The Host Review 3.5/5
As many of you may be put off by this film because it is Stephenie Meyer’s work, I do suggest you give it a chance, you maybe surprised by it’s interesting concept and stunning visuals. (Don’t worry there is no silly girl that finds it clinically depressing to be choosing between a werewolf or a vampire in this film.)
The Host starts by telling us how perfect the world is and how everyone is equal. However this perfect world is no longer ours and is now run by an alien race called Souls that possess our bodies body snatcher style. When a soul named Wanderer (later nicknamed as Wanda) is inserted into the body of Melanie Stryder, to get information for a very unusually un-soul-like Seeker (souls answer to the police), she is surprised that Melanie still resides in the bodies mind.
Melanie, scared for her brother and lovers life, bombards Wanda with images of compassion to strike a chord in Wanda’s good will. Having developed this love for them, Wanda/Melanie then set out to find them. But they are unknowingly followed obsessively by the Seeker.
This is a great concept that I feel hasn’t had a real chance to be explored in Andrew Niccol’s screenplay much like his work with In Time. His answer to an internal dialogue between Wanda and Melanie is unoriginal, cheesy and at times laughable. I’d imagined whilst reading the book it would be a bit difficult to do, however sticking an echo on Mel’s voice over to me just didn’t work. Their conversations to each other were very unemotional and didn’t feel that they had that bond that they were meant to. With the exception of one scene nearer the end where it was done very well.
The love triangle, or love square is a bit strange on screen however it kind of works. We get top notch performance from Saoirse Ronan, William Hurt, Diane Kruger and that woman that plays the bitch mother in titanic. Lacking was Max Irons as Jared, Mel’s love interest whom comes across as dull, his native english accent kept popping out a few times too.
The visuals were stunning. The desert scenery and the set design was fantastic really upping this films credibility The once human world is now a cheerily eerie place, with futuristic chrome cars and helicopters with a mellow car chase that wasn’t too underplayed or over the top.
I feel that this film was missing something. Whilst I get that the main plot is a romance, I feel that the original work written by Meyer had more thought provoking sci-fi themes that Niccol could of conveyed nicely on film. We don’t get to learn much about the souls apart from they are lovely bunch of people that make our eyes have a beautiful silver rim, what little insight we do get provides the comic relief. Antonio Pinto provides a very atmospheric and strong score in the film that was nicely melancholic.
I was happy enough to watch it and not get bored. It was a mellow sci-fi film with a complicated romance that was more interesting than Meyer’s past films. The film does leave room for a sequel and with the romance plot resolved (and hopefully Niccol gone) I’d imagine the sequel would be promising.
So it gets a 3.5/5