The Host (2013) Poster

(2013)

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Unexpectedly great
MoovyDawg20 March 2013
I was invited to "The Host" premiere last night and was very impressed by the film. I'm not a Twilight fan and have not read the book; If anything I was very suspect of this film and for whatever reason even felt negatively towards it (in an eye-rolling manner).

That said, I found myself walking out of the theater quite surprised. And yes, I still have my manhood and haven't transformed into "A Hoster" or a "Hostling" or whatever they may call the new breed. Honestly, I thought it had a wonderfully intriguing plot, good acting, and I was completely engaged. Yes, there was a bit of "romantic cheesiness" but it seemed to handle itself well and even poked fun of itself at times for this fact. I think if it wasn't for the excellent work of Niccol and Saoirse it might have easily slipped into laughable cheese, but amicably doesn't. Plenty of sophisticated action as well as thought-provoking concepts of love, loyalty, perseverance. A well rounded film overall. I especially enjoyed William Hurt but all the acting was on par.

Perhaps the Twilights were focused on teenagers but as a 30something guy I really liked it. I would definitely recommend giving this movie a chance to all. I'm just in the market now for a shiny silver Lotus.
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4/10
Sci-Fi And Kissing
Mek Torres3 April 2013
The Host has an intriguing conceit. It is about a post-apocalypse where aliens take control on every human body then the remaining unpossessed humans fear them despite that these aliens only want peace. The story might have an idea that the humans could be the real enemy here or it's just both of them. The Sci-Fi bits are pretty interesting but it doesn't end there. It's based on a young adult novel so definitely there will be teenage hormones scattered around the context. It has romance that is suppose to save their world and change their lives, but once again just like any other young adult film, the romance is nothing more than a bunch of good looking people falling in love and doing romantic cliché stuff. Love may not be a problem to these stories but this romance is terribly empty. They're just making out and saying ridiculously cheesy lines. It would have been a fascinating idea but it just can't get away from its typical teen angst.

It is kind of similar to the recent young adult novel based film, Warm Bodies, except the antagonists in The Host are virtuous beings instead of ravenous monsters. It seems that both stories have the same morality. Humans are not the most peaceful beings either and maybe the order and mentality of both sides are the reason why they couldn't get along. When it goes to the romance, it says that Melanie and Wanda's love between the boys might revolt their world's condition. But it strays from its plot giving us a lousily told story and romance. Mostly the romance. It is noticeable that most of their "love" only rely on their lips. Which means they kiss a lot. We do not get to know much about why they care for each other, other than being one of the last normal human beings of their age. It is also filled with plot holes because of course it wants to appeal teens for the endless love that didn't even work. It is directed by Andrew Niccol who is somewhat a Sci-Fi expert but it looks like he's afraid that too much Sci-Fi than romance might disappoint these children. He could have been more indulgent.

The film has a solid cast but not all of them standout. Saoirse Ronan plays two roles here and she fills enough heart on both characters. Diane Kruger looks like she is enjoying playing the film's villain. The roles of Max Irons and Jake Abel seems to be only designed for kissing, slapping, and sometimes strangling, leaving William Hurt being the only likable gentleman of the picture.

The script explains some points of the concept which is fine in that way in spite of the plot holes but it gets terrible on the romance. There are dialogues that may get way out of hand, ends up being laughable. Even more laughable is one scene when the protagonist tries to wake up her subconscious by kissing her boyfriend. I don't know if I should blame anyone about it. I mean what choice does she have? Still, it's ridiculous. The film is at least stunning. It gets to explore something magnificent around. The exteriors serves a lot of intrigue to its world. It features shiny cars and choppers. Most of the action are well shot even though the action itself isn't really that interesting but everything in the film looks good.

The Host is not interesting enough. It thematically talks about peace and stuff. Well, you can make peace out of love but the film only shows kissing and I think there is more in love than just making out. Hormonally, this could be a perfect escapism for teens. An apocalyptic world about relationships of these good looking couples with fast awesome cars crashing on the road. But the story seems to offer more. Again, they are unable to show it because the only fan service for adaptations of teen books is to follow every single sequence from the book because they love comparing. Too bad, they could have also shown what's behind the words as well. The Host is another victim of a generic young adult film adaptation that doesn't understand much of the meaning of the story, and throw away the most bland of all romances.
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9/10
Hit or Miss
cnazcona31 March 2013
This movie you will either enjoy or hate to be honest. If you want something that is action-packed and filled with cool sci-fi moments do not see this movie. Yes the movie is sci-fi but it's more about romance. It also is a tad slower.

