Movie Review: The Host

If you have read any of my past columns or watched my appearances on Showcase Tampa Bay on CW44, it’s no secret that I’m not a fan of the Twilight franchise. I have always thought the films silly storylines and poor acting were pitiful excuses for film-making. So when I heard Stephenie Meyer’s other best-selling novel The Host was being adapted for the big screen, my initial reaction was negative. Meyer’s tales had bored me before, but I decided to put my critics hat on and head into The Host with an open mind. Although, I soon learned I should have trusted my initial reaction.

The Host depicts a peaceful Earth with no wars, diseases and lies. Sound too good to be true? That’s because it is. The world has been taken over by alien life forms called Souls that treat our body as a vessel for them to inhabit. The alien invasion of Souls is going fine until one of the Souls’ human host’s mind resists the transformation and begins to fight back inside of the alien vessel. The alien Soul named Wanda (short for Wanderer) must decide whether to listen to the human conscience inside of it or go on leading its formal and orderly parasitic life.

After reading that synopsis of The Host, you could be intrigued and I don’t blame you. I thought The Host had great Sci-Fi potential with its depictions of alien life. We as humans are very arrogant to think alien life will be just like us. Odds are alien life would be organically simple, but far more advanced than our race like the tentacled parasitic glow worms of The Host. It’s an intelligent premise, unfortunately sappy romance and poor acting performances ruin The Host‘s potential.

A big problem I had with The Host was the poor acting of Saoirse Ronan as Melanie/Wanda. Ronan already has an Oscar nomination on her resume and was great in Hanna, but she drops the ball here. Ronan brings zero emotion to the alien Wanda and her goofy Southern inner dialogue as Melanie is a distraction in the movie. The whole internal argument comes across as schizophrenic dumb conversation. I couldn’t have cared less about either characters inhabiting the human vessel. In typical Stephanie Meyer’s fashion there is a love triangle that’s more like a love square considering there are two beings sharing one body. It’s hard to believe that the love triangle aspect could be worse than the acting, but it is.

The Host is nothing more than an Invasion of the Body Snatchers knock-off mixed with the bland romance of the Twilight franchise. I didn’t think there was a chance Stephanie Meyer’s other story could be worse than the Twilight saga, but Meyer’s has proved me wrong again. The Host is a poorly directed film that makes great actors like William Hurt and Saoirse Ronan look bad. I know it’s early in 2013, but after sitting in the theater for over two hours it’s going to take a complete film disaster to rank lower than The Host in 2013. I give The Host one rotten potato.

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