Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Diane Kruger
Directed by Andrew Niccol
Based on the book by Stephanie Meyer
Faithfulness to the book: 9/10
Rating of the movie: B
In Stephanie Meyer’s sci-fi novel, Earth has been taken over by friendly aliens in the form of a silvery floating orb. These orbs are implanted in the spinal cord and take over human bodies. Earth no longer has wars, crime, or rude people. Sounds like Utopia, right? The humans who have managed to escape being taken over don’t think so. Melanie (Ronan) fought tooth and nail not to be taken by the Seekers (humans taken over by aliens who search for those still truly human). Melanie’s love for her brother and the group of survivors she hides with is what keeps her mind conscious despite having her body taken over.
Though Melanie can’t speak for herself, she mentally fights the alien called “Wanderer” who has taken over her body. Wanderer helps the Seekers give up information on where Melanie’s group of friends are hidden. As she ends up finding the hidden place, she learns these people are worth fighting to live for too. Only one Seeker (Kruger) won’t give up looking and starts to show a little humanity by firing a gun as she grows desperate to catch Wanderer.
I think it might be a little generous to give “The Host” a “B” rating when the book and movie adaptation were both flat. One thing about Meyer’s writing not just in the “Twilight” series but in “The Host” is that she has a way of making world’s feel very realistic (despite vampires and aliens not being real). The group Wandered sticks with, are for a majority of the film, in a cave. They only resort to violence against the Seekers when confronted and even that doesn’t happen often. There is no real conflict, while Wanderer figures out a peaceful solution to their troubles and how to get Melanie back to her own body.
Looking at it from an objective perspective, it was a well-made movie. It leans more towards romance and is a little more mature (like “Breaking Dawn”) than her usual audience is used to. I would recommend that anyone who enjoyed “Twilight” or young adult novels to watch and read “The Host”. I have to admit that the movie is pretty faithful to the book, which is refreshing since most adaptation tend to keep character names but change the plot.