The Host

The Host movie Stephenie Meyer

I read The Host when it was released, back in 2008, and although I want to reread it, I haven't had a chance yet. Therefore, I went into seeing the movie version with a sort of "book amnesia" - I remembered the main gist of the book, but not all of the small details. Regardless, I ended up really liking The Host, despite its currently dismal Rotten Tomatoes rating.

Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) lives on a planet where most of the humans have been occupied by "hosts" - aliens that take over their bodies and eventually force out the human souls that lie within. She is one of the members of the Resistance, one of the few people still human that hide from these aliens to avoid becoming occupied. She gets caught by one of the Seekers (Diane Kruger) and flings herself out a hotel window, but with their advanced medicines, the aliens are able to revive her and implant Wanderer, a host, into her. Wanderer's duty is to report Melanie's memories to the Seeker so that they can find the Resistance; what they don't anticipate, however, is that Melanie's soul will not die out so easily, and she eventually convinces Wanderer that they must find her boyfriend, uncle, and younger brother, before the aliens find them.

The plot is a little confusing but going in with "book amnesia," I feel that they adequately explained it. I was interested in seeing how Ronan was going to play both Melanie and Wanderer, and how they would deal with Melanie's thoughts always going on in what is now Wanderer's body, but they were able to pull it off. I will say that the trailers for this movie are a little misleading; there's a love triangle, but it's on the back burner, for the most part, and the trailers make it look like Melanie/Wanderer and Jared (Max Irons) are having a love affair and that is what the movie is mostly about - probably to draw in the Twilight fans, I'm guessing, as The Host was also penned by Stephenie Meyer.

Yes, see this movie. I was surprised that I liked it so much, because a few people I know had seen an earlier screening and disliked it or thought it was just mediocre. The music throughout was decent, as well, and the acting was good, although I will confess that there were a few scenes that did miss their marks, as we were laughing in the theater and the scenes supposed to be funny; this is the fault of the script, however, and not the acting.

Its Rotten Tomatoes rating is abysmal, yes, but I think that if you are a sci-fi fan, you would like The Host. The critics whose ratings are included in the Tomatometer scoff that it's a film made for teenagers and tweens, or Twilight fans; but I'm 26, and I actually liked it better than most of the Twilight films (although I'm a fan of those as well). The concepts in The Host may not be new (think Invasion of the Body Snatchers) but the movie itself is believable, and brings up some interesting questions about humanity and what exactly it takes to form a "perfect world."

The Host is in theaters today, March 29th, and is rated PG-13 with a runtime of 125 minutes. 4 stars out of 5.

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