The Host  (2013)

Sometimes my method of finding a movie by just flipping through the movie channels or OnDemand and choosing something purely by the brief description backfires. I thought I was in store for a fun alien invasion movie, but my lack of research led me to watching a movie based on a book written by the author of Twilight. Dammit. Before I married my wife, she duped me into seeing the first Twilight movie with her. I'm not sure how our relationship survived. After the success of the Twilight series, Stephenie Meyer wrote "The Host", which sort of just shuffled around the vampire/human/werewolf love triangle and turned it into a human/alien/human love triangle.

"The Host" begins after the invasion is pretty much over. These aliens called "Souls" have taken over the bodies of almost every human on the planet. The creatures are a parasite, they enter the body and take over all functions, including memory. They use the human memories to help the invasion by finding out where other survivors could be hiding. These small pockets of humanity are doing whatever they can to hide from the invaders; there isn't much of a fighting force due to the overwhelming numbers, but the humans resist nonetheless. The aliens are used to taking over a more passive species, and aren't entirely equipped to battle humanity.

Occasionally a human host manages to fight back against the parasitic Soul, which is what happens with Melanie (Saoirse Ronan). It's somewhat hard to describe, but it's as though the 'spirit' of Melanie manages to stay in the body that is now inhabited by a soul named 'Wanderer'; while Wanderer controls a majority of things, Melanie can occasionally force a physical movement, but is mostly relegated to an inner voice. I liked Ronan's acting when it came to the alien aspects of Wanderer, but her voice-over work as Melanie was awful.

I make it a point to not quit on movies when it comes to this series, but the first 30 or so minutes of this were so bad, I nearly broke my vow. Bad writing, weak acting, and special effects that were surprisingly lame for a movie only five years old all added up to a combination of eye-rolling and drifting off to sleep. Once things got going with the actual chase of Wanderer/Melanie and the other humans by the Souls it got a bit interesting, but the love triangle and the inner-monologue battling was just tedious.

I liked the idea of a host body fighting against the alien invader, and that alone could have made a solid sci-fi movie. It reminded me of "Warm Bodies", where you are somewhat forced to wonder if the enemies in movies still have some humanity left in them, and what it means to fight them. However, when I have a human still in love with the girl that used to inhabit a body but now wants to kill her because she's an alien, plus another human who is in love with the alien in the human body, and the human inner voice who still loves the first human but doesn't want him to know she's still "alive" inside the alien, and the alien who clearly doesn't know what human emotion is saying "she" "loves" the second human, I have no idea what is happening anymore.

[Celluloid Hero] gives "The Host" a 3 out of 10.




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