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Film Review: The Host (2013)
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stainsteelrat
The Host (2013). Directed by Andrew Niccol and based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer. The film starts with some exposition that the Earth has mostly been taken over by a benevolent alien species called the "souls". These are symbiotic aliens that are introduced into the host body, but then take over all mental functions, erasing the person that they once were. Said aliens are peacelike, so everything from war to petty crime is essentially erased from human society. Inevitably there is a pocket of human resistance that doesn't want to be subsumed by the souls. One such resistance member is Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) who tries to commit suicide by jumping out of a window to evade capture. The attempt fails, her body is healed, and she is implanted with a soul. For some reason though Melanie is able to communicate with the Soul that is implanted into her. Not entirely dissimilar to Meyer's previous novels, The Host is what I would describe as teen girl fiction. Despite the not very original background to the story it's at least of passing interesting to begin with, albeit it plods along. Unfortunately it then mostly adopts a weary plotline of both Stryder and the soul falling in love with two different human men. Cue lots of staring into the middle distance and upset about who's kissing who. If they had picked up the pace a bit (the running time is 125 minutes!), steered away from the cheesy romance, and examined more of the human-alien interplay it might have been more interesting for me. Even Twilight fans might find this a struggle. 2/5 (Poor)
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I've read the book and really liked it. There isn't so much emphasis on the lurve angle, and it concentrates more on fear of the rebel community being discovered and Melanie/the alien's introduction and integration to the group. There's also interesting stories about other planets and some good ideas and concepts about alien civilisation. Shame it didn't come over well in the film, I much preferred it to the Twilight series (in book form).

There is something of the community, but not a great deal. Nothing about other alien cultures.

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