The Host Blu-ray Review
Stephenie Meyer’s alien story The Host is now out on blu-ray and DVD and Kidzworld checks it out.
By: Lynn Barker
Aliens have taken over our bodies. Young Melanie Stryder and her alien inhabitant Wanderer have two human guys in love with them. Talk about complicated relationships!
Saoirse as Melanie and Max as Jared
In The Host, Earth has been all but conquered by aliens who are inserted inside human “Hosts”. Only a few human rebels remain. Sure the alien "Souls" have cleaned up our world but it’s not “our” world anymore! Feisty teen rebel Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), her boyfriend Jared (Max Irons) and little bro Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) have been living in hiding making raids for supplies. On one raid Melanie has to sacrifice herself to save her little bro.
Melanie becomes a Host for an alien “Soul” named Wanderer but, unlike most human Hosts, Melanie’s soul and consciousness remain alive so she’s basically sharing her bod with an alien! Melanie convinces Wanderer to help her run away and “Seeker” (Diane Kruger) is determined to follow her to a human rebel stronghold.
Diane Kruger as the Seeker
Melanie ends up at just such a settlement in a huge desert cave system. There she not only finds her old love Jared but the Wanderer side of her (now called Wanda) is attracted to another human rebel guy Ian (Jake Abel). As the Seekers close in, Jamie is injured and it’s Wanda who gets medical help and steals supplies from the invading Souls.
Melanie/Wanda and Ian outside the caves
After teaching the rebels how to remove invader Souls from human bodies and tortured by her love for Ian, Wanda decides to leave Melanie’s body to be sent out among the stars. When a young implanted woman (a surprise Emily Browning) can’t survive when her alien is removed, Wanda is implanted and, together, Melanie, Jared, Ian and the new Wanda find others of their kind, including friendly alien Souls, who are taking back our planet.
Jake as Ian and Saorise as Melanie/Wanda
Deleted Scenes – four short scenes that are interesting but you can see why they weren’t really needed.
Bringing The Host to Life – is the “making of” featurette. Author Stephenie Meyer introduces various shots and talks about the cast, how she got the idea for the story, etc. You see Saoirse on set and doing most of her own stunts. We see a bit of Saoirse and Max learning to swing dance. Saoirse, Max and Jake comment a bit but not really enough. There is something about the weird contact lenses and short adoration scenes with fans. Okay but not the best “making of” doc.
Learning to swing dance
Feature Commentary (with Stephenie, director and producer) is actually very interesting with lots of behind-the-scenes reveals and Stephenie talking about what was changed, left out or condensed when making her novel into a movie. Little fun facts like with all the stunts Saoirse did, falling off a skateboard did her the most injury etc. This is worth a listen especially if you read the book or are a Stephenie fan.
Although the film wasn’t a success, it was an interesting adaptation of the novel and many fans liked it. As I said in my review of the film when it was in theaters:
The Host movie would have benefitted from zero comparisons to the Twilight saga. Such a comparison ticks off the Twihards and makes those who don’t like that series want to avoid the film. Yeah, there is a young girl in love with two guys but that’s about where the similarities end.
The interesting concept and sci-fi story in The Host is dumbed down by the sappy on film love complications and dialogue that read okay in a novel (Yes, I read it) but come off unintentionally funny on film. For example “It’s not really me you like, it’s this body,” “Kiss me like you want to get slapped” and more. But, if any young actress can pull of talking to herself on screen while portraying two separate beings in one bod, it’s the super talented Saoirse Ronan.
The Host cover art
As for this Blu-ray/DVD set, the film looks great and the extras are passable if not great. Fans would have liked a blooper reel and commentary by Saoirse, Jake and Max would have been fun. You might certainly want to rent if not buy. Like the feature film, we’ll go 3 stars.
The Host Blu-ray Rating: