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The Host
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The Host More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Why?

4/10
Author: Kyle Cohen (kcohen@hotmail.com)
22 July 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Host is a case of absolute boring. Not even an interesting premise can save this mess of a movie. The characters were bland and the setting was boring (a desert as boring as the film's script). Also, the love angle they were going for was very...awkward. Let me explain, the story is about a young girl named Melanie who gets her body taken over by an alien named Wanderer (Yeah, creative name guys). The girl convinces Wanderer to escape the aliens. They arrive to a "secret" hideout (middle of the desert and the aliens still can't find the humans? Didn't the humans use trucks to get around? Wouldn't that leave tracks?) Notice my problems already. And we haven't even gotten to meet the rest of the cast! What makes the romance in this film awkward is that the alien falls for one guy and the girl inside is in love with another. This makes the film even more choppy and uninteresting. All you do in the second half is watch the girl make out with not one, but two guys (How original!) Then the plot makes Melanie's brother Chandler cut himself in the most ridiculous/hilarious way possible (way to move the plot forward.) Then they have to find a cure for his wound (seriously, how is it possible that I don't care?) So yeah, this film is a mess. Don't expect me to be watching any Stephanie Meyer films for awhile.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Once you get past the opening act, it won't be long before you realize that this film is a silly romance for high school co-eds.

4/10
Author: Lloyd Bayer from United Arab Emirates
30 May 2014

Adapted from Stephenie Meyer's novel of the same name, The Host is a sci-fi film with a vague premise that asks viewers to imagine our world after an alien invasion. On a grand scale, this film had the potential to ask "what if?" questions, especially if you have seen any or all versions of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. But once you get past the opening act, it won't be long before you realize that at the core, this film is a silly romance for high school co-eds and sorority sisters.

Written and directed by Andrew Niccol, the plot is set in the future where a vast majority of the human population are hosts to an alien species called "Souls". These are alien entities residing in human bodies but stripping the human hosts of emotions and memories. We don't get to see the initial invasion or the part where I presume NASA decodes an intergalactic message that reads 'we come in peace' just before calling the Whitehouse and stating the cinematically overdone "We have a problem". But in keeping with Meyer's tendency for bloodless melodrama, Niccol skips forward and begins the narrative where Earth is virtually pristine — no wars, no famine, no pollution, no disease, no lies and no corruption. As good as this sounds, a tiny band of human resistance exists somewhere in the Utah dessert with no intention of being 'turned'. The Seeker (Diane Kruger), an authoritative alien in human form knows this. So when Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is captured, surgically induced with an alien parasite and renamed Wanderer, Seeker expects to learn where the surviving bands of humans are hiding. Yet, somehow, Melanie doesn't let go even as Wanderer tries to take control.

Inevitably, Melanie and Wanderer become BFFs (best-friends-forever), before leading Seeker to a near-extinct volcano ingenuously improvised for self-sustenance. This is where Melanie's family resides but also much of the film's melodramatic romance, watered down action and huge deficiencies in logic. Just when you start to question how intelligent or powerful the alien race really is, Meyer's signature love triangle takes centre stage; only this time you get two love triangles for the price of one! Although unintentionally humorous, this somehow works in Niccol's favour. There is a lot of contradictory cross-talk between Melanie and Wanderer (who is re-christened Wanda) when it comes to ogling hunks at the volcano but this doesn't help the narrative from steadily descending into a lumbering snooze fest. There is a little bit of action involving all manner of chrome gilded vehicles and I suspect this is how Niccol preferred to depict the luminous nature of this particular alien race, but that's about it. If sci-fi action is what you dig, you are best suited for 2013's share of alien invasion movies like Oblivion or Pacific Rim.

On the upside, The Host is marginally better than the brazen Twilight franchise and thanks to Niccol and Ronan, Stephanie Meyer's Melanie has more soul (excuse the pun) when compared to Kristen Stewart's Bella Swan. No doubt there. However, there is a lot lacking given the director's panache in depicting the innate values of a human being's individuality and identity in society (think Gattaca and The Truman Show). Fundamentally flawed from the beginning, The Host becomes terminally ill when the premise of an alien invasion takes a back seat, only to be replaced by a human teen teaching a 1000-year-old alien how to kiss a guy. For what it boils down to, you are left with so much kinky fantasy that I wholly recommend this movie for an all-girl teenage slumber party. Even so, you can be damn sure Sigourney Weaver won't be attending.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Not very enjoyable

2/10
Author: justimagine93
28 March 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The romance was not real, characters died for the sake of fulfilling the plot, and if you don't want your time wasted, read the book you won't be sorry. I was sorry when I read the book and dared to think that this movie adaptation would bring life to the novel. "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 movie did not open up the character's lives enough where people would feel happy or sorry for their welfare in the end. In fact, the book tends to be sympathetic with the souls and not the humans, while the movie is narrowly focused on only one annoying concept: Surviving aliens. When two people are fighting over one body, Saoirse Ronan talking and twitching to herself is very confusing, unappealing, and uninteresting. My BIGGEST pet peeve is that this band of survivors living in the middle of nowhere, cannot survive if it really came down to it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Candidate for worst 2013 release, as boring as it absurdly illogical.

