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The Host (2013)—One of The Worst Sci-Fi Movies Ever

The Host 2013 movie poster

Based off the novel by Twilight author Stephanie Meyer of the same name (and not to be confused with the far superior Bong Joon-Ho film), The Host came out during a time where the Young Adult fiction genre was becoming increasingly popular with books and movies like The Hunger Games and Divergent series becoming huge hits. While I was never a huge fan of Stephanie Meyer’s work, I decided to give this movie a shot in hopes that not all her work was as horrible as Twilight. Worst. Mistake. Ever.

In a not-so distant future, peaceful aliens have taken over the world and subjugated humanity under their thumb by taking over their bodies, which you can tell by looking into their bright, glowing blue eyes. And due to the infestation, all of the world’s problems, such as climate change, world hunger, etc. have been solved. We then follow a young woman named Melanie Stryder (played by Saoirse Ronan), one of the few uninfected humans as she raids a government facility for medical supplies. She is caught by the aliens and jumps out a window, nearly dying. However, she is saved by the aliens and they put an alien inside her, wishing to know where the last remnants of humanity are. Despite this, Melanie continues to fight the alien that now uses her body as a host.

Saoirse Ronan as Wanderer in The Host 2013

What you just read is the best way I can summarize this movie without writing a five page essay. It is one of the best examples of backwards storytelling. I understand wanting to start a story in the middle or at the end to pique audiences’ interest, but there is a right and wrong way to do it. The right way? John Wick’s story in the first film. The wrong way? This movie. We don’t really care about Melanie’s past as it really doesn’t impact her current life, save for presenting an awkward love triangle (or love square, considering Wanderer is her own entity). That’s right, a love square ensues between Melanie, Jared (who kissed her the second he saw she was human-and this was their very first meeting), and Ian who develops feelings for Wanderer. Not only is this extra confusing and rather infuriating, but I literally couldn’t tell Ian and Jared apart save from their slightly different hairstyles! And the best part about this is that in the end, both get their happily ever after because they manage to successfully extract Wanderer and put her inside the dead body of another girl so that Wanderer could be with Ian. Is this stupid? Yes. But that’s not where the stupidity ends.

When I heard that this movie was about aliens who take over the world by invasion and assimilation, I was intrigued thinking it would be like the film They Live. However, it doesn’t make a lick of sense if these so-called peaceful aliens successfully took over our bodies without anyone trying to stop them. How in the world does a peaceful civilization come out on top over a civilization that was shaped through violence? Are you telling me no one, not even those pro-Second Amendment zombie apocalypse preppers in the deep south of the United States took up a gun to fend off these aliens? Melanie’s dad even committed suicide via gunshot to the head before even thinking about using that gun on the aliens. Do they have some sort of Magneto or Charles Xavier-like powers? How did humanity fall so easily to these aliens?!!

Melanie and Jared in The Host 2013

This movie was my introduction to Saoirse Ronan. At the time, I wasn’t exactly impressed with her performance, but then I had to remind myself this movie was based off a Stephanie Meyer book. And with that in mind, I think she did the best she could with the material. However, I can’t really say the same for the rest of the cast. They either seem sleepy or very generic (looking at you, Jared and Ian). Every character feels like a stock character, to the point where you really don’t relate to anyone and thus, don’t really care for any of their well beings. If you can’t feel for any of the characters or care about the story, then how can you enjoy the film? Especially when it clocks in at a bit over two hours long!

2013’s The Host is easily one of the most boring and uninspired films I’ve ever seen. Not only that, but it’s also one of the worst movies to ever exist. Don’t believe me? Despite having a shit-load of advertising, this film only made $63 million worldwide on a budget of $40 million. Yeah, that bad! And it certainly doesn’t help that it had Stephanie Meyer’s name attached. Fans of the book claim that the film cut out a substantial amount of its contents that made the film adaptation hollow and movie watchers just think it’s completely unwatchable. While I try to see a silver lining in every bad movie, I really can’t find anything good. All I can say is, if you want a good sci-fi movie, watch literally any other sci-fi movie but The Host.

Diane Kruger in The Host 2013
Me trying to get through this movie without falling asleep

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