Sunday, 21 April 2013

The Host

I am not a fan of Twilight and I despise the franchise so much that it physically pains me.  I have no idea how on earth my friends convinced me to read The Host.
The Host by Stephanie Meyer is one of those rare occasions when I can stand up tall and announce that I have read the book.  I have decided not to bother pretending that I am ashamed by this proclamation.
PLOT:  Aliens have landed on earth and their “souls” have taken over the human population save for small pockets of survivors.  Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is captured by the Seekers and a soul named Wanderer is inserted into Melanie in an attempt to track down the band of survivors.  Melanie remains conscious and tries to stop Wanda (Saoirse Ronan) from finding her younger brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) and boyfriend Kyle (Max Irons).  When Wanda arrives at the hideout she struggles to keep Melanie quiet and finds herself conflicted after falling in love with Ian (Jake Abel).  Meanwhile The Seeker (Diane Kruger) is closing in on the humans and is determined to wipe them out.  END PLOT
I can understand why people did not like the film and on another day I would agree with them as to the casual passer by The Host is a confusing mess that brushes over the sci-fi elements in favour of a love quartet consisting of three people.
The Melanie/Wanda exchanges were an important part of the book.  The only logical way to incorporate this aspect of the book into the film was by using a voiceover.  It didn’t quite work with Melanie appearing bratty rather than sassy despite being literally invaded by an alien. 
The storytelling is disjointed but this is down to terrible editing.  We never get to spend time getting to know Wanda, Jared and Ian as the film constantly jumps to shots of The Seeker wandering around the dessert.  With tighter editing, especially in the opening act of the film, the story would have flowed much better.
It does have to be said that when the film settled down the storytelling improved although it was by no means perfect.  There was no sense of danger or tension and sequences like Wanda going to get medicine were squandered by being rushed in favour of more Diane Kruger. 
Saoirse Ronan is an excellent young actress and although she appears a strange choice for the lead role it was the correct one.  If Melanie/Wanda had fallen into the hands of some tween from the Nickelodeon channel it would have killed the film.
There is a real sense of curiosity surrounding Max Irons given that he is the son of the brilliant Jeremy Irons and it will be interesting to see what he does next. 
Jake Abel always gets the benefit of the doubt.  I never forgave Supernatural for the treatment of the Wee Winchester at the end of season five.  I haven’t watched the show since as I feel like killing off Abel’s character was a wasted opportunity.
 I am not shallow. Nope. Not shallow at all..... nope nope nope. Definitely not shallow.
Irons and Abel were fine as the love interests but unfortunately their roles were reduced in favour of Diane Kruger.  This was a mistake. Kruger clearly wowed Andrew Niccol in some way but her additional screen time did not add anything to the film – if anything it almost killed it.
The cinematography was slick with the alien controlled cities becoming bright and clean and the hideouts of the humans being very dusty.  The costumes followed the same theme - the aliens were dressed in bright white which obviously contrasted to the earthy colours the humans wore.  The film was pretty to look at but the styling wasn’t subtle.
Unfortunately The Host has many flaws but they arise from the film-making and not from the characters or story.  This is one of those occasions that I know I could fix some of the problems by re-editing the film myself.
If it is still not clear, I may have read the book under some form of duress but I ended up having a genuine affection for it, as (goodbye faithful readers) it was impossible not to feel for Ian and Wanda.  Hello everybody. My name is Karina and I am a fan of a Stephanie Meyer book.
Looking for feels in all the wrong novels
My affection for the book has spilled over into the film and has created some conflicting emotions.  The Host is a terrible film, but fuck it; it is a terrible film that I liked.  There I have said it.  Please don't judge me.  It gets 6.5/10. 
 I am now going to binge eat chocolate in a darkened room and cry over the season five finale of Supernatural


  1. I still like you K but this is the first semi positive review I've read about this film and while you give it a high grade it's not as glowing as it should be.

    1. My affection for the book really skews my opinion on the film. It isn't great and it has many flaws but when it hits the marks is does a decent job.

      I would recommend that you avoid the film like the plague but it does enough to satisfy the book fans.

      The score is high - too high. I will round it down!

      K :-)

  2. I understand why you enjoyed the movie, but I will continue and avoid anything by Stephanie Meyer like the plague. :)


    1. Just as long as my enjoyment of the film hasn't scared you away lol!

      I blame my affection for the book - it isn't a good film but it did enough to satisfy me.

      In hindsight it probably would have been a better review if it was a joint book/film blog

      K :-)

  3. You lost me at the picture of Sam and Dean hahaha. I'm still trying to read the book. I think I'm up to chapter 27. I find it very drawn out but I'm sure it will get good again. I'm glad you liked the movie. I hope I like the movie too.


    1. Sam and Dean haven't made an appearance in my blog for a loooong time which is terrible!

      The film isn't great but it has a few moments where is comes up good.

      If you end up liking the book hopefully the film won't seem so bad!!

      K :-)

  4. Wtf? Highest rating I've seen so far for this O_O

    1. I totally understand where the w-t-fuckery has come from but I can't help it.

      I am putting it down as a guilty pleasure!!

      Please do not under any circumstances attempt to watch the film though - I would fear your reaction! ;-)

      K :-)