1/10
Author: suite92 from SoCal, USA
13 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the opening narration, William Hurt's voice tells us about a planet inhabited by benevolent beings who get along with one another and treat the planet itself decently. Fine. These beings are no longer human. Human beings have had their personalities obliterated by mental parasites.

No story there, so we have a few human beings who resist. The movie is about these few: their struggles, their romances, their subjugation and destruction by the invading parasites. 'We tried to help you, and this is how you thank me?'

It was a point of pride for the 'good' alien parasite murderer that her race had subjugated 12 star systems. She expected the humans she was with to be happy at the news and share in her pride. Ah, the unbridled arrogance.

Who cares? Where is the retribution? The parasites kill 7 billion humans, minus perhaps 7 thousand ('we outnumber them one million to one'). Do any of the parasites die? Well, yes, some do, but hardly enough to amount to anything. Do they ever recognize that perhaps they've done something wrong?

I chalk this one up as just another 'I hate humanity' film. Avoid it. Besides the obscene central subject, it is deadly boring. The romance was right up there with Twilight nonsense. Dull and unlikely, not engaging from beginning to end.

-----Scores-------

Cinematography: 10/10 Well done, except for the constructed sets: I was reminded of the 1960s version of Star Trek. The landscape of the American West is well-captured now and then. At the same time, one sees the surviving humans with late-model Volvo trucks that are squeaky clean and have plenty of petrol to burn. I don't think so.

Sound: 10/10 No problems.

Acting: 0/10 What acting? Actors walk around and we hear the roaring in their heads made supposedly by the human-destroying parasites. Diane Krueger had a moment: 'this one has difficulty dying.' Nice. The performance of Saoirse Ronan was central to this film, and was well beyond bad. I will avoid seeing anything else she appears in.

Screenplay: 0/10 Genocide committed by evolved, caring, PC parasites; they just want to help us by killing all of us. What we are is bad, and has to be fixed; we, of course, are too stupid to accomplish that. On another note, the world as depicted is very thinly populated (some suicides along the way?) and immensely wealthy. This is ridiculous. No one is shown producing anything, such as food, clothing, electricity, housing. With no one actually working, how would the vast stretches of current human poverty have been converted to gentrified park lands? What is shown, endlessly, is the tracking down of humans to be mind-raped by parasites, and the interrogations of newly infected (soon to be dead) humans to give up other human survivors. This is just the obscenity of 1984 made pretty.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Pleasantly Surprised

8/10
Author: spandex07 from Australia
10 November 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With so many Sci Fi movies out there these days that are full things being blown up and mega effects carrying the movie, I thought it nice that this one was different.

Sci Fi with meaning and heart isn't something you generally think of being put together these days, it works well with the right story line and good acting talent like this one has.

It was good to see a movie that shows the aliens perspective when they believe they have come to earth to make it better, until one ends up in a hosts body only to discover that the hosts mind has remained intact.

What follows is a story of getting back to the ones you care about and showing the intruder within that it's worth the fight.

There is teen romance in it, but before you roll your eyes and think that it's going to be gushy, the romance level doesn't overpower the movie at all.

The length of the movie is quite long, being just over 2 hours.I think there are a few scenes that could have been shortened or edited out as they didn't really need to be there, but that's the only negative I have.

If you want big action, big explosions and edge of the seat thrills, you'll be disappointed. But if you would enjoy a movie that I suppose would be classed as "Sci Fi with heart" you wont be disappointed.

If you liked The Abyss and Cocoon then I think you will enjoy this.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

This is a heavy-handed mess. It just goes to show you that not all adaptations should be green-lit

4/10
Author: callanvass from victoria b.c canada
29 September 2013

Like Twilight & Beautiful Creatures. I've never read the book, and after viewing this mess of a film, I don't want too. The Host is WAY too long for its own good, and I felt 10 to 15 minute trim would have served this movie well. I've never read the book, so forgive me if I sound idiotic for saying this, but in my opinion? The seekers are more sympathetic than the Humans. I'm not sure if that's the way it was intended, as I have not read the book, but The Seekers seemed more reasonable at times. It's heavy-handed approach is also depressing, since the film moves way too slowly. I also wished for one main ingredient, humor. A bit more humor would have done wonders for this film. I also preferred Wanda over the annoying Melanie. Saoirse Ronan is likable and cute as Wanda, but a bit overbearing as Melanie. I didn't garner any emotional investment from the love story between Melanie & Jared (Max Iron) it just felt there to me, in lieu of being real. William Hurt does his best Kris Kristofferson impression. That's actually a compliment, believe it or not. William Hurt is a welcome presence to anything he's in. Diane Kruger is easy on the eyes, but not quite menacing enough for my liking. I was just bored overall. It lacks the needed emotion for what this film is going for. Since this movie only made 26 million, I'm not sure if a sequel will be commencing. If it does, I hope it's vastly better than this movie was.

