Review of The Host by Three Fans of the Novel

Three fans of The Host (the novel) and Twilight (the books and movies) reviewed The Host over on Hypable. Our opinions were mixed. If we had to give the film letter grades we gave the movie an A, B, and C.

We all liked the way the script was close to the novel, and thought the performances especially by Saoirse Ronan, William Hurt, and Chandler Canterbury were outstanding. We also felt like the Melanie and Jared relationship had chemistry and was plausible. Additionally, the heavy voiceover worked and was timed with perfect facial reaction. We didn’t mind the contacts on Saoirse Ronan, we felt her facial reactions weren’t compromised. We also liked the humorous and snarky tone overall.

On the other hand, we disliked the movie stylization of the Seekers both the shiny silver vehicles, the white costuming, and strange footwear, as well as the perfume atomizer-like sprays. There was also a key moment when we felt Diane Kruger’s seeker was out of character in her actions in a scene with a gun. We also felt the Ian and Wanda relationship was rushed, that the time frame was too compacted. Check out what each person had to say.

 

Comments

  1. I will be seeing the movie this evening. One comment Laura made about low key invasion not matching the silver cars / white outfits of the seekers – by this point the invasion is long over, no longer need to be low key when chasing humans. They believe they have the upper hand and likely generally are going after single humans, so no need for stealth. The obviousness would lend to their intimidation factor to overcome the remaining humans.

    Jamie in the book was a young teenager, so comment about actor being 10 years old has me curious as to Jamie in the movie. Your comments about the ‘big chase’ scene are somewhat reassuring. Thanks for sharing your comments.

    • I think they lowered Jamie’s age since Jared, Melanie, and Ian were cast younger than the characters in the book.

  2. I appreciate getting an honest review like this! I haven’t made up my mind yet whether to see the movie – I’m kind of getting tired of having to work so hard to block out the movies and get back to enjoying the books I loved in the first place, with Twilight and Harry Potter and other book-to-movie adaptations. But on the other hand, Max Irons…!

  3. I’ve already seen it, and I must confess I was really disappointed in the movie.

  4. Chandler Canterbury is not 10–he is 14 just like he is supposed to and Max, Saoirse, and Jake are all about the same age as their characters as well… I thought that the chase scene was a little bit over kill—it could have been one or two cars, it didn’t have to be four cars, three motorcycles and a helicopter! Overall though, I liked the movie.

  5. Saw the movie last night. The Seeker was out of character with the gun, but it was a glimpse of the host coming through and the soul loosing control. I missed the part where Max’s British accent came through. I was bothered by all the daylight scenes, makes sense for filming, but makes it less reasonable that they would have remained undiscovered for so long. I enjoyed it enough to go a second time with different group of people in couple of weeks.

  6. Just saw the movie and I thought it was great……do yourself a favor and go see it. Of course they left out stuff and changed a few things but they were perfect for movie making.

  7. Elizabeth (EverythingRemindsMeOfTwilight) says:

    I have seen THE HOST twice now, and I loved it both times. I think the hardest part of adapting a book to movie is displaying the themes and essential points between the characters in a visual medium. And I think that Andrew Niccol, Stephenie Meyer, the cast, and everyone else did that quite well in this film adaptation.

    There is much that a reader knows in the novel that had to be “shown” in the movie. I liked the stylization of the souls/Seekers—the silver, the white, the pristine cleanliness—because it showed how different the souls were from “barbaric humans.” Yes, some things were quite apocryphal, like the “car chase” scene, but anything that was an addition or a deletion compared to the novel was done so that it would evoke the emotion that was there (or at least, that I had) when reading the novel. And that was quite impressive.

    I didn’t think the movie was rushed either. I actually thought that it had a slow and peaceful pace that matched well with the story (but didn’t have me looking at my watch). I have to admit that I’m surprised that people thought the Ian/Wanda relationship was rushed, because it seemed identical to the rush that was in the book. What made Ian unique and wonderful in the novel is how quickly he realized he was a great big jerk and how badly he treated Wanda. Ian fell for Wanda immediately, though it took Wanda longer to “get it.” And I have to say I really thought Jake Abel did a fantastic job as Ian. He completely sold me on every scene and every line. And, of course, it helps that Saoirse was absolutely amazing.

    As for Diane Kruger with the gun. The Seeker in the novel does carry a Glock; and though the particular scene in the movie was not in the book, it was a very good way of showing the soul was losing control. And I can’t help but think how Stephenie Meyer is an amazing author who knows what happens with every character at every place in her novels, even though she can’t write it in because the POV is all from one character (in this case, Wanda). So, part of me wonders if some of those “apocryphal” scenes are really not all that apocryphal after all…if you get what I mean. :)
    Some of my favorite scenes were the ones that made me cry—Wanda/Melanie with Jamie, Ian not letting Wanda leave, and especially Wanda and Melanie saying goodbye to each other. That was incredible! As Stephenie herself said, the Host has so many different kinds of love in it—brotherly love, motherly love, loyalty to community, best friend/sisterly love, love for your “old” family, love for your new adopted family, and true love. And that all really “shined” in the film. I was completely engrossed in THE HOST and hope I get to see it again soon—and that more fans will go see it too.

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