The Host is based off of the novel of the same name written by Stephenie Meyer. Yes, the same author who wrote The Twilight Saga. An alien species known as souls have taken over humans by inhabiting their bodies to create peace among Earth. When Melanie Stryder (Saorise Ronan) is surrounded by a group of seekers in an old hotel she thought was abandoned, rather then getting caught she decides to jump out of the buildings window attempting to kill herself. As if some kind of miracle she survived, much to her dislike. A soul that goes by the name of Wanderer or Wanda is implanted into Melanie’s body but unlike many of the other occupied humans, some people refuse to be beat as they internally battle their host. Wanda’s job is to look into Melanie’s memories to find out where the resistance is, where the other surviving humans are. However, Melanie fights back by throwing memory after memory full of strong physical and emotional connections to the people she loves at Wanda hoping that she’ll understand how important it is for her to not say anything. As the soul begins to feel pity for Melanie and the humans they both set out on a journey to get back to Jared (Max Irons), the man she loves and her little brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury). Nothing is means more to Melanie then her family.
When I first heard Melanie’s voice after Wanda had taken over her body I found it really annoying. I don’t know if I just got so used to it by the end of the film that it no longer bugged me or it just wasn’t as obnoxious as when it first started so that it no longer bugged me. As someone who actually read the novel I know there is no other way they could’ve accomplished this successfully. And I did warm up to it. Some of the back and forth comments between Wanda and Melanie may have come out funnier then planned but they were well received getting laughs from the audience.
This storyline line doesn’t include a love triangle, but a love square. Well it’s just really awkward. Jared and Melanie are in love with each other so that’s simple but because Melanie is trapped inside her own body she can’t be with him. Then there’s Ian (Jake Abel) who falls in love with Wanda which is the soul in Melanie’s body. So technically you have two boys in love with the same person and it’s questionable on how this could end well for everyone involved. Now, me explaining the rest of the story would be summarizing the book and I don’t care to do so. You should just pick up a copy.
One thing that bothered me was how the souls looked. I can’t really explain it but it just made me want to laugh. Specifically when Ian is looking at one at some point in the movie and just looks so in love with this little white sort of light that moves. It made me uncomfortable. Also, many of the other characters acted unnatural and zombie-like when they shouldn’t have since they were human. I understand from reading the book that they were scared of Wanda because they didn’t trust her intentions but that’s not how it came across from watching it. On top of that some of the dialogue seemed awkward and forced but those are my only complaints.
I wouldn’t call this my favourite movie but it stuck fairly close to the book. Obviously cutting out the mediocre things to leave place for those scenes of importance. But i’m also judging this as a fan who loved the books so you need to keep that in mind. I’m not sure you’d like the movie at all if you were a middle-aged man who just loves to complain about everything. This sci-fi teen romance wasn’t aimed towards their demographic so I don’t blame them, but it was aimed at mine so maybe i’m really the more trustworthy one. Anyone who loved the book will love this movie regardless of what critics have to say.
The Host hit theatres today, Friday March 29th 2012