THE HOST (2013)
Chick Flick Romance Sci-fi
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons,
Diane Kruger, Jake Abel,
Chandler Canterbury, William
Hurt, Boyd Holbrook, Francis
Fisher, Scott Lawrence
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 125 minutes
Distributor: Open Road Films
Director: Andrew Niccol
Executive Producer: Marc Butan, Jim Seibel, Bill
Johnson, Ray Angelic
Producer: Nick Wechsler, Stephanie
Meyer, Steve Schwartz, Paula
Writer: Andrew Niccol
Address Comments To:Tom Ortenberg, CEO
Open Road Films
12301 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 600
Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 571-2200; Fax: (310) 571-2278
The movie opens with a seemingly perfect society where everyone is honest, kind, and generous: they’re just not human. What the movie refers to as “souls” (alien beings) are placed in human bodies. There are very few humans left on the planet, and they must hide from the “seekers” responsible for hunting down the remaining humans.
A human named Melanie is trying to lead some seekers away from her brother when she’s surrounded. She jumps through a window and falls several floors, hoping her death will keep the seekers from finding her brother. She does not die, however. The aliens use their technology to heal her wounds, and a “soul” named Wanderer is placed in her.
Melanie’s body becomes home to both Wanderer and Melanie. Throughout the movie, a voiceover gives a running mental conversation between Melanie and Wanderer. At first, Wanderer works with the seekers to track down other humans by seeing Melanie’s memories. With Melanie’s encouragement, Wanderer softens, stops helping the seekers, and begins to help Melanie get to her brother.
They wind up near death in a desert and are found by the people with whom her brother lives. Conflict arises about whether this mixed being should be killed. Wanderer winds up earning the trust of the group’s leader and winning over several other humans in the hiding place.
THE HOST is very entertaining science fiction, but female viewers probably will like it more than males. The movie’s bizarre twist on romance is that it winds up with two guys in love with the two different beings in Melanie’s body. There’s some humor in the verbal battle between Melanie and Wanderer as the same body winds up kissing the two guys.
Despite some positive moral, redemptive elements, the movie’s idea that humans can be taken over by aliens is grounds for a good family discernment discussion. Humans have souls. Jesus told Nicodemus that people must be born again. The concept is that you choose to die to the selfish human nature and live life guided by the Holy Spirit. Unlike Stephanie Meyer’s science fiction mind takeover, you don’t lose control of your life. You must choose to obey God on a moment-by-moment basis. You only lose control when possessed by demonic spirits, but you have to invite the demonic power(s) into your soul. Also, lust, greed, envy, and assorted addictions can become like slave masters. The Good News is that Jesus can set you free, but freedom requires repentance, faith, trust, and obedience.
THE HOST is an entertaining science fiction, but women will like it more than males. The twist on romance is that two guys the heroine meets fall in love with the two different beings in her body. There’s also a brief, but gratuitous, unmarried sex scene in a dream sequence in THE HOST that warrants strong caution.