Ok, so I watched The Host this weekend and I don’t really know what to say. Just like Melanie/Wanda of the movie I’m of two minds about it. On one hand, Teen me enjoyed it. But Adult me wanted to smack the hell out of the characters.
First I’d have to say that I went in without a clue what the story was about outside of what I’d heard and what I gleaned from trailers. After my abortive attempt at reading the Twilight series I lost interest in following Stephanie Meyer’s work. So I went in mostly blind, just hoping for mindless entertainment at the very least.
I liked the premise. It just could have been executed better. The idea that aliens could come down and take over bodies isn’t a new one. Neither is the idea that humans need outside help to stop from destroying ourselves. Throw in a love triangle and an alien obsessed with eradicating threat and you have the basic story.
That’s about as far as my adult brain got. My fifteen year old self quickly head locked my adult self and wouldn’t let her out besides from a few times to yell at the screen. My younger self quickly got sucked in. Oh the angst of being kept from your loved ones even though you’re still really there! And then to have your body fall for another guy! Double angst! Then everyone wanting to kill you because you’re new self is what they’ve been fighting! AND to be chased by a relentless Seeker. Oh the conflicts!
That’s where the story falls short. Older me noted that all of this would matter IF we cared about Melanie. And I didn’t. We meet her mid chase and she kills herself before we really get to know her. The rest of her story is revealed in back flashes and the occasional (and irritating) outbursts from her confined mind.
Then there are the plot holes like why send Wanda to the resistance when she knew they would try to kill her? Why hide her presence when proving she’s in there would help herself and Wanda out? And to be honest, I liked the world better when the aliens were in charge. There’s no war, no hate, the world is peaceful. Beautiful.
On the flipside, the resistance group is full of hate and violence and poor Melanie/Wanda takes the brunt of it, constantly getting punched in the face, choked and thrown around by men much bigger than herself. The ones who don’t try to kill her shun her.
Which world would you rather be a part of?
Then the way that the Seeker conflict arc was resolved was completely anticlimactic. She might as well have not even be a part of the story. At that point I actually threw my hands up and half shouted, “That’s IT?” That’s how badly it was handled.
It might just be how the story was translated to film but it felt short on character building, big on plot holes but at the same time felt like the film dragged on for hours.
I might pick up the book just for comparison purposes but I can’t say I’m that interested in the story itself.