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.
A race of non-corporeal, parasitic aliens who go from planet to planet looking for hosts have come to Earth and basically taken over the human race. It's believed that, once inside a body, all memories of the host human are gone. Some few free humans remain hidden from them, forming a resistance group. When an alien Seeker captures a girl named Melanie and puts a Wanderer in her body, she hopes to find out where the remaining humans are gathered, but Melanie, a strong fighter able to converse with the alien in her commandeered body, convinces the Wanderer to say nothing. Disappointed by the lack of progress (though suspecting an empathy for the human), the Seeker informs the Wanderer that she'll be removed and placed in a new host while she herself will enter Melanie. With human lives at risk, Melanie convinces Wanderer to run away and hide out with the humans, but finding them doesn't mean they'll allow an alien presence among them. Jared (Melanie's boyfriend) wants her dead, but Jeb... Written by
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As the seekers wear completely white clothing throughout the film including in the desert sequences, it was a tedious process for the costume designers and makeup artists to constantly clean the clothes whenever they got dirty, which was often. See more »
When the humans find Melanie in the desert, the soles on both her shoes are severely worn down in front. When she arrives at their hideout, a brief shot shows the sole on her left shoe to be completely unscathed. See more »
The earth is at peace. There is no hunger. There is no violence. The environment is healed. Honesty, courtesy and kindness are practiced by all. Our world has never been more... perfect. Only, it is no longer our world. We've been invaded by an alien race. They occupy the bodies of almost all human beings on the planet. The few humans who have survived are on the run.
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Outside of The Twilight Saga, The Host is Stephanie Meyer's biggest novel and since the success of her supernatural series, her sci-fi novel has been adapted. There is a stronger cast and director for The Host, than the Twilight Saga, but how does it fare on its own terms? In the near future, Earth has been conquered by a parasitic alien race known as The Souls, who implant themselves into human bodies. Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is a member of the human resistance who gets captured when she tries to protect her younger brother, Jamie (Chandler Canterbury). Melanie gets implanted with a Soul, called Wanderer, with the aliens planning to use Melanie's memories in order to find the human resistance. As Wanderer explores Melanie's memories, she finds out about Melanie's lover, Jared (Max Irons) and the pair plan an escape to the desert to find the resistance camp. Within the camp, Wanderer falls for another human, Ian (Jake Abel), causing problems for all of them.
Let's get the comparisons with Twilight out the way; yes there is a is love triangle (or should that be a love square?), The Host has a much better lead actress with Ronan then Kirsten Stewart and has a stronger supporting cast, with the likes of William Hurt and Diane Kruger. Andrew Niccol also gives the film more creditability behind the camera, acting as both the writer and director. The Host has interesting ideas that had many potential avenues to explore: but unfortunately it focuses more on the love story instead of all of the other aspects that could have lead to a much more meaningful film.
Ronan does rise above the material and gives very strong performance, as you would expect from her. This is even more remarkable that she has to argue and talk with herself, like Homer Simpson arguing with his own brain. Whilst there was the potential for themes of locked in syndrome as Melanie is trapped inside her own head, fighting to control her own body or going through a more literal, internal conflict. But it turns really silly when she argues with herself over two men, as opposed of having a much more difficult time of having a stronger conflict within her character. Ronan gets battered and beaten throughout the film as she gets hit, verbally abused and discriminated against and yet, still persevere through everything she's up against.
Whilst Ronan does a good job, the two men she is meant to be conflicted about are blank stales. Neither actor has much of a personality or character and they are very indistinguishable from each other. Ronan has no choice but to carry the film, considering that there was nothing going for the main love interests. At least Hurt and Kruger looked like they were having fun with their roles and were highly professional with their performances.
The idea of some sort of insider for an oppressive regime having an awakening, usually because a love interest and ends up turning against their own side has been used before. We have seen it in novels like Nineteen-Eighty Four, Fahrenheit 451 and We and films such as Metropolis and THX-1138. The Host does twist this age old idea in sci-fi, even if the execution was lacking.
The Host had a really strong premise with opportunities to explore multiple themes. They could have been themes about identity, the battle within the mind, split personalities, trust and how humans would survive after this invasion. But like Twilight, the film only touches on these concepts and puts all of its focus in the wrong places.
Much like Twilight, The Host has been criticised for its dialogue and being unintentionally funny. It is true that the film has some bad dialogue, but with some of the moments that were comical that had be intentional, with some of its moments of cultural clash and the bickering between Wanderer and Melanie. There are also some dark moments and there were really refreshing when they do come around.
Niccol is known for being an excellent writer director, making Gattaca and Lord of War and was nominated for an Academy Awards for his screenplay for The Truman Show. The Host is his first adaptation and it felt very rigidly close to the source material. What it results to is a bland experience that has episodic nature, having mini-plots with some developments, instead of a larger overarching story. Looks wise, the film is pretty flat and dull, using nothing but silver chrome for the alien technology, concrete and glass for the buildings and the humans are based in an empty desert environment. The cinematography and the special effects were solid but, Niccol was coasting and he is much more capable then this.
Currently on Rotten Tomatoes, The Host has an 12% rating and seemingly on course to be considered one of the worst films of 2013. Whilst it is hard to argue that The Host is a good movie, it is certainly not terrible: its crime is merely being mediocre, dull and forgettable.
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