Film review: The Host (6 out of 10 ten)

Saoirse Ronan in The Host.
Saoirse Ronan in The Host.

It was always going to be a tough ask - creating a storyline that rivalled the enormous appeal of the Twilight saga and hoping it transferred to the big screen with as much success.

The Host, though, is unlikely to stick in the mind of cinemagoers for too long.

Twilight novelist Stephenie Meyer might have hoped for more from this adaptation but the movie is too predictable and disappointing.

The overall idea is sound enough. Earth has been invaded by small parasitic aliens that enter humans and then wipe their memories and take them over.

The only evidence of this is a brightness in the eyes... and for the most part wandering around smiling a lot and being nice.

A member of the resistance, Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), is captured and has an alien put in her. However, Melanie proves stronger than most and Wanda (the alien) and her end up effectively sharing the body.

This causes all kinds of problems when Melanie tracks down her lover but Wanda fancies someone else.

It may sound like it veers towards comedy but there is very little humour in this film. It’s all a bit too much life and death and a lot of angst.

The interaction between Melanie’s thoughts and Wanda ends up just being annoying. And the romance aspect might have been integral to Twilight but is rather laboured in The Host.

Diane Kruger adds an interesting element as The Seeker, an alien struggling to stay calm and peaceful, but this plot strand isn’t really fulfilled.

Saoirse Ronan is a highly promising actress and already has a decent CV under her belt (Hanna, The Lovely Bones, Atonement) and certainly does her best with her character.

The Host isn’t a bad movie, there are some touching scenes and it does raise the question of what it is to be human.

However, it doesn’t fulfil its potential and you do need to blindly accept some aspects of the plot that raise more questions than answers.

Film details: The Host (12A) 125mins

Director: Andrew Niccol

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Diane Kruger, J.D. Evermore