The Host (2013)

Adventure, Romance, Sci-Fi
Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Diane Kruger
When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.
Poorly scripted and dramatically ineffective, The Host is mostly stale and tedious, with moments of unintentional hilarity.
  • Open Road Films Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 29 Mar 2013 Released:
  • 09 Jul 2013 DVD Release:
  • $26.6M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Hit or Miss9/10
This movie you will either enjoy or hate to be honest. If you want something that is action-packed and filled with cool sci-fi moments do not see this movie. Yes the movie is sci-fi but it's more about romance. It also is a tad slower.

However, the cast was fantastic and the script was beautiful. There were cheesy moments but it was still really sweet and well done. Basically what I am saying, is if you like romance with a twist go and see it! If you are expecting something like Gattaca, you will be disappointed.

I really loved the movie and felt it held up to the book. I usually hate movie versions of books but this was really good! If you like the book chances are you are going to like the movie. There are tweaks of course, but I thought they were mainly well done and helped get the same message across.
Better than most "blockbuster" movies out there.7/10
I read The Host book when it came out and it became one of my favourites. Say what you will about Meyer's writing for Twilight, but The Host is different. For one, Wanderer is a very likable heroine.

I only heard about the movie version a week before it opened here. Didn't have high hopes for it, as I thought it would face the same fate as the Twilight series.. But I needed to see it to make the call...

And I was pleasantly surprised! It stayed true to the book - of course they had to cut out some scenes, otherwise it would've been very long - but I never felt like the cuts ruined the story.

One thing I will really praise is the acting. Unlike most movies today I thought The Host had a great cast and never did the acting seem unnatural. Even the cheesy lines were delivered well. Props to the kid who played Jamie, he made me cry! And Saoirse was brilliant in playing two personalities.

Anyway, I wrote this review (my first ever IMDb review ever) because I felt it was unfair that the movie was getting too much flak just for its relation to Meyer or Twilight. There are worse movies out there, just relying on special effects and pomp to cover up the lack of plot and characterisation. See the movie or read the book first before you judge this one.
Sci-Fi And Kissing4/10
The Host has an intriguing conceit. It is about a post-apocalypse where aliens take control on every human body then the remaining unpossessed humans fear them despite that these aliens only want peace. The story might have an idea that the humans could be the real enemy here or it's just both of them. The Sci-Fi bits are pretty interesting but it doesn't end there. It's based on a young adult novel so definitely there will be teenage hormones scattered around the context. It has romance that is suppose to save their world and change their lives, but once again just like any other young adult film, the romance is nothing more than a bunch of good looking people falling in love and doing romantic cliche stuff. Love may not be a problem to these stories but this romance is terribly empty. They're just making out and saying ridiculously cheesy lines. It would have been a fascinating idea but it just can't get away from its typical teen angst.

It is kind of similar to the recent young adult novel based film, Warm Bodies, except the antagonists in The Host are virtuous beings instead of ravenous monsters. It seems that both stories have the same morality. Humans are not the most peaceful beings either and maybe the order and mentality of both sides are the reason why they couldn't get along. When it goes to the romance, it says that Melanie and Wanda's love between the boys might revolt their world's condition. But it strays from its plot giving us a lousily told story and romance. Mostly the romance. It is noticeable that most of their "love" only rely on their lips. Which means they kiss a lot. We do not get to know much about why they care for each other, other than being one of the last normal human beings of their age. It is also filled with plot holes because of course it wants to appeal teens for the endless love that didn't even work. It is directed by Andrew Niccol who is somewhat a Sci-Fi expert but it looks like he's afraid that too much Sci-Fi than romance might disappoint these children. He could have been more indulgent.

The film has a solid cast but not all of them standout. Saoirse Ronan plays two roles here and she fills enough heart on both characters. Diane Kruger looks like she is enjoying playing the film's villain. The roles of Max Irons and Jake Abel seems to be only designed for kissing, slapping, and sometimes strangling, leaving William Hurt being the only likable gentleman of the picture.

The script explains some points of the concept which is fine in that way in spite of the plot holes but it gets terrible on the romance. There are dialogues that may get way out of hand, ends up being laughable. Even more laughable is one scene when the protagonist tries to wake up her subconscious by kissing her boyfriend. I don't know if I should blame anyone about it. I mean what choice does she have? Still, it's ridiculous. The film is at least stunning. It gets to explore something magnificent around. The exteriors serves a lot of intrigue to its world. It features shiny cars and choppers. Most of the action are well shot even though the action itself isn't really that interesting but everything in the film looks good.

