Quick Hit: Twilight gets the science fiction treatment in this terrible tween movie.
Allow me to tell you an embarrassing story, and why it’s important to double check things and talk about dates and such.
Shannon and I make a watch list, and then parcel it out throughout the year along with new releases and screenings we attend. One of the movies I put on my list was The Host (2006), a Korean horror movie that features a giant monster coming out of the water. What Shannon thought I meant was The Host (2013), probably because of my adoration for Saorise Ronan in other movies we’ve reviewed of hers (see Brooklyn, Byzantium, Lady Bird, etc.). But since none of those dates were listed originally on our list, I rented and popped in The Host (2013) thinking I was about to enjoy a monster movie that happened to star Ronan, somehow in a Korean movie. I was really wrong. Turns out the movie I watched is based off a Stephanie Meyers novel right when Twilight was taking young girl’s hearts by storm. And you know what? It’s just as bad as you’d think – pay attention to your dates kids!
The basic premise of the movie is essentially the same as it is in The Animorphs books series (anyone else that has read those, you are a fellow Andalite and I salute you with my tail) – an alien race comes and enslaves mankind by having a parasite take over their bodily functions and their thoughts. The Wanderer (a Soul) (I'm not kidding that's the name of the freaking alien race - the SOULS) is implanted into the body of Melanie Stryder (Ronan), which kicks off the movie. Melanie is a fighter and fights her occupation, eventually teaching the alien what it is to love and, ultimately, be human.
Honestly, my movie summary sounds like something a teenage girl would write in her diary, and the movie follows as such.
There’s nothing about this movie that I enjoyed. It plays like a bunch of silly fantasies strung together into the semblance of a film – and one that runs TWO HOURS. It took forever, and I couldn’t find very many things to even occupy my attention. The filming is bad. The acting is probably worse. And the story can’t figure out what it wants to be. Is this a teenage drama (YES) or is it a movie about an alien takeover. The movie seems to think it’s both, but it fails miserably at making the aliens actually seem like they’re dangerous at all. The Yeerks (Animorphs again) were much more menacing as freaking slugs.
This is all despite featuring William Hurt.
I wish I could say more about why this movie is bad, but my brain kind of is mad at me for even watching it. There’s just not much that happens besides slowly letting things develop, but the character “development” could have been explained away in the first few minutes of the movie. That means that we spend two hours focusing on an alien becoming human and a human learning more about acceptance. I don’t know – the emotions here all feel stunted and shallow. I know that teenage love is an extremely powerful thing (maybe I’m just getting old), but to extend that to a parasitic shiny worm is… tough.
Try to avoid this one. It’s a clunker. I’m giving it an “F”.
For more on this film, check out IMDB.
"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy"