Was The Host Worth Watching?

In getting over a cold this week, I spent my weekend pretty low-key. I rested and caught up on some movies that came in for me at the library. *Score!*

One of the titles I watched was The Host.

Based on the Stephenie Meyer (author of the Twilight series) novel of the same title, The Host is the story of a futuristic world where aliens of some sort – read sparkly balls of electricity – have traveled the galaxy overtaking one planet after the other by surviving in host bodies. Melanie Stryder, played by The Lovely Bones’s Saoirse Ronan, is a member of the human rebellion that is fighting against them.

In the opening scene, Melanie risks her life by leading the “Seekers” away from her younger brother, and in turn, she is captured. She is placed as a host body for an alien lifeforce, but the transition is anything but smooth. Melanie is a fighter, and so her soul does not die, but becomes trapped in her body along with the alien force, who goes by the name Wanda.

I was curious just how “Stephenie Meyer” this storyline was going to be, and true to her voice, it’s a teenage love story with a triangle as well. Fans of Team Edward need only to tape over their t-shirts to read Team Jared, while Team Jacob groupies need to spray paint the name Ian over theirs. Father FAN-atics of the Team Carlisle breed are going to be disappointed when forced to vote for Team Uncle Jeb (played by William Hurt).

Team Jared!

Team Ian!

Team Uncle Jeb? … Um… Where’s Carlisle?

So – if you’re still with me on the storyline – Melanie/Wanda is living in the same body. Melanie loves Jared but Wanda has “human feelings” for Ian, and this after Ian tried to kill Melanie/Wanda, but then had a change of heart and swore he’d love Wanda even if she wasn’t Melanie/Wanda hybrid-humanost. Melanie gets mad when Wanda kisses Jared and Ian, yet there is a fair amount of kissing because this is a Stephenie Meyer story.

Melanie is a more redeeming female character than Bella Swan. At least Melanie never falls down just because. She cares about her brother, so I’ll give her that. But I’m still amazed at how fast these characters fall truly madly deeply in inter-species love. Vampire/Human, Human/Werewolf, Humanost/Human. But there’s a problem.

Wanda can’t be with Ian in her true form. Firecrackly electricity ball, remember? What’s a poor, little 1,000 year old sparkler to do?!


I’m not going to just TELL YOU! You have to see the movie! Or read the book.  😛

Overall, I think the film was better than Twilight, but its characterization is very similar. If you can forgive and forget that two people who met in a hostage situation moments prior can now be soulmates and ready to die risking their lives to be together, then you’re going to LOVE this movie!!!

If, however, you require your cinematic viewing pleasure to contain some semblance of realism, then might I suggest Dexter?  😉

What did you think? Did you enjoy The Host? Have you read the book?

How important is believability in the movies? When is it ok to suspend belief?

27 responses

  1. I thought it was okay for a one-time watch.

    1. Yah I would agree with that. It was enjoyable not knowing how it would end.

  2. I’ve read the book, so I’ll probably see the movie at some point on DVD. The book was okay. Not nail-biting good, but enjoyable.

    1. I liked the movie better than the Twilight films. The acting is better anyway.

      Never read the book. Can’t say I’m dieing to either.

  3. I picked up the book and sighed when I read the blurb – another triangle? Really? I really tried, but halfway into the first chapter I just could not bring myself to care. And I say this having read a book about interstellar spiders that build a train through the stars…. I think I have to accept I’m not Stephanie’s target audience.

    1. I love that you gave it a valiant effort Damien! Nice try!

      I agree though…another triangle?!

      1. I read three of the Twilight books, because I wanted to know if they were good or not (I had to skip the third one because it wasn’t in the library…) In the end I felt they weren’t worth the time, but she had captured teen love perfectly – it’s all consuming and vital to the people involved, but for anyone outside it (ie, the reader) it’s dull, and goes on and on and on and on…) The denouement of the series was a big let-down too : The bad guys come over from Europe to throw down, and Bella reveals her amazing mind-shield and they say “Oh, ok, then.” and go home again. Huh?
        Props to Stephanie for giving the world a new view on Vamps, and turning a dream into a viable series of books, but they weren’t for me.

        1. Wow. That’s a really good review/breakdown right there. You should write for Sparknotes!

          Yah, I was disappointed with the whole “Edward, use your vampire teeth to tear out our half dead child!” plot point. Eeeh gad!

          That, and the word ‘russet’. Did you know Jacob Black had russet colored skin, because Stephenie reminded us of this A LOT. Russet. ………



  4. My guy and I both agree that this movie was better than Twilight… but we probably won’t watch it again. And I have seen each installment of Twilight more than once. I know. It makes no sense. What can I say?

    1. I’m in the exact same boat Tiff. I couldn’t explain it either. Lol.

  5. I definitely liked THE HOST book better than the TWILIGHT books. I only saw the first Twilight movie (blah), and I haven’t seen this one yet. Given that no one is saying it’s a much-watch, I’ll probably pass. Thanks for the review!

