Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Host

posted by Nell Minow
C-
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for some sensuality and violence
Profanity:Some mild language
Nudity/Sex:Some non-explicit sexual situations and references
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Extended sci-fi peril and violence, characters injured and killed, attempted suicide, character shot with gun, some disturbing images
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:March 29, 2013

The author of the Twilight series was showing signs of running out of ideas around the middle of the second volume, and this latest story shows more evidence of the pressure of producing a new series than anything approaching inspiration. Howlers that can slide by in print are impossible to ignore in a thuddingly dumb story of an alien takeover and the girl who is able to hold onto her own consciousness as the “host” of glowing millipede from outer space.

Problem #1: If you’re going to make a movie about aliens taking over human bodies, the indicator of possession should not be glowing blue eyes that eliminate a critical element of the actors’ ability to communicate.

Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan) is one of the few remaining humans who have not been overtaken by alien invaders who have inhabited almost every person on earth and eliminated suffering, illness,  and conflict — also passion, independence, innovation, and any notion of the individual.  Everything is smooth and civil and orderly.  It is like the whole planet moves to Muzak.  But they have excellent healthcare.

Melanie is captured by the aliens, led by Seeker, who heal her injuries and implant one of their aliens inside her.  But instead of taking over her consciousness, the invader, known as Wanderer, exists side by side, leading to a series of back-and-forth conversations intended to be touching but are more often mundane.  She’s like a bad ventriloquist with two invisible dummies.  It is clunky and dull when she talks to herself but not much better when the characters talk to one another.  “What’s it like in there?” a character asks Melanie/Wanda.  “It’s crowded.”  “Kiss me like you want to get slapped.”

Ronan is a superb actress, but even she cannot make real the idea of these two equally drippy characters as distinctive individuals, especially after she hides out with a secret rebel group led by Jeb (William Hurt), and in “Twilight” love triangle  fashion becomes involved with two different cute guys, one who loves Melanie and one who loves the Wanderer, now known as Wanda.  “If you could hold me — me — in your hand, you’d be disgusted,” Wanda explains to the guy who wants to kiss her.  When he finally does see what the alien looks like and tries to gaze tenderly at a glowing bug is just silly.

And then things really go nuts as the Seeker (Diane Kruger) goes after the human rebels, insisting, “I am not weak.  I am in control.”  Kruger is more believable as an alien than she usually is as a human, at least until a ridiculous twist near the end.  Melanie had two voices in her head.  I only had one, but it was clearly telling me that this movie is a mess.

This rebel group seems weirdly retro, with almost no women, and a social structure that resembles the 18th century.

Parents should know that this film includes extended sci-fi style peril and violence with some disturbing images, a car crash, aliens, possession, characters injured, some teen kissing and sensual embraces.

Family discussion: Why could Melanie and Wanda exist together?  How do Ian and Jared see her differently?  Why are the aliens able to achieve societal benefits humans have failed to? How does she earn the trust of the humans?  What do you think will happen next?

If you like this, try: “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and “I Am Number Four” and the book by Stephenie Meyer

 



  • Pingback: The Host | Christian Entertainment

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marcus

    Don’t forget about the gunshot to the head that is really graphic.

    • Nell Minow

      Thanks, Marcus! You’re right.

Previous Posts

The Real Story: Tracks and Robyn Davidson's Long Walk Across Australia
Mia Wasikowska plays real-life adventurer Robyn Davidson in "Tracks," based on the 1980 international best-seller about her 1700-mile walk across Australia with four camels. A thoughtful interview with Davidson in The Australian describes her: Davidson is an enigma. With her patrician air, prim

posted 3:51:08pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: The Dancing Traffic Light
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_0vRnkeOk[/youtube]

posted 8:00:15am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Interview: Genevieve Bailey of "I Am Eleven"
There's a reason that so many heroes and heroines of classic literature are eleven years old. It is that last magical moment at the cusp of childhood and adolescence, which is what makes it so fascinating and delightful. Genevieve Bailey remembered the year she was 11 as one of the happiest of her l

posted 8:09:47pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Exclusive Clip -- Alpha and Omega: The Legend of the Saw Tooth Cave
Alpha and Omega are back! And we are lucky to have an exclusive clip. It is available on Digital HD and On Demand tomorrow, and will be available on DVD at Walmart on October 7. Runt, Kate and Humphrey's Omega wolf cub, sneaks off to explore the haunted Saw Tooth Cave. When Runt finds a wolf who's

posted 10:11:29am Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.