4.5/10

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Best 2 hours sleep of my life

1/10
Author: Thewisecritic from Australia
26 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Snore... Oh sorry were you trying to keep me engaged and sitting on the edge of my seat? Well you missed the mark with this movie! Here is a recap of the movie... alien jumps into my body, my host and i talk back and forth to each other, the main character has some weird southern accent and the host sounds like a robot, walk in the desert, I love him you love that guy over there, oh look a shiny car, yawn. In the 2 hours this movie played I was able to put two loads of washing on, straighten my hair and stand in front of the fridge trying to figure out dinner. Yep that pretty much says it all. Thank goodness I did not waste any money on this load of dirt, the producers assumed that being written by Stephanie Meyer meant a hit, well hate to break it to you but this sucks!

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Ridiculous

1/10
Author: RockyMtnVideo from Evergreen, CO
3 September 2014

One of my favorite books (actually "audiobooks", as Kate Reading's rendition of the book is simply stellar). The audiobook is a 23+ hour story, but this screenplay not only (effectively) skips 9 out of every 10 pages, such that NONE of the character's motivations make a lick of sense, but it then tosses in "action flick" scenes, presumably to "spice it up" a little. (The book did NOT contain car chase scenes, car crashes, and other such nonsense.) All of that would be ridiculous enough, but then there are activities that take place in broad daylight, that were all done under cover of darkness in the book. Obviously, done in the dark to avoid detection, but as seen in the film, you just keep saying (in multiple scenes), that a 10-year old could see, and capture the people that are supposedly avoiding high-tech aliens.

I had refused to see this in the theater, just having seen the previews, as I could already see too many things that had nothing to do with the original story, but then decided to try to watch it on Netflix (for free), but ultimately bailed out (at the halfway point), because I just couldn't bear to watch any more. It was just too awful.

If you know nothing about the book, I still wouldn't recommend it just because nothing makes reasonable sense. And if you loved the book, you should avoid it even more, because it will turn your stomach.

Maybe before I die, someone will do a proper treatment of this book. I always thought it would have made a great mini-series (similar to the SciFi series "Taken", or a more current model might be something like the Starz treatment of Outlander). It's a fantastic story, but without 10 or more hours of air time, upon which to methodically build the relationships, and motivations, that give the story its true "heart", there is absolutely no way to do it justice.

If IMDb offered the option of "0", that would have been my vote.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A very disappointing movie.

1/10
Author: nikolinel-p from Denmark
11 June 2014

You should maybe think that Stephenie Meyer finally got her sh*t together, but no. She's still stuck in her little vampire universe. The movie didn't really have any climax, and every time there was a problem a miracle happened and they would think of a solution. The actors were great (and pretty), but that wasn't enough to make the movie exciting; at all! The special effects were very good, but all special effects are nowadays. Please don't watch this movie, I'm warning you! I know the movie sound terrible in this review, and it is. I'm just telling you, because you only live once, so don't waste your time on it. Thank you, and have a wonderful day.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Godawful

1/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
11 June 2014

Wow, I thought the TWILIGHT films were poor. Then I sat through this, another novel adaptation from Stephenie Meyer, and it turns out to be one of the worst films ever made. I can forgive films lots of things - particularly B-movies - but my cardinal role is that a film should never be dull. Well, unfortunately, THE HOST is entirely boring, an overlong, overstretched and over emphasised story in which NOTHING happens.

The story features the most boring, non-threatening, alien invasion ever put on film. I don't even know why the writers bothered with it in the first place when it's obvious nobody's heart is in it. What the alien invasion boils down to is that most of the cast wander around with distracting contact lenses, and that's the extent of that.

Still, the alien story is only background stuff. In the foreground is the overrated Saoirse Ronan, playing a character with two personalities (one human, one alien). This means she stumbles around while arguing with herself, which doesn't make for good cinema; in fact, it's quickly irritating, not least for Ronan's poorly-attempted accent and her attempts at adult acting. Go back to high school, kid, and leave it to the grown-ups...

The narrative features an entire lack of incident and peril, apart from perhaps the slowest and silliest vehicle chase yet put on film. Diane Kruger is a would-be villain but instead reminds you that she has zero screen presence, while Max Irons is wooden beyond belief. As you can guess, I absolutely hated THE HOST with a passion, as it has no redeeming values whatsoever. Give it a wide berth.

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