The Host (2013)


Two’s a crowd for Saoirse Ronan

On paper, The Host has the potential to exceed the low expectations that traditionally accompany a Stephenie Meyer adaptation.

Writer-director Andrew Niccol (Gattaca) is working in his preferred genre after all, a claim few of the Twilight directors could make.

Furthermore, Saoirse Ronan has already played a teenager on the lam with some distinction in Hanna. Unfortunately, the source material is abysmal: a half-baked sci-fi tale in which most of humanity has been body-snatched by celestial larvae.

Detailing the precise rules that govern this fictional universe proves a challenge, especially as they’re broken or rewritten almost as soon as they’re established.

Compounding the dismal storytelling is Niccol's general disregard for narrative structure and pacing. Resistance fighter Melanie (Ronan) has barely been introduced before she’s captured and reduced to serving as ìhostî for an extraterrestrial.

Yet Melanie refuses to go quietly, leaving Ronan with the unenviable task of bickering with her own voiceover for the remainder of the uneventful running time.

Things become particularly tetchy - and - more risible - once Melanie and her mental flatmate have designs on different boys (Max Irons and Jake Abel, indistinguishable).


Steven Spielberg famously retained his childhood sense of wonder. On this evidence, Meyer has maintained a nine-year-old's notion of titillating romance.

Film Details

User Reviews

    • omgitsgray

      Apr 3rd 2013, 11:35


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    • omgitsgray

      Apr 3rd 2013, 11:35

      What a waste of money.

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    • SteveMcc

      Apr 3rd 2013, 13:45

      QUICK! While her star credentials look to have taken a knock, sign her up as a young Lara Croft!

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    • Ichi1

      Apr 3rd 2013, 21:09

      "Detailing the precise rules that govern this fictional universe proves a challenge, especially as they’re broken or rewritten almost as soon as they’re established." That is what Meyer's does best. Vampires that don't burn in the sun....the turn into disco balls. Because she HAD to have her vamps go to high school and high school is held during the day. Werewolves that could shift whenever they wanted? Because they had to in order to fit her plot. What a waste of the brilliant Saoirse Ronan. I hope she made a c**p ton of money on this at least. This didn't even crack the top 10 at the US box office this past weekend.

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    • NathDyl

      Apr 3rd 2013, 23:14

      Ichi1 Pretty sure it made it to number 6 in the US this past weekend, around $10m altogether.

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    • Jareth64

      Apr 4th 2013, 11:11

      Yeah, it looks absolutely f**k awful. However, the woman sitting behind me on the bus last night raved about it on her mobiled; "Saw t'Host... it were well good, yeah." She seemed to have a low IQ.

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    • Ali1748

      Apr 13th 2013, 14:13

      One star....really ?

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    • rhill

      Apr 22nd 2013, 11:43


      Ok I'm gonna ask one question. Have you read the book? ....No. Well then obviously you won't enjoy the film as much. You HAVE to read the book first to truly enjoy the film! The film is amazing after you know the story because its like watching your characters on screen and falling in love with them all over again. So technically the film deserves 5 stars for bringing the book to life beautifully! My friend agrees and we're both in our final year of our degree in Digital Filmmaking! So we know a bit about recognising good films!

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    • docleo2001

      Apr 26th 2013, 7:30

      I have not seen this movie and I never will, but you shouldn't have to read the book to enjoy the movie, regardless of the source material. That's like saying the Green Lantern movie is amazing because you are a fan and follow the comics. Failure any way you look at it.

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    • adamgriffiths

      Apr 28th 2013, 19:53

      She is Such a good actor aswell what a waste of her talent.

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    • FBCFudge

      May 30th 2013, 18:51

      @rhill I think you miss the point of films completely. You shouldn't have to read a book beforehand to be able to enter the world the movie portrays, they are entirely separate media and thus should be approached as such.

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