The Host

The Host had some good ideas, and it did hold my interest for the entire time, but the writing, score, and characters pretty much ruined it.

I probably wouldn't have rented this if I had known it was a Stephenie Meyer (author of Twilight) book. I didn't find out until I already had it, and by then I figured I might as well go through with it, anyway. Roeper didn't review it, and IMDb didn't really like it, but I was hoping maybe it would still be okay. It wasn't. The music was overbearing and melodramatic. It was too exaggerated for what was going on, and it really brought you out of the experience.

It was so big and showy during scenes like when Wanda first sees the wheat field, and when she gets put into Melanie's body, but the scenes weren't dramatic enough to support that level of music. It was really beautiful in a couple of places, but for the most part it pretty much just ruined the movie. The writing was horrible, especially the dialogue. The scene when Melanie decides she wants to be with Jared was just terrible, and there were multiple scenes and lines that were equally as bad.

I didn't like the character of Melanie at all. I found out during the commentary that she was only supposed to be 17, and Saoirse actually was 17 during the shooting, which is interesting because she looks a lot older. She did a good job with the acting, I thought. I really believed her as two people. I guess Melanie isn't so unbelievable as a 17-year-old girl, but she's still impudent, childish, and obnoxious. I hated pretty much all of her lines, and I hated her accent, too. I really liked Wanda's accent, though. I thought maybe it was just Saoirse's natural accent, but it's not.

I didn't like the romance between Melanie and Jared. I thought it was stupid that they were going out just because they were the only people available to each other, basically. I didn't see any longevity for the relationship once they got around other people. I didn't mind Wanda and Ian together, though. Maybe it was because Ian was kind of an interesting-looking guy and Jared was totally unattractive. Speaking of which, Wanda really traded down with that new body. Blech. I guess any port in a storm, though.

Despite the terrible music, writing, and characters, I got pretty into the movie. It did kind of seem to go on forever, but I never really lost interest. I liked seeing the soul world. Although the chrome stuff looked really silly; the cars, motorcycles, and helicopters. It just made them look cheap instead of fancy. Probably the opposite of what they were going for there. I thought it was really weird that the store just said "store" on it, but it made more sense when they went back and I realized it was a soul store. The scene where Wanda sees the dead souls kind of came off as comical. I get the weight of it, and I kept going back to it trying to feel it, but it just looked like some weird silver paint on a piece of velvet that Wanda was freaking out about. That whole line about "murdering my family in the next room" was so melodramatic, too.

A lot of stuff seemed to just happen as a plot device. Oh, the kid gets hurt and then she has to save him, look at that. Oh, the guy falls in the water and then she saves him, how convenient. It didn't seem like an organic part of the story. I did like how Wanda said Ian would squish her if he could see her, and then he did get to hold a live soul and he wasn't disgusted.

The scene where Jeb gives Jamie the gun seemed really off. When he handed it to him I was like, "Sure, perfectly natural. It's a dangerous world, Jamie knows how to use a gun." And then Jeb's sister was all, "You can't give a boy a loaded gun!" and that ruined that. I thought maybe the fact that the gun wasn't loaded was going to be a problem later, like they run into trouble and Jamie can't defend himself because the gun isn't loaded, so I was expecting that, but luckily it didn't happen.

I feel like the souls wouldn't want to take over hosts who didn't want to be taken over. All their previous hosts didn't care. I guess this was their first experience with resistance, so it was all new for them. I wonder what they felt like the purpose of humans was. We don't really contribute anything to the planet. Maybe they'd just let us all die out eventually. If they kept us around, would it just be to use as vessels if they wanted to vacation on Earth sometime or something?

I didn't get why Wanda just wanted to die. It seemed a little weird. She said she didn't want to live without the humans, but I don't think assisted suicide is something the souls would really go for. She also said it'd take like 100 years to travel to another planet. If she's only a thousand years old and she's been to eight planets, then she probably spent 500-700 years traveling. Bo-ring. She talks about living for a millennium, but she wasn't doing much for most of that time.

The ending was good. I like the idea that some souls are choosing the human side. I feel like it means that eventually they're all going to realize the error of their ways and stop trying to take over humans.

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