The Host is the cinematic adaption of the Stephenie Meyer novel of the same name, and no doubt garnered such negative reviews and eye-rollings because of its link to Twilight and the fact it was written by Meyer. Of course, any of us with half a brain know that just because it’s written by the same person, doesn’t mean it’s going to fail and The Host, which is a superior novel to the Twilight saga in my humble opinion, proves to be a decent film as well.
When an unseen enemy threatens humankind by taking over their bodies, Melanie risks everything to keep her promise and return to her brother when she too is taken over by the alien creatures, proving that love can overcome all dangers.
Literacy written by women for women is treated as cute and pathetic. Inherent condescension is present in the reception of Twilight and The Host, and they are usually not taken seriously, hence the negative reviews, but I enjoyed it.
The Host actually sticks very close to the book, and the atmospherics and locations all remain very true and unlike a lot of book adaptions the visuals compliment the images in the readers mind (if of course you’re watching the film having read the book). The casting is spot on if a little unimaginative: Uncle Jeb, played by William Hurt is very similar to Hershel from The Walking Dead, almost typecast to be the stereotypical man looking after his family. Jeb is so similar in character that he even sounds the same and has the same hairstyle, Hurt‘s mannerisms are quite like Scott Wilson‘s who plays Hershel in AMC‘s The Walking Dead and although this is no doubt coincidence it does feel unimaginatively typecast.
Saorise Ronan plays protagonist Melanie who has been taken over by friendly ‘soul’ (alien creature) Wanderer (aka Wanda). Ronan proves once again that she’s a good actress but like her portrayal of Hanna in the 2011 action flick she seems quite wooden. While this worked well in Hanna, The Host very nearly suffered from the same wooden-actress issues as Twilight, fortunately Ronan’s woodenness is less noticeable and she was a much more likeable character.
The Host is a clever and interesting science fiction romance aimed at the younger generation, namely females. The fact that it’s meant for teenage girls is obvious; attractive young men, romance and an ‘every-girl’ one dimensional protagonist who young women can project themselves onto; this seems to be a theme in Meyer‘s work. I enjoyed it as a piece of entertainment, found it interesting and visually pleasing. I’d read the book and liked the story so the sometimes questionable and complex sci-fi wasn’t totally lost on me. It is what it is, and it’s fairly good fun and non offensive. These kinds of films suffer from snobbish critics who are usually middle aged men; middle aged men should probably avoid films aimed at teenage girls because they’re clearly not going to enjoy it, and instead tediously pick it apart, so don’t just be put off by its negative reviews. Literacy written by women for women is always treated as something cute and pathetic, and that inherent condescension is present in both the reception of Twilight and The Host, and they are usually unfairly judged and not taken seriously; I enjoyed it, it’s by no means the best film I’ve ever seen but I’m glad I watched it.