the film where Melanie, as an internal voice, stopped talking was perhaps her most tolerable moment.
Honestly, I think the biggest problem I had watching this film (besides the fact that the lady sitting next to me was so loudly determined to finish her entire cup of coke through her straw) was the fact that the film had potentially interesting concepts and themes, which were basically ruined by the lack of character development and the shallow love triangle the film opted to revolve around instead.
Melanie was in love with Jared, who returns her love but was just so utterly devastated and angry she was invaded by Wanderer. Then somewhere along the way, Ian (Jake Abel) somehow fell in love with Wanderer. Somehow, even without one proper conversation between them and somehow, even though, he was so determined to kill her at first. Still, both relationships never really were given a chance to develop naturally and believably. And you can just imagine all the Twilight-esque dialogue – completely unbelievable, almost unbearable, extremely unwitty, perhaps unintelligent, and above all just so cheesy.
With that being said, I can’t say that the entire movie was complete trash. There were some shots that were nicely done and the visual scenery in some parts of the film was also quite beautiful. But I don’t think that makes up for the poorly written script, and the general annoyingness of female protagonist, Melanie / Wanderer.
If you’re a Meyer fan or even enjoyed the likes of Twilight – then go for it, eat your heart out, because no matter how much I warn you, there is probably nothing I can do to stop you. Otherwise, save your money and spend it on something more useful and entertaining.
I really didn’t like this movie, I wasn’t pleasantly surprised and I don’t recommend seeing it.
Even though, I really wanted to.
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
Written by: Andrew Niccol
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Chandler Canterbury
Released by: Open Road Films