However, the cast was fantastic and the script was beautiful. There were cheesy moments but it was still really sweet and well done. Basically what I am saying, is if you like romance with a twist go and see it! If you are expecting something like Gattaca, you will be disappointed.

I really loved the movie and felt it held up to the book. I usually hate movie versions of books but this was really good! If you like the book chances are you are going to like the movie. There are tweaks of course, but I thought they were mainly well done and helped get the same message across.
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7/10
Better than most "blockbuster" movies out there.
KJ Alberto28 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I read The Host book when it came out and it became one of my favourites. Say what you will about Meyer's writing for Twilight, but The Host is different. For one, Wanderer is a very likable heroine.

I only heard about the movie version a week before it opened here. Didn't have high hopes for it, as I thought it would face the same fate as the Twilight series.. But I needed to see it to make the call...

And I was pleasantly surprised! It stayed true to the book - of course they had to cut out some scenes, otherwise it would've been very long - but I never felt like the cuts ruined the story.

One thing I will really praise is the acting. Unlike most movies today I thought The Host had a great cast and never did the acting seem unnatural. Even the cheesy lines were delivered well. Props to the kid who played Jamie, he made me cry! And Saoirse was brilliant in playing two personalities.

Anyway, I wrote this review (my first ever IMDb review ever) because I felt it was unfair that the movie was getting too much flak just for its relation to Meyer or Twilight. There are worse movies out there, just relying on special effects and pomp to cover up the lack of plot and characterisation. See the movie or read the book first before you judge this one.
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A great opening is drowned by the next two hours of slow, boring torture.
The_Film_Cricket29 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
"The Host" (from Chockstone Pictures) opens and closes with two scenes that contain elements of great science fiction. The problem is that what comes in the middle is one of the longest, chunks of torpor you'll ever experience. This movie is so slow that after a while you fear that the movie will go in reverse. Some movies dare you to look at the screen. This one dares you to stay in your seat.

To be sure, the movie has a fantastic premise. Imagine what might happen to Earth after "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" ended. Aliens from another world, called "souls," have come to Earth, taken over our bodies, flushed out both our personalities and our emotions and replaced them with their own. Imagine what happens if one operation doesn't go quite right. What might happen if the human personality was still inside a mind that had been replaced? That is the problem facing an alien host named Wanderer (Saoirse Ronan). She hears a voice in her head, the human voice of the person who previously occupied the body she has been given. The girl inside her mind is named Melanie, who still has memories of her human occupation. Soon those memories are being shared with Wanderer. She keeps this information from her betters and goes on the run. You can already guess their response.

This means we get to sit through a long series of laughable scenes in which actress Saoirse Ronan is forced to spend a lot of time talking to herself. We hear the alien speaking, and then we hear the human voice in her head. This works when she thinks she is about to die, but when Wanderer kisses a guy that Melanie can't stand, it becomes ridiculous. Ronan is a fine actress who has been better elsewhere. Watch her sometime in "Hanna" and her Oscar nominated performance in "Atonement." Here she's a real trooper, pulling off dialogue that is – to put it nicely – utterly ridiculous.

What develops from this plot isn't as ingenious as one might hope. Instead of exploring the possibly of this bizarre situation, "The Host" becomes one of those old familiar last-hope-for-humanity stories in which characters stand around talking about the situation in long, boring scenes of dialogue that should have remained on the cutting room floor. It opens with an effectively creepy leisure pace but then never picks up any steam. More on the plot will not be revealed here, suffice to say that after that great opening, the rest of the movie just kind of coasts.

"The Host" was written and directed by Andrew Niccol who has a talent for creating smart, inventive stories about people trapped by their circumstances. He wrote the great "Gattaca" (1997) about a natural-born man trapped in a world of synthetic humans. He wrote "The Truman Show" (1998), about a man trapped in his own reality show. He made "Lord of War" (2005), about a man who confronts the moral implications of the international arms deals that he puts into motion.

Niccol has some of those inspirations here but he is at the mercy of a script based on a book by Stephanie Meyers the popular writer of the "Twilight" series. This film, as with that series, is tilted toward something meaningful he can't seem to get the movie out of first gear. All of the characters look alike, talk alike, sound alike. They stand around and have long boring conversations about the same thing over and over and over and over. It's like the movie had a great launch and then spent the rest of its time driving around in a circle.
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4/10
Saoirse Ronan Shines Through a Mediocre Movie
freemantle_uk31 March 2013
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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7/10
A good movie, an okay book adaptation
Clarity K20 April 2013
I have read the book before the movie came out, but ill give a movie review separate from my book ideals of what it should have been.