    1. I will say I liked it more than I expected to. But my expectations were low. Funny enough, this is the only movie I’ve watched where I was ok with the ending, but thought I could’ve written a way better one.

  6. I liked the book, but I’ve been reluctant to watch the movie (have no idea why). Don’t know if I can recommend Dexter either (other than the first couple of seasons), not after the series finale last night! UGH. Have you seen it yet??

    1. Don’t say that!!! OMG! I’m only through season 7. I’m dieing to know what happens. Don’t tell me it’s disappointing.

      1. Well, if you’re in for 7 seasons, then you have to finish. So, um, UGH actually stands for… uber great happiness??? 🙂

        1. Coleen, I had no idea what a TERRIBLE liar you are! LOL

  7. I really liked the book. It was completely different from the Twilight story. It was straight-up science fiction (my first love). I thought they did a really good job with the movie, too.

    It has become one of the movies my BFF and I watch on our retreats (she scrapbooks and I write), because it can play in the background without distracting us from our work. OK, well, the guys are a bit distracting though. 😀

    1. First, I had no idea you loved science fiction so much and that is AWESOME! I was a voracious reader of Kurt Vonnegut back in the day (although he claims he did NOT write sci-fi). Please give me some title recommendations so I can get back into it!

      Second, I love that this is your multi-tasking movie. I think mine is Because I Said So with Mandy Moore. 😀

      And third, who’s your favorite guy???!!! I’m on Team Jared.

      1. I even got college credit for reading and writing SF. I’m evil that way.

        Some title recommendations? Do you want brain-bending SF (Dune, A Canticle for Leibowitz, A Mote in God’s Eye…)?

        Or, one of my all-time-favorite authors is Anne McCaffrey. You can’t go wrong with any of her series. Start with Dragonflight or The Rowan or The Ship Who Sang. I re-read her books ALL the time, and I always cry at certain scenes.

        Other authors I love for different reasons: Douglas Adams, Octavia Butler, Ursula K. Le Guin (she does write fantasy, too), Andre Norton (the Grande Dame of SF!).

        I’m stopping myself, because I could go on and on.

        Team Jared! Definitely.

        1. I’ve heard of Ursula Le Guin before. I heard rumor she’s the sci-fi voice for Jane Austen fans! What titles from her would you recommend? I’m so going to lose an hour on Goodreads now adding to my queue… 🙂

          1. Oh, The Left Hand of Darkness, definitely!

  8. I hope you’re feeling better, Jess! I still want to see this movie, even though I’ve heard really bad reviews. I read the book, which I thought was excellent, and not what I expected.

    1. JULES!!! I was just thinking of you! I miss you and I’m sooo sorry I’ve been MIA from the blogosphere. It has been a very long week. A friend of mine passed away, and after that I got a cold and the motivation and time just were not there. I missed my blogging friends and am happy to see all your faces again!

      I did not read this book, but read all the Twilight ones. Yes, ALL! They’re badly written, but the story is fun. I went into watching The Host with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. I definitely saw the cheesy teen triangles of Stephenie Meyer come out, but overall I liked the storyline better than the Twilight books because Melanie was waaaay more likeable than Bella.

      Not sure whose team your on: Team Jared or Team Ian, but Ian came off a flat character for me in the film. Did the book do him any justice?

  9. Hrm. Seems like a mixed poll here on your page. I haven’t read the book, though I read the Twilight series to see what the fuss was about. When I read the back of the host, my eyebrow raised (not sure if it was disdain or confusion) and I put it down. Talked to a bestie who said that the book was a bit slow to start (and she felt that word was generous). I thought the movie looked like it might be worth a watch, but was unsure. Based on the reviews, I’m still unsure. LOL! Maybe I’ll just have to take the plunge.

    1. Just watch the movie. It will take less time than reading it. I think the OVERALL plot is there. Just know that because it’s Stephenie Meyer there is a teenage love triangle that may cause you to gag more than once, but then something important will happen and you’ll get over it.

      😉 Have I settled it for you?

  10. I’m definitely not a fan of Stephanie Myers. I’m still scarred from being forced to sit through New Moon while surrounded by a sold-out crowd of lovestruck teen girls swooning over Edward and Jacob. Ack. One of the worst nights of my life (and the reason why that particular girlfriend bit the dust soon after. Eclipse was coming out in a few months. I had no intentions of experiencing that again).

    Dexter, though, I can rally behind. I have not seen this final season (cancelled Showtime to save money) but I’m sure I’ll catch up eventually, even if the ending was (I am hearing) disappointing.

    1. Oooh, you saw the worst Twilight movie. Yah, Bella all depresso and Edward all decay-athon like….YAaaaaaah. Sorry, man.

      My guy’s opinion – the first one was worth watching, and none of the others. Kudos for sitting through New Moon sans booze. Even I packed wine for that outing! But that’s actually typical for me. 😉

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