In today’s movie review of The Host (2013), the focus is on adolescent love “squares” rather than on alien invasion issues.
“In a world where everything has been dubbed as perfect, aliens who were called “The Souls” try to invade the last of the remaining humans who were resisting their forces.” – This was the description that I conceptualized prior to watching the movie. I was looking for an intense film filled with complications, and breath-taking war scenes. After all, the writer and director of the movie was Andrew Niccol.
However, upon watching the end of the movie, I couldn’t help but feel disappointed with the overall message of it. Fellow geeks, be warned: The Host is not sci-fi at all. It was a total Twi-fi.
The Host is of the Twi-fi Genre
Granted, hoping for the best was actually a fault of mine. The movie was based on Stephenie Meyer’s book, after all! Meyers, who seemed to be fixated on always giving women the choice between an indifferent dude and an overly concerned guy, has done it again: The Host (2013) was, for the most part, all about exaggerated kissing scenes, longing looks and creepy love relationships.
Why was I able to reach this conclusion?
Well, here are several reactions of mine. I’ve taken the liberty to put them in bullet form so that you can understand each point clearly:
- No engaging background story whatsoever. What planet did The Souls come from? How did the actual invasion come about? Why do The Souls look like white and sparkly caterpillars? How were The Souls even able to invade Earth when they actually need a host body to manipulate? How did it all start? No one even bothered to tackle any of the relevant alien invasion issues at hand. Nope, they directed our attention to amazing landscapes and awesome visual effects instead.
- It’s official – Meyer has a thing for eyes. In the Twilight series, hungry vampires get bloody red eyes while full vampires get black pupils. In The Host, invaded bodies get a light blue circle on their pupils. What is up with Meyer’s fixation on eyes? I’m starting to think that The Host is basically Twilight but in a different setting.
- Obviously, the audience wants to see teenagers kissing instead of learning about aliens killing humans. The Host, for the most part, is really all about teenagers kissing each other and whispering sweet-nothings. Make no mistake – it really is just a love story and the alien invasion thing is just an extra. You don’t even need to get excited over it – the love story wasn’t even tragic! Everyone eventually ends up with each other anyway.
- Human deaths are sad. Really sad, yes, but they hardly got any screen time. The alien invasion’s focus is about to show the viewers how depressing and gruesome it is for humans to sacrifice themselves just for the sake of humanity. And while The Host did show some sad death scenes, it felt like the scenes were forced and just done halfheartedly! The death scenes did no justice to the deaths of the characters at all. Again, the focus was romance. The subject of loss was not given much exploration.
- The movie was filled with sparkling creatures. Again. Yes, you read that right. Just when you thought you’ve gotten away from Edward Cullen’s sparkling vampire body, Meyer’s proves you wrong yet again and creates sparkling aliens in his absence. It seems like she can never let go of this fixation.
- There is NO INTENSE climactic point. At all. Why, Meyer? Why do you do this to your audience every single time? The movie had a decent start and I could actually feel the tension rising as the climactic scene is about to be reached. However, it seems like my hopes were just for naught because the climactic scene was not really that deserving of being called a climactic scene. It looked like Meyer had this nice idea, but then she got exhausted, so decided to write about young adult romance instead.
- The story of “Wanda” falling in love with Ian just seems too far-fetched to me. I think Ian’s “love” for Wanda is hugely influenced by Melanie’s external appearance. I mean, come on. Their love story seems too good to be true. In real life, it certainly could not happen. There is too much fear, too much loss and too many trust issues – he tried to kill her when he first met her! Also, I doubt Ian would still love Wanda if she were in her original form. Wanda’s message, “You’re not in love with me. You just want this body.”, is so true. Really Ian, I doubt you’ll feel the same when you fail to kiss her while she’s in her true sparkling caterpillar-like body.
The film had a lot of pressing issues that neither the director nor the target audience really cared about. The Host was a bit dull, very melodramatic and overall forced. Would I watch it again? I don’t think so. Let me watch The Hobbit instead!
What did you think of The Host? Was I too harsh or was I simply being honest?