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“The Host”

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Christy Blevins

The Host Review

If the world is going to be overrun by an alien race, The Host may not be the best movie to spend your money watching.

Based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer, author of Twilight, The Host premiered in theaters on March 2nd. The movie shows a world to the audience in which humans are being taken over by alien life forms known as “Souls.” Humans are seen as destructive, and, therefore, the Souls see that it is their right to take over their bodies and save the planet by making it more peaceful.

Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is a human on the run from the “Seekers.” Seekers are Souls who find the humans that are left. Melanie is on the run with her little brother, Jamie (Chandler Canterbury), and her lover, Jared Howe (Max Irons).  While on the run, Melanie was cornered by Seekers and chooses to take her own life by jumping from a window instead of being taken over. Unfortunately, the Souls were able to save her and placed a strong soul called “Wanderer (Saoirse)” in her body.

Melanie’s human soul is still encased in her body, and most of the movie revolves around Melanie and Wanderer fighting for control. The first half of the movie is about Wanderer trying to see Melanie’s memories, and, in doing so, she becomes sympathetic to Melanie. She then falls “in love” with Jared and Jamie.

Melanie constantly screams in Wanderer’s head and actually becomes irritating to those watching the movie as well as to those who have read the novel. Together, they escape from the Seeker assigned to Wanderer who is an overbearing, controlling person. The Seeker (Diane Kruger) never gives up searching though.

Melanie and Wanderer follow a map in Melanie’s head to a hidden sanctuary, inside a mountain, where Melanie’s Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) is. Here, Wanderer, now nicknamed Wanda, meets Ian O’Shea (Jake Abel) and his angry brother, Kyle (Boyd Holbrook). After being held captive and almost killed by Jared, Ian, and Kyle, Wanda is welcomed into the survivors’ community by the slightly crazy Jeb.

The movie lacks a timeline from here on out. Ian almost instantly falls in love with Wanda, and Wanda falls in love with him, but Melanie is still in love with Jared.

True to Stephenie Meyer’s intentions, we are introduced to a love triangle—rhombus really—that never really develops. The rest of the movie involves Wanda fighting for control to have time with Ian, Melanie fighting for control to keep Wanda away from Ian and Jared, and everyone’s fight to save Jamie’s life after he cuts his leg which is overlooked for quite some time by the director until he remembers it’s essential to the plot.

Although looking and sounding great onscreen, not much else can be distinguished because of the lack of character development in the movie. The screenwriting developed very little character backgrounds, and, because of the timeline, the movie suffered greatly. If they had wished to pull off the love rhombus in a more successful way without developing characters, more effort could have been put into developing the emotion behind how they were trapped in the cave for months and months instead of just stating at the end.

The accurate character acting is what saved the movie. Able and Irons both portrayed believable, rough edged men in this surviving community. And, Saoirse, although a perfect fit for the portrayal of Wanda’s kind and sensitive side, poorly showed a strong Melanie. Melanie is meant to be a stubborn and strong fighter. Saoirse’s soft voice may not have been the best choice, but she pulled it off as best she could. The best part of the movie was Hurt’s acting as Uncle Jeb.

The Host is much different from Meyer’s Twilight saga and appeals to a wider variety of people. It still has romance but is also laced with action, and a largely sci-fi feel. Although it may not be the best choice for the Hollywood box office, it won’t be bad as a Red Box movie.