Film Review: The Host

marla pachter rips the new stephanie meyer book-to-film …


Upon seeing The Host, the first thing I did when I walked out of the theater was text my friend that it was a, “hot steaming pile of garbage.” So basically … Stephanie Meyer has done it again. I didn’t really expect much, knowing this was another movie based on a book by the author of the Twilight series, but admittedly there was something about the trailer that made me believe The Host might actually be good. I now realize that it was nothing more than the excellent usage of Imagine Dragon’s hit song “Radioactive”.

Much to my dismay, “Radioactive” was not featured in the film until the end credits. A gross misuse on the sound editor’s part, in my opinion, because this film could have used a little more excitement.

It takes place in the future, where tiny little parasites that could fit in the palm of your hand have TAKEN OVER THE PLANET. I only just realized how ridiculous this is. How did they invade in the first place? These aliens are literally small, gross-looking, GLOWING, and FUZZY things that need a host in order to … I don’t know, have actual lives, I guess? They get implanted into the back of our necks, and just take over the human body until the human voice inside their head goes away. These beings are completely honest and peaceful, yet seem to have no concept of the fact that by inhabiting the entire population of humanity, they are killing off an entire species.

The movie opens on the main character (kind of) Melanie, one of the last humans left on Earth, being taken by the aliens. A glowing fuzzball named Wanderer (the very original name given to this alien because she has wandered to many planets and inhabited the bodies of many beings. Wherever did Stephanie Meyer come up with that name???!??!?) is implanted inside of her, and asked to sort through Melanie’s memories to lead the others to the resistance so they can finish taking over the humans. It’s quite sweet, actually. It’s just like the Holocaust, but instead of killing out all the Jews, they’re killing out ALL OF HUMANITY.

But there’s a problem. Melanie’s a fighter. She resists. Through painstaking voice-overs, she screams at Wanderer and tells her to go to hell. Wanderer communicates back, by talking out loud. In fact, there is a good thirty minutes of the movie where Saoirse Ronan is the only person on screen, having a dialogue with herself between Wanderer (out loud) and Melanie (via voice-over). It is, to say the least, pretty painful to watch. When the two main characters share one body, the story is simply not meant to be made into a movie.

What I found rather odd about the movie, as well, is that I feel I was lead to believe in the trailers that the story was about Melanie. I thought we would learn about her, get thrown into her life and get connected to her, and be really upset when she was taken. But the story really isn’t about Melanie at all. It’s about Wanderer. Wanderer, the white glowing space fuzz. And it is hard to feel a connection to anything that happens, because we don’t care about furry glowing parasites. For a movie that is supposed to be all about saving humanity, there is very little humanity to be found.

Sure, Wanderer does gain some human emotions from Melanie, and starts to agree that human lives are not something to just squash. Wanderer allows Melanie to take her to the colony of humans living in secret, which is run by Melanie’s uncle Jeb and includes Melanie’s brother Jaime, and the love of Melanie’s life, Jared. I may have forgotten to mention this, but the only way you can tell the difference between humans and fuzzy glowworms is in the eyes. The aliens have a glowy blue ring for their iris. It’s weird. So her family knows this is not Melanie they’re dealing with and at first they lock Wanderer up. But yada yada, through not a lot of action, and a lot of Saoirse Ronan talking to herself, eventually they decide to trust her. They even humanize her, calling her Wanda as a nickname.

And if that’s not enough … one guy even falls in love with her. Ian, the friggin’ beautiful schmuck, falls in love with the palm-sized parasitic alien who radiates white light and is basically just a dust bunny. What? WHAT. Literally Wanda even says to him that if he knew her true form he would be disgusted and squash her in his hand. To which Ian very cheesily responds, “You don’t know that, ” and then kisses her passionately. I’m telling you … this movie is warped.

The audience cared so little about what was going on that at one point Melanie/Wanda’s car completely flips over in a horrific accident, and everyone in the theater, myself included, burst out laughing. This movie was boring, uninteresting, said nothing, was basically void of emotion, and was at times just plain weird. But the bad kind of weird that makes you cringe, not the good kind of weird that makes you think. I don’t recommend seeing it, unless you bring someone along with you to make fun of it. That’s what I did with all the Twilight movies, anyway.

So yeah, basically a hot, steaming pile of garbage. Kudos, Stephanie Meyer. Kudos.