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The Host (based on the novel by Stephenie Meyer)
Rating: 1 of 5 stars
When an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories, Melanie will risk everything to protect the people she cares most about, proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world.
Y’all… this movie – is cringe-fuckin’-central.
I haven’t been this uncomfortable watching a movie since I stumbled across a TV viewing of Eclipse the other week – specifically, right around the scene where Bella and Edward are on the mountaintop and Jacob decides to throw a hissy fit and throw himself into battle with intentions to get himself killed all because he learned Edward and Bella are engaged, and Bella’s all “nuuuu Jake kissssss muuu” FULL ON MAKING OUT WITH THIS GUY IN FRONT OF HER FIANCÉ.
Yeah, it was that scene multiplied by an hour and a half.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit the book off which this movie is based holds a giant guilty pleasure stamp over my conscience. I ain’t ashamed! I’ve read this book more than I’ve read books that I actually fell in love with – without the guilt factor. I also can’t stand the Twilight series (“saga” – HA!), so I think that should accurately set up where I’m comin’ from as I review this poor excuse for a movie.
Honestly, I wanna applaud the filmmakers for doing with it what the did because they did the best they could given the source material. It may have been a flaw of theirs to option the thing for the silver screen in the first place, but they did well all things considered. Much of the movie very closely resembled what the book described. Kudos to them.
All positive feelings I have towards this movie end there.
The acting – Lord, the acting – you’d think these actors had never done this before with the exception of Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) and Lacy (no, not the Seeker, but her host, Lacy) (Diane Kruger). Yeah, Diane Kruger even had problems pulling off this ridiculous script. I’ll tell you one thing, I did find it nifty how the writers worked in her little arc portraying her increasing violence in her search to track down the human rebels. She failed to convince me, but I guess if I were these peace-loving alien souls, I’d be a little taken aback, too.
Wanda/Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), the protagonist, was the worst of the bunch. Melanie’s voice in her head was the loudest thing in the movie, annoyingly so. And sometimes, she affected this weird… I guess it was supposed to be Louisianan accent? It was in and out so much that I couldn’t even tell if it was purposeful or just the worst case of subtlety ever. And the intermittent flashbacks were missing this element as well.
Ian (Jake Abel), who in the book turned out to be my favorite character, absolutely disappointed me. So he’s the one that chokes Wanda half to death when she first finds their hideout in the book – someone should’ve realized that was a mistake and changed it. That whole scene looked painful – and not because Ian was strangling Wanda, either. It was because I could feel the actors’ discomfort through the scene.
The entire structure and set up of this movie makes me uncomfortable, actually. The scenes dart back and forth between fillery and half-important, portagonist versus antagonist, flashbacks and long lingering conflicted looks passed between love interests. And can’t forget Melanie’s disgustingly loud mental voice in Wanda’s head. And then there’s the supply run scenes.
At one point, one of the vehicles that’s out on a run to bring supplies back to the human hideout gets cornered, and there’s a huge dramatic swelling of music and empty magazines, and the two guys in the truck look at each other, someone says, “No one gets taken,” and they lead-foot it head-on into a concrete barrier. It makes sense when you remember that this is supposed to be an alien invasion story, but since the entire movie up to that point has done nothing to make us feel the real and true threat of the “invasion,” it really just seems like two dudes decide to off themselves for no apparent reason.
How hard is it to make an alien invasion seem dangerous?! Jesus, Meyer, insert a faceful of romance in there – that’ll do the job.
I just… Even if you liked the book, I’d advise anyone and everyone to stay far from this movie. It did the best with what it could, but since it couldn’t do much, there wasn’t a lot of good done here. The acting’s borderline reprehensible, the plot makes you alternately laugh and cringe, and they didn’t even include the “going native” line at the end. Meeerrrrr. I almost hope Meyer drops the idea of the sequels so I won’t have to suffer through any more of the movies.