Review: The Host

Isabella Loskutoff  ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Editor

Max Irons and Saoirse Ronan in "The Host." Photo Credit: Photo by Alan Markfield – © 2012 - Open Road Films.
Max Irons and Saoirse Ronan in “The Host.” Photo Credit: Photo by Alan Markfield – © 2012 – Open Road Films.
This weekend, author Stephanie Meyer’s legions of Twilight fans will be flocking to theaters to see the big-screen adaptation of her 2008 novel, The Host. The story centers on the human race and the otherworldly beings or “souls” that come to Earth to inhabit our bodies. When Melanie, one of the few human rebels left on the planet, is captured, a host is placed into her body. She then struggles to hold on to her memories in order to save the ones she loves while outrunning The Seeker (Diane Kruger).
I have noticed three things that Meyer really loves to include in her storylines and films. First, she enjoys writing about strong but helpless female leads. Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is feisty and defiant, but Wanda, the soul that inhabits her, is the exact opposite; she displays a kind, meek nature that forces the audience to feel sympathetic towards her. Second, Meyer adores love triangles. While on a supply run for her and her younger brother, Melanie meets a guy name Jared (Max Irons). Upon meeting possibly the only other human being out there, who just so happens to be the opposite sex and relatively the same age as he is, Jared kisses Melanie (really?). However, when Melanie’s body becomes inhabited by Wanda, a new man starts pining after her. Ian (Jake Abel) becomes this story’s Jacob from Meyer’s other hit series, Twilight. Finally, Meyer seems to enjoy CGI enhanced, colored eye contacts.
As far as the storyline goes, there were too many questions left unanswered in this film. I understand that these “hosts” invade planets and coexist in the beings that live there, but for being as supposedly “peaceful” as they are, they chase down and capture every human in order to dominate the species. The film fails to explain why this is. There is also no mention as to when these aliens came to Earth or how long they have been there, or even why they keep bouncing around to inhabit different species. Perhaps the film left something out that was pertinent in the books, but I’m just not getting the point. The plot moved forward, but each conflict was too easily satisfied, leaving no tension or suspense for the audience.
The actors, however, were well adjusted in their roles and were each believable. Ronan, who is most known for Atonement, The Lovely Bones, and Hanna, did a decent job portraying the protagonist. Even though Melanie displays many of the same characteristics found in Twilight’s Bella Swan, I found her to be a much more captivating character. William Hurt also did a fine job of playing Melanie’s uncle, Jeb. What I liked most about this movie is that it didn’t rely on big name stars to make a name for itself.
The movie hits theaters Friday, March 29, but I recommend waiting until it’s on Netflix.
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