The Host

The Host, based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer tells of a period of time unspecified in the future, where the human race has been all but overtaken by an alien species called ‘The Souls.’  The Souls take over a humans body, and consciousness, gaining access to their memories, allowing themselves to persevere.

Only a small resistance remains, scattered about the globe, trying to avoid being overtaken by the aliens.  When one of these people, Melanie Stryder (Saiorise Ronan) is captured and inhabited by a soul named ‘Wanderer’ she is able to resist being completely overtaken by the soul that has been inserted into her body.  What this means cinematically is that we spend 90 minutes hearing someone argue childishly with themselves over what to do about any given situation within their own head.  

The major problem with ‘The Host,’ is that we don’t care about any of it.  While we are supposed to feel for the Twilight-ish love triangle that develops after Melanie/Wanderer escapes The Soul base and finds the resistance again, we don’t, because we just don’t care about either of the men vying for her attention.  

While one was the man who loved her before she became possessed, the other falls in love with the soul that has overtaken her body.  However, neither of the people have been fleshed out as more than archetypes who fill a stock role.

Furthermore, we never quite understand the motivations of The Soul hunting all of the humans down, someone named ‘The Seeker,’ who until the very end just seems crazy.  When her reasoning is fully revealed, it just makes you feel like sighing.

Adding to the lack of personality is Niccol’s drab cinematography.  The movie doesn’t just feel boring, it even looks boring.  The desert is drab and without any character, and The Soul’s HQ is stark and clean, white and silver everywhere.

It all culminates in a very ham fisted way, allowing for a happy ending for all involved, using the most implausible explanations.  But then, if at that point, you even care what is happening, you probably won’t feel the same way.

1/5

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