So I didn’t get to see Stephenie Meyer’s fifth book to movie feature during its regular run. And I didn’t read the book beforehand either. While I didn’t love it, and I didn’t exactly hate it, I admit that I felt like it was a watered down version of Twilight, but with werewolves and vampires subplanted with aliens who possess human bodies.
The Host is the story of Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), one of the remaining humans on Earth after parasitic aliens have taken possession of most of mankind. During one of their runs, Melanie is cornered by “Seekers” and she chooses to end her life rather than become an alien host. However, instead of dying, she survives and the soul called Wanderer is placed in her body. As Wanderer tries to gain control of the body, Melanie fights back and gives her “guest” a taste of what being human is really like. She compels Wanderer to return to the resistance, where the love of her life Jared (Max Irons) and her brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) are hiding. Things get complicated when Wanderer falls for Ian (Jake Abel), another member of the group and a vengeful Seeker (Diane Kruger) remains on their tail.
The Host had all the ingredients to make it a blockbuster hit. It had a great cast of hot young stars, a great soundtrack and the story was based on a popular piece of young adult literature from the author of the Twilight franchise. However, none of these elements were enough to save the film from itself, since it was basically a generic YA love story that felt like a composite of other better plotted Sci fi novels, but with less depth and detail.
The film was not without its strengths. Max Irons and Saoirse Ronan had great chemistry, true. But this strength was not enough to compensate for my annoyance at both the characters of Melanie, who came off as quite abrasive and manipulative to Wanderer; or the shallowness of Jared’s character. In truth, I kind of liked the character of Wanderer better, as with Ian, the supposedly secondary character of the piece as they proved that they had more depth and had a better story than the two leads, whose storyline basically revolved around kissing and groping each other.
All in all, The Host was very uneventful and insubstantial. Many opportunities were lost because the story in itself was unimaginative at best and perhaps written to prove that Stephenie Meyers had something up her sleeve apart from the Twilight saga. Even the ending of this film was the height of cheesiness. Don’t get me wrong. I read all the Twilight books and loved them. I even watched all of the Twilight films and thought the last one was good. But Sci Fi is not really Meyer’s forte. In itself, the genre is quite tricky and complicated. It’s not just regular fiction.
My advice? No more sequels to this one, please.