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Film Review: The Host

by Benazir Anwar

Age certification: 12A

Written by: Andrew Niccol

Directed by: Andrew Niccol

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Jake Abel, Diane Kruger, William Hunt

Genre: Sci-fi

Rating: **

With the human race being possessed by aliens called ‘Souls’, the last of the humans do their best to preserve their own lives. Melanie Stryder (Ronan) is one of the humans on the run, along with her younger brother and companion, Jared. Making a promise that she will return for her brother, Melanie creates a diversion to save him, but is caught and turned into a Soul. The Host sees the spirit of Melanie battle with Wanderer, her alien counterpart, to keep her promise and save her loved ones.

Although this film has been associated (perhaps negatively) with The Twilight Saga, author of the novel Stephenie Meyer, has created an interesting and entirely different world here and director Andrew Niccols (The Truman Show), creates a stylish vision of this threatening alien form; from slick costumes and cars to beautiful sceneries.

The promising opening sequence, along with a few bits of much needed action and romance keep this film alive, but sadly are not enough to save it. The flashbacks are confusing and random, placed unnecessarily at inconvenient times. Similarly, although Wanderer constantly bickering with the soul of Melanie throughout the entire film can be amusing in parts, the two voices clashing becomes irritating. That said, Ronan does play the part of the ‘lost’ heroine well, and with a supporting cast of William Hurt, Diane Kruger and newcomers Jake Abel and Max Irons, the talent will certainly not be unappreciated.

For Twilight fans, perhaps this will serve to fill the space left behind from the end of the saga. But for viewers of The Host, although the film can be mildly entertaining, after the first half it does become annoying and tiresome to watch and ultimately, will probably leave you hoping to be taken over by an unknown alien life form yourself. Or just wishing it would end.

** Click here to check Odeon Leicester film showing times **

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