Despite my current dislike of the Twilight series, at the time the Host was published I was a reader of Stephanie Meyer. By that time, I had already fallen off the bad wagon of reading Twilight, but was still very much into young adult novels. When The Host was released I quickly went to read it and found myself pleasantly surprised. Personally, I found the story to be an interesting one, the concept was presented in a way that made it enjoyable. There was still the inevitable love triangle, but nothing that caused overkill.
The best part of the film adaptation was the visuals and the sound. The world that they created, of a captured earth that had been changed to adapt to the aliens’ needs as well as their cave camp area, was very similar to how I had imagined it. The bad part? The stagnant acting. Sadly none of the young actors seemed to have flourished in their roles. I’m not sure if it was because of poor direction, a bad script, or some odd combination of that mixed with something else, but having seen Saoirse Ronan, Jake Abel, and Max Irons act properly I know that they can. Hell even Diane Kruger’s transformation from bitch to human was pretty badly done. And sometimes it wasn’t even the acting, just the dialogue that was legitimately horrible. Despite having some pretty awesome people, like Titanic’s Frances Fisher, William Hurt, Scott Lawrence, and Boyd Holbrook, the acting remained to be one of the worst aspects of the movie.
When they said that they were making a movie like this, the obvious question was how they were going to portray Melanie’s emotions with Wanda’s. The two have the most active dialogue with each other and in a book that’s fine, but in a movie, it’s something different. The voice over of Ronan’s was annoying at times, if not distracting, despite serving its purpose. I don’t blame them for doing the voice over since I couldn’t actually think of any other way they could have done it.
The designs of the new alien formed human world were perfect, in my opinion. Down to the very last shiny blouse. Sure the seekers could have had black suits like in the books, but the clean look of the white looks more futuristic to me. The reflective cars, the clean ikea furniture, the neo 50’s style of dress, and the hints of glitter and sparkle all hint at both the origin of the Souls as well as their serene and peace loving selves. Speaking of the Souls, I was pretty impressed with the way they designed them. In my mind, they were basically just glow worms, which made it hard for me to see them as anything other than glowing insects, but the way they made it made it almost seem like some sort of sea creature. It helped that they were shimmering and beautiful.
Locations were wonderful. Jeb’s camp was perfect. The wheat fields left me in as much wonder as Wanda. The labyrinth like caverns curve and slope and sound carries, but it seems perfect. The star base that the Souls arrive in was magnificent. Each portal shimmering into a beautiful netting that looks something like a constellation and something like an enchanted spider web. There was a very other worldly experience. The formality and punctuality of the Seeker office designs as well as the cookie cutter aspect of the “store” was awesome.
Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The plot. My biggest problem with it was one that I was willing to live with. All of the side characters were kicked to the curb. And in a movie where you are put into such a new world and a complicated love triangle develops, it can be impossible to develop and create side characters that do well. Unfortunately characters like Sunny were my favorite, and losing them was a disappointment. However, I was willing to live with it. I understand how movies go and how they are made, so I can understand. As far as the basic plot, I liked it. It was clean and simple. There was no complication, no confusion. The play on the purity of a Soul was beautiful. I always love it when the invading alien species is much more of a morally good species than we are. The scene when Wanda walks in on the doctor cutting up a Soul was one of the stronger ones. Diane Kruger’s Seeker was relentless like I expected though her human host was suppose to be just as bad, which was ruined by this sudden prisoner “trapped” character. It diverged so far from what I was expecting that I found it odd.
As far as Ronan, Abel, and Irons go, I found it incredibly funny that Irons resembles Robert Pattinson, Abel resembles Taylor Lautner, and Ronan resembled Kristen Stewart. Like, it was very clear that they were looking to target the Twilight group by the way they styled the actors.
I give it a C+, the plus being I loved the story and I’m a very visual person, but the acting and dialogue was just too bad. I’m almost tempted to take away the plus because they put Wanda into the body of Emily Browning, but I digress. All in all, it wasn’t bad. Just don’t go in expecting something perfect. Also, try not to go in with a Stephanie Meyer prejudice, because I know how that is, and I definitely didn’t have one when I read it the first time and I really enjoyed it. There’s also a hilarious scene with Jeb where he pulls a Rick and states “This is not a democracy. It’s a dictatorship”. If you are a fan of the movie, or just enjoy getting some free stuff, keep and eye out here and on our twitter and facebook for some awesome giveaways related to The Host! Make sure you follow and like us to get all the updates!