When Earth is taken over by alien parasites that use human bodies as hosts, some humans are able to hide away and form a resistance. Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is one of the few who have managed to stay human- until now. When she is captured and implanted with the a soul called Wanderer, she continues to fight from the inside.
The very difficult part about making this novel into a movie is that the main conflict is all inside Melanie’s head. The novel is mostly internal dialogue. It is arguments and conversations by the Wanderer and her host, Melanie. They did a fair job of showing this, having the Wanderer talk audibly to Melanie and the audience hearing Melanie from within. Yet, it’s difficult to make this as substantial or as interesting as it is in a novel. This is a novel that I would not have imagined would become a film, because of this problem.
The other difficulty in making the Host into a movie is that they have to show souls. The aliens or parasites, wherever you wish to call him, are simply souls that need a body to survive. They showed this as a sort-of ball of light with small tentacles (for lack of a better word). To be honest, the representation made me laugh at first. My initial response could be considered a bit harsh though. How else could they represent a soul? It is something that does not have mass or a shape or a color. I suppose a soul as a silver cloud of light with legs is as valid as any other depiction. They dealt with these issues in creative and necessary ways.
The cast was a slew of up and coming actors, including Max Irons as Melanie’s love interest, Jared and Jake Abel as Wanda’s love interest, Ian. It was hard to feel connected to these characters, because they were given no depth. It seems as if they were picked to be two good-looking guys to put on the movie poster. It’s a shame that they could not create the chemistry and intensity of the love triangle (or should I say square) of the film.
Saoirse Ronan did a great job of showing her inner conflict and using two voices to show it. Diane Kruger played the seeker who was looking to find and dispose of the last humans. She was great as the intense bad guy of the movie. There were a lot of great smaller roles like Melanie’s Brother, Jamie (Chandler Canterbury), her aunt Maggie (Frances Fisher), and her uncle Jeb (William Hurt). I think they all added what they could in the movie, but could not salvage it.
The movie is overall okay. They did what they could, but they lost important parts from the novel. There were too many elements that were impossible to bring to life on screen. The characters lacked chemistry and the movie ended up missing something. It could not find that spark to make it a success.
IMDB Link: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517260/