Saturday, April 20, 2013

Review - The Host (2013)

Starring Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons and Diane Kruger.
Directed by Andrew Niccol.

The Host is a science fiction "love" story adapted from best-selling author Stephenie Meyer's novel of the same name. As you know Stephenie Meyer also wrote the Twilight Saga books which were adapted into some terrible movies and it seemed to have been passed on to this new adaptation as well. Sadly.

The movie has an interesting concept in which we see aliens inhabit human bodies and pretty much reconstruct Earth - as they see humans to be destructive beings. The human body plays host to the parasitic alien beings (called Souls) who took over their bodies fully. However one particular human/host name Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) somehow survives the assimilation process and becomes trapped inside her own mind, who is now occupied by a Soul who refers to herself as Wanderer. For the rest of the film, there is constant babbling between Melanie and Wanderer, as well as the Souls hunting other surviving humans.

The Host is described as an "epic" love story. Seriously? What love story? Saoirse Ronan had little to no chemistry or passion with any of her male interests - whether it be with Jared (Max Irons) or with Ian (Jake Abel). I thought she was uncomfortable and unconvincing in her role; she sucked as both Melanie and Wanderer and provided no life in this movie. Luckily the concept/story still had me interested a bit because I wanted to see what would actually be the outcome. They even tried to create romantic flares in this movie through Melanie's memories but it just seemed so awkward. Melanie and Wanderer's constant mind bickering and chattering was very annoying, distracting, and on top of that - made worse by a lousy script.

To be honest I just couldn't take anyone serious in this movie, especially with their terrifyingly stale dialogue. I actually liked Diane Kruger - she played one of the alien Souls and was a decent character with an actual purpose. There were quite a few melodramatic and over-sentimental moments in this movie that felt so forced. It was a bad experience having to watch the implausible coupled with over-sentimental moments in this movie. The story became formulaic and at one point I felt like it wasn't going anywhere until it somewhat caught itself. On the flip side, I liked how this movie looked. It did capture that futuristic/apocalyptic look and feel. I liked the ending too. The last 5 minutes is perhaps the best part of the whole movie.

Concept-wise, The Host didn't fail but unfortunately the characters and the script did nothing for this adaptation. There were no sparks but hey, at least the alien eyes looked cool.

Rating: 4.5/10

Movies Also Watched:

Croupier (1998)
A slick, smartly written, neo-noir thriller with a good twist. - 9/10

One Hour Photo (2002)
Unsettling thriller from start to finish. Robin William is master creep. - 7.5/10

Come and See (1985)
A harrowing Belarusian/Nazi war experience. Very underrated anti-war film. - 10/10

Naked Lunch (1991)
A hallucinating semi-biography that ventured into surrealism, but kept me interested throughout - 8/10

Cape Fear (1991)
A creepy thriller with a commanding and terrifying performance from Robert De Niro. - 7.5/10


  1. The Host is easily one of the worst movies I've seen in 2013. It was so bad, yet I found it entertaining. I couldn't help but smile like an idiot at how silly it all was. Plus the music was sensational (IMO). Great review :)