As a movie on its own, its good. Not great. They have a little bit of action, and when i say little, i do mean little (under 5 minutes). There are some chrome vehicles, modern looking bland clothing etc. This movie is really about what makes us human. With a love triangle. Not nearly as dominant as it was in twilight. A very interesting premise for a movie. The acting was great, I really loved Jake Abel as Ian O'Shea. Dian kruger added some depth to her seeker attitude. Max Irons I found to be the weakest actor of the bunch, some of his lines were delivered poorly ("so help me"), but what really ties the cast in is William Hurt.He ties them all together, and ads some charm to his cliché lines that makes him very likable. Other noticeable actors were Scot Lawrence (Doc) and Francis Fisher (Maggie), but neither were given the screen time needed to develop any sort of charter, although it would have been ve3ry interesting to see. Nice scenery, and nice shots. The music (and some scene lacking) was great and added a indie touch to it.

Now, based off the book this movie kinda blew it. it was extremely different, cutting out characters and adding things that never were. I personally felt that by making all the Aliens dress the same, drive the same vehicles took away from the depth of the battle between the resistance and aliens. They were supposed to be creative, and find individualism in human hosts, which was very lacking. Instead the movie went in the direction of aliens turning humans into one mass of boring un unique sheep. I also wish they had kept a few of Wanda's experiences from other worlds in the movie, even as flash backs etc. This movie lacked as a sci-fi, as all we see are humans with contacts. It lacked as a romance as her love interest was gone for most of it.

If anything its a good movie about : "what is considered human? a and how shall we react that makes us human".

Not bad, i enjoyed it anyways, and my husband actually stuck around to watch it too lol./
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2/10
Boring boring boring!!
rickang29 March 2013
Warning: Spoilers
4 of us went along to this movie yesterday after thinking it looked action packed from the trailer. The only action scenes were the ones you saw in the trailer!!!

All the back and forth talking between Mel and Wanderer drove us nuts!! It felt like we were listening to a couple of young teenagers arguing whether to kiss or not to kiss the boy! Shiny silver cars, bikes and helicopters did nothing to excite us as there was no exciting car chases!! It was just a big dull teenage aimed romance!!

Im so glad we had free passes to see this movie or we would have all asked for our money back!
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1/10
Worse Than Vampire Academy
Madame Monster20 March 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Why did they make another Stephanie Meyer movie?

1. The romance in this movie is terrible. I know nothing about these shallow teenagers and certainly don't care about what happens to them. What's even worse is when the human girl who's body has been taken over by the alien she starts talking to her and complains which gets very annoying. All we hear is her saying 'Yuck! Gross! Stop kissing him! That's my boyfriend!' That made me want to mute my TV. The other characters are lame and unoriginal.

2. For a movie about an alien invasion it's terribly lame. the aliens are some of the most nonthreatening aliens I've ever seen in any movie. They don't carry any weapons and all they want is a clean environment. I know in the movie we would have to give up our free will but this movie does a terrible job at showing the downfall to all of this. Which is frustrating because this has been done before. (Watch Equilibrium with Christian Bale)

3. Why does the alien Wanda agree to rebel? Is it because she wants to kiss cute guys? That's it? Also don't get me started on the ending.

If you want a good romance movie check through some the movies on IMDb. Same if you wanted an alien invasion movie. Skip this movie because it has nothing to offer you.
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3/10
Great deception.
thierry_motion17 April 2013
I came to see this film because of Andrew Niccol (Gattaca is my favorite movie),a bit afraid of Stephanie Meyer's work but still open minded to a quite good SF plot with some romance. But I found myself in front of a terrible teen-movie. And not the good kind like we used to see in the 90's. Artistic work is completely absent. The world shown in this film is interesting but not described sufficiently.

I found that the narrative form was quite ineffective and the dialogs were so dull that not a single piece of "philosophy" can be extracted.

On the top of all that, the love story is foretold and occupies the 3/4 of the scenes. And the acting (even Saoirse Ronan that already did very good job in other movies) was so lame, you can't relate to the characters.

In my opinion, this film lacks of an audacious directing to be good. There was material but it has been spoiled.

If you're over 15, I don't recommend this film. If you're under, well I don't recommend it neither, but I'll understand if you find some pleasure to see it.
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