The Host is not interesting enough. It thematically talks about peace and stuff. Well, you can make peace out of love but the film only shows kissing and I think there is more in love than just making out. Hormonally, this could be a perfect escapism for teens. An apocalyptic world about relationships of these good looking couples with fast awesome cars crashing on the road. But the story seems to offer more. Again, they are unable to show it because the only fan service for adaptations of teen books is to follow every single sequence from the book because they love comparing. Too bad, they could have also shown what's behind the words as well. The Host is another victim of a generic young adult film adaptation that doesn't understand much of the meaning of the story, and throw away the most bland of all romances.
Unexpectedly great5/10
I was invited to "The Host" premiere last night and was very impressed by the film. I'm not a Twilight fan and have not read the book; If anything I was very suspect of this film and for whatever reason even felt negatively towards it (in an eye-rolling manner).

That said, I found myself walking out of the theater quite surprised. And yes, I still have my manhood and haven't transformed into "A Hoster" or a "Hostling" or whatever they may call the new breed. Honestly, I thought it had a wonderfully intriguing plot, good acting, and I was completely engaged. Yes, there was a bit of "romantic cheesiness" but it seemed to handle itself well and even poked fun of itself at times for this fact. I think if it wasn't for the excellent work of Niccol and Saoirse it might have easily slipped into laughable cheese, but amicably doesn't. Plenty of sophisticated action as well as thought-provoking concepts of love, loyalty, perseverance. A well rounded film overall. I especially enjoyed William Hurt but all the acting was on par.

Perhaps the Twilights were focused on teenagers but as a 30something guy I really liked it. I would definitely recommend giving this movie a chance to all. I'm just in the market now for a shiny silver Lotus.
A great opening is drowned by the next two hours of slow, boring torture.5/10
"The Host" (from Chockstone Pictures) opens and closes with two scenes that contain elements of great science fiction. The problem is that what comes in the middle is one of the longest, chunks of torpor you'll ever experience. This movie is so slow that after a while you fear that the movie will go in reverse. Some movies dare you to look at the screen. This one dares you to stay in your seat.

To be sure, the movie has a fantastic premise. Imagine what might happen to Earth after "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" ended. Aliens from another world, called "souls," have come to Earth, taken over our bodies, flushed out both our personalities and our emotions and replaced them with their own. Imagine what happens if one operation doesn't go quite right. What might happen if the human personality was still inside a mind that had been replaced? That is the problem facing an alien host named Wanderer (Saoirse Ronan). She hears a voice in her head, the human voice of the person who previously occupied the body she has been given. The girl inside her mind is named Melanie, who still has memories of her human occupation. Soon those memories are being shared with Wanderer. She keeps this information from her betters and goes on the run. You can already guess their response.

This means we get to sit through a long series of laughable scenes in which actress Saoirse Ronan is forced to spend a lot of time talking to herself. We hear the alien speaking, and then we hear the human voice in her head. This works when she thinks she is about to die, but when Wanderer kisses a guy that Melanie can't stand, it becomes ridiculous. Ronan is a fine actress who has been better elsewhere. Watch her sometime in "Hanna" and her Oscar nominated performance in "Atonement." Here she's a real trooper, pulling off dialogue that is – to put it nicely – utterly ridiculous.

What develops from this plot isn't as ingenious as one might hope. Instead of exploring the possibly of this bizarre situation, "The Host" becomes one of those old familiar last-hope-for-humanity stories in which characters stand around talking about the situation in long, boring scenes of dialogue that should have remained on the cutting room floor. It opens with an effectively creepy leisure pace but then never picks up any steam. More on the plot will not be revealed here, suffice to say that after that great opening, the rest of the movie just kind of coasts.

"The Host" was written and directed by Andrew Niccol who has a talent for creating smart, inventive stories about people trapped by their circumstances. He wrote the great "Gattaca" (1997) about a natural-born man trapped in a world of synthetic humans. He wrote "The Truman Show" (1998), about a man trapped in his own reality show. He made "Lord of War" (2005), about a man who confronts the moral implications of the international arms deals that he puts into motion.

Niccol has some of those inspirations here but he is at the mercy of a script based on a book by Stephanie Meyers the popular writer of the "Twilight" series. This film, as with that series, is tilted toward something meaningful he can't seem to get the movie out of first gear. All of the characters look alike, talk alike, sound alike. They stand around and have long boring conversations about the same thing over and over and over and over. It's like the movie had a great launch and then spent the rest of its time driving around in a circle.