April 9th, 2013


Picoreview: The Host

Picoreview: The Host: A hell of a lot better than Twilight.

I mean this in the same way I meant “It didn’t suck!” when I saw the first X-Men movie. I mean, I realize, yes, that Twilight is not a high bar to reach in terms of quality of acting or storytelling, but since that was approximately my expectation going in, “a hell of a lot better” is meant very kindly.

The nutshell summary of The Host, adapted from Twilight author Stephanie Meyer’s 2008 SF novel of the same title, is “Peaceful parasitical aliens have taken over most humans, but a young woman resists amalgamation and fights back.” Right out of the box that’s better than TWILIGHT, because our heroine, Mel, has what the kids today appear to be calling “agency”: she has something to fight for, and does. Takes control of her own destiny. Etc. I found that heartening enough to want to go see it, and did. (Unfortunately, no one else did: it’s an amazing flop.)

My biggest *problem* with the film is that the alien, who becomes known as Wanda, has control of the physical body, so Mel, the resistant human, is a disembodied voice in Wanda’s head. It…probably works better in the book, but it gives a weird, unintentionally funny vibe to chunks of the movie. Emotionally it may have been a little flat, but since I was comparing it to Twilight, a movie in which I feel the leads have approximately the chemistry of a wet Wonderbread sandwich, “a little flat” is again still better than expected. So a mixed bag, but overall I was glad I went.

One moderately spoilery comment behind the cut.

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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)