Movie Review: The Host (2013)


Plot: 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.

The Host is again one of the movies where the Internet and I do not see eye to eye. Based on the Sci-Fi/dystopian novel of the same name by Stephanie Meyer, The Host was released in the time where the Twilight craze was full blown. It’s not hard to see what the grand plan was here – the producers hoped the Twilight hype was enough to draw crowds for The Host. That didn’t happen – I don’t think the majority of the Twilight fan base would even appreciate Melanie Stryder – she’s way more independent than the ever whiney and spineless Bella Swan. The Host is also not strong enough to stand as a Science Fiction film, and any hardcore SciFi fan would be irritated by the predominantly romantic and schmaltzy moments between the lead characters. So while The Host failed rather in the eyes of the public, I enjoyed it.

Before I typically start only discussing characters again – let’s just talk about how dark the whole essence of The Host is. Humans being infected with aliens and their souls dying out while they are trapped in their bodies?Brutal man.


Also, there were some great scenery – the barren landscapes are gorgeous, contrasted sharply with the world environment created by the alien species. The CGI was also neat. The being network thing was beautiful to behold. The cave that was transformed by Jeb is also amazing to behold, and the harvest nearly angelical in its’ existence.

Saoirse Ronan ( Melanie / Wanda) en 'THE HOST (La huésped)', basada en la obra de Stephenie Meyer

I’m a big Saoirse Ronan fan – the girl can act life into any character. She applies subtle changes to her impressions of Wanda and Melanie, and can appear slightly alien and very human alternately. There is naturally a bit of a love triangle – it wouldn’t be a Meyer book without it – and Max Irons and Jake Abel, who star as Jared Howe and Ian O’Shea, seem at times a bit bemused by how they ended up in this film, and also comes across as unconvinced and bored, but that doesn’t stop them from being smoldering and sexy love interests when they must. I did enjoy Diane Kruger as The Seeker – the character is such a big pain in the ass, and proves not all the beings are as benign as Wanderer claims. It took me some time to place Frances Fisher – she’s Rose’s mom in Titanic – and I think she could have been worked in more frequently into the film with her character serving as the voice of doubt. William Hurt as Jeb was also fun, with some good one-liners that I enjoyed. Kidlet Chandler Canterbury as Jamie Stryder was likely the weakest performance – he was unconvincing and wasn’t really capable of acting out the role, I’ve seen other kids do much better work with similar source material.


The Host focuses mostly on the romance and very little on the actual story – which is quite interesting and thus a shame. However, I do enjoy the romance part as I have a marshmallow heart underneath it all. The movie could have been better planned and executed, but overall I can see myself watching it again. That is the most important part of entertainment, right?

Rating: 6.5/10



Book Review: The Host (Stephanie Meyer)

the host book

Plot: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. The earth has been invaded by a species that take over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact. Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, didn’t expect to find its former tenant refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.

As Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she’s never met. Reluctant allies, Wanderer and Melanie set off to search for the man they both love

Rating: 6.5/10

I for one did not think I would rate this book anything higher than a five. I went in with rather low expectations – because even though I certainly don’t despise Twilight like the rest of the world does (especially Zoë), it was at the time of its release the worst thing to happen to feminism since the sandwich (and is terribly written). Meyer wrote this one in between the Twilight saga, and I still cannot forgive her for inspiring Fifty Shades of Grey (I mean, she didn’t write it, BUT SHE STARTED IT, to sound like a two year old). This is much, much better than Twilight was, for a variety of reasons, but mostly because Melanie Stryder would kick Bella Swans ass without thinking twice about it.

My first (of a relatively and surprisingly few) negative comment is that the book starts really slowly and takes ages to actually have events occurring. Melanie/Wanderer’s days before they run to the caves are terribly mundane. I think fifty pages would have been more than enough to establish that Wanderer was not like the other souls and gotten her to the caves.

Then there is the whole undeveloped Sci-Fi angle. I have never been a Sci-Fi girl. My dad adores it and my older sister got that from him but I find it really boring actually. The Host is a really mellow Sci-Fi work and I found myself wanting more information. The creatures are never explained (at all), they have no name and their origin planet has no title. The planets Wanderer visited are named “Mists Planet” and “See Weeds” and stuff like that. This could have actually been interesting but if something was even titled, it was vaguely done so.

Like with any melodramatic new dystopian author, Stephanie Meyer includes useless drama into this book. What was the point of Wes dying? OR the cancer guy’s death? It served no purpose. Maggie and her mother’s antagonism towards Wanda looked like it was aiming for a major showdown but frizzled out.

The violence on women is still pretty heavy. Yeah, I get that this is an alien in a woman’s body but sheesh, hitting her around? That is never justifiable, for any reason.

I hated that the Seeker’s Soul was sent off to another planet. Talk about anticlimactic.

What I did enjoy, and eventually made me have fun with this book, is Melanie’s character. Her need to survive was not only because she had such an undying love for Jared, but that she needed to see that her brother was safe too. It seems less needy than the thought that she just needed Jared in her life. The conversations between her and Wanderer are entertaining at times and become well written through the course of the book – the first interactions are really confusing. Wanderer and Melanie could not be more different; with the only similarities that they are good creatures and they both love Jamie and Jared.

Ian’s character: Jared was such a douche most of the time, and while he really suited Melanie – who was a diehard human, Ian was a better choice for Wanda – he was as soul-like as a human could be.

The point I think Meyer was trying to make – that kindness should not be limited only to the human race, and that love doesn’t fade.

The Host surprised me – it is miles better than Twilight and developed a good pace through the book.It isn’t only about romance, it is about hope and family and the survival of the human race as well. It ends with a strong open end for a sequel – so many unresolved emotions and the introduction of more human cells. I do hope that there might be one in the future, because I might just read it!