The Host (Review)

April 2, 2013 5:51 pm

The Host An adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s novel, The Host sees Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, and Jake Abel starring in an apocalyptic-style love story. The human race has been taken over by an alien life form that transplants itself into the human body, repressing the human consciousness. But, when one of the few surviving humans, Melanie Strider (Ronan), is taken over by one of the alien life forms called Wanda, this alien race gets more than it bargained for. Can love really save humanity?

Having admittedly not read the book, I had to judge the film purely on its own, and despite the negative stigma attached to Meyer because of the Twilight series, I was surprised that this film captured my attention at all. The plot premise is decent, and if the alien race Meyer has created was intended to be creepy, then that was certainly reflected in the film. Ronan copes well with playing both Melanie and Wanda, and The Host is well paced in parts.

Although I have sat through far worse films, I have also sat through far better. The first half hour or so is rather lukewarm, with not much actually happening, and no indication of potential threats to come. It is inevitable that Melanie and Wanda will eventually find the other remaining humans, including Melanie’s lover Jared (Irons), and the film would have got off to a better start by cutting the first half hour and using flashback instead.

Another major issue is the “cheesiness” factor that Meyer has become notorious for – a shame, considering that the idea behind The Host is in itself very good. The dialogue was cliché-ridden, with Melanie / Wanda and Ian (Abel) talking by a sunset, and Wanda’s frankly awful final speech to Melanie, (yes, that does involve a long conversation between Ronan and Ronan with the camera pointed at er… Ronan).

Despite the obvious flaws, I was pleasantly surprised that The Host wasn’t the complete washout that I expected it to be. It’s easy to watch, and not bad – but don’t expect to be fully engaged for the whole two hours. And remember to bring the sick bucket for the soppy scenes.

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