Once Upon A Time there was a boy, who met a girl, and they fell in love. But nay! ‘Twas not to be, for their loverly love was forbidden! Oh, what woe is thizzzzzzzzzzz… What? Sorry. That was my selective narcolepsy kicking in. Prepare for another round of Romeo and Juliet y’all, ’cause this shit’s heading straight for you Titanic-style. If you didn’t get enough star-crossed shenanigans in Warm Bodies and Beautiful Creatures then The Host has got you covered. But be warned intrepid cinemadventurers… Lives will be lost, retinas burned and dignity forfeited at the box office window if you sally forth to see this train wreck. For anyone who’s never done the “walk of shame”, I guarantee you’ll be popping your cherry with this one on your post-credit stroll out the theater.
The Host follows The Wanderer aka Wanda as she hitchhikes through the galaxy looking for a brain in which to put down roots. Once placed in Suicide Girl Melanie Stryder, the two eventually come to a truce, causing The Wanderer to flee her alien society (the bastard baby of Children of the Corn meets Care Bears in space) in search of true love and a family to call her own. But oh noes! She’s pursued by a Seeker from her people who’s hell-bent on eradicating every last bit of free will on the planet. Will The Seeker succeed? Will our intrepid heroine(s) fail? Will the girl(s) ever choose between the two buff blondes competing for their singular heart?
I’ve come to the conclusion that Stephenie Meyer is the Yin to Nicholas Spark’s Yang (and if you’ve read my Safe Haven review, you’ll know they’re a match made in the deepest, darkest, most depraved pits of hell). And I’m not talking about the awesome South Park version of hell, I’m talking What Dreams May Come damnation-style. But I digress. Stephenie Meyer has made a living siphoning off the cash from tweens, bored house-fraus and gullible idiots worldwide with her Twilight franchise, and now she’s done it again. Like the most raging case of hemorrhoids you’ve ever had, just when you think she’s done and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 heralded in a new, brighter era post-Meyer, here comes The Host. I’ll give credit where credit’s due and salute you, Ms. Meyer, for once again giving us a tragic tale of woe, that of Juliet and her… Whoops, sorry, wrong story, WAY better author. The Host sticks true to its Mommy’s signature formula and fans of Meyer and Twilight will prematurely ejaculate googly-eyes and cartoon hearts all over this shitfest. The best thing I can say about this film is that the one redeeming factor saving it from utter and total failure is Uncle Jeb. William Hurt’s quiet, restrained character often says very little yet understands much more than he lets on; and in a film that never shuts the hell up, it’s worth a nod.
Before I saw The Host, I read the book, and before I even sat down I knew one of the hardest things to translate from page to screen was going to be the internal dialogue between Melanie and The Wanderer. There were numerous creative angles by which this could have been accomplished (and if you’ve ever seen Battlestar Galactica you know it can be done). This was not one of those times. Mel and Wanda talk to each other using a combination of flashbacks, voiceovers, and speaking out loud, which frequently result in extremely awkward close-ups of Melanie’s face as she Gollum-whispers to herself in a corner. Epic. Fail.
Due to the staggeringly stunted plot, clichéd dialogue, and tediously drawn-out running time, the actors cast in this film were given the Herculean task of selling me their characters on pure charisma alone. With flawed character development and gaping holes in motivation, the portrayals in The Host were jaw-droppingly bad. Uncle Jeb was the best of them and even his mashup of Dirty Harry meets Yoda is questionable at best. There were moments when the relationships seemed genuine (mostly involving the family dynamic between Jeb, Mel/Wanda and Jamie), but those moments were few and far between.
The script for The Host was standard soap opera fare… So, you know, it was par for the course in that regard. This beer is an homage to those actors that fell on their swords in a valiant attempt to turn these turds into tiaras.
I’m fairly certain I had a small seizure from the violent eye-roll this exchange caused:
“Melanie, you don’t have to… We could be the last ones… Even if we’re the last man and woman on the earth…” -Jared
“ When you touch me, I don’t want you to stop… We could be taken at any moment, we only have this… Now.” –Mel
This one was delivered straight from the William Shatner School of Acting:
“Call… Me… Wanderer…” –Wanda
Aaaand the Winner:
“After living so many lives, I finally found something to die for…”-Wanda
I got some weird looks in the theater due to my furious scribbling in order to capture these gems for your reading pleasure… You’re welcome.
The monotonous tone and lengthy running time turned The Host from merely tedious to agonizingly ponderous. The structure of the film lacked impetus or thrust, and the narrative suffered for it; I’ve seen episodes of Toddlers & Tiaras with more substance than this movie. There were an infinite number of interesting directions this film could have taken with the foundation of an alien invasion coupled with an element of subversive rebellion. And yet, Lady Sparks spends the majority of The Host on developing a love triangle so tepid and flat not even the chiseled cheekbones of our male leads could render my lady bits the least bit intrigued.
The Host was a cliché wrapped in a stereotype smothered in a cloying façade of romance. Learning how to “ghost ride the whip” would be a more rewarding use of your time than sitting down to this shitshow.
Take a Drink: for every use, or implied use, of the Med Sprays.
Take a Drink: anytime someone mentions “souls”, “wanderer”, “promises” or “trust”.
Take a Drink (For the Ladies): each time you think “those shoes are ridiculous”.
Take a Drink: every time someone pulls a CSI Miami (puts on/takes off sunglasses). One Extra Bonus Shot: during the finale if you’re a ginger.
Take a Sip: for every memory burst and/or flashback.
Take a Drink: anytime someone sucks face or gets punched in the face. Bonus Shot: if it’s Melanie/Wanda that gets bitch-slapped.
Shotgun a Beer: to get through the most melodramatic “death” scene I’ve witnessed since Amilyn in the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992).