Friday, March 29, 2013

The Host Movie: Good, Bad or Indifferent?

The Host, the movie I have been waiting since 2009 to watch, was finally released tonight. I was so excited to see it. I ordered tickets in advance and went to the theater early, expecting at least one theater full of people waiting to see it. You know what I found when I got there?

No one.

There was no one there. Not a single person.

Eventually, when the movie began to play, there were a total of twenty people there, including me. That doesn't say much for the movie, but I was pretty happy that we basically had the theater to ourselves.

They didn't hype The Host the way they did Twilight or The Hunger Games, and it really showed. I loved the non-hype the movie had, but I feel bad that it had such a lousy turnout at the premiere.

As for the movie itself, it was a very faithful adaptation. Which was awesome for anyone who loved the book. But... It was lacking emotion. I said the same thing about The Hunger Games, but in that it was only Katniss's missing inner monologue that left that movie emotionless. In The Host there was emotion from Wanda and Melanie and Jared and Ian, but it felt rushed to me. Everything happened so fast and some of the romance was almost felt like insta-love, which anyone who's read the book knows is not the case. And the interaction between Melanie and Wanda felt a little flat at times.

The death of characters who didn't die in the book was sort of unnecessary, I thought. It left me all emotional for their book selves, but the lack of introduction in the movie made me sort of indifferent to their fates. It made a point to the audience, but it could have been any nameless characters. Actually, it sort of was since we didn't find out who they were until after they were killed. The same goes for another loved character who does die in the book. He dies, but there's no emotion because you never even learned his name!

I get that they had to cram a 600 page book into two hours, and I'm willing to forgive a lot, but non-readers won't feel any connection to these characters. They'll probably barely feel the connection to the main characters. I can't quite tell, because I've read the book. Many times. And I know the story, and all if the backstories. I know how the aliens got to earth and how they run the world now and who the humans are and why they live the way they do, so I have no idea if it was portrayed well in the movie.

I can't say I didn't like the movie and I know I'm giving that impression, but it really isn't the case. I was excited to see it and I'm still excited to see it again. The Host is my favorite book, it's my favorite story, has some of my favorite characters. And I loved seeing them on the big screen. I loved even more that they didn't deviate from the story (aside from the character death I mentioned before) at all. It was almost word for word the book, just rushed. That's something you rarely see in a movie adaptation. The characters don't always say your favorite line, they usually never do. But all of my favorite lines were in this movie! All of them! That alone was enough for me to say I loved this movie. It also had a really slow, bleak sort of atmosphere to it. Everything happened slowly and there was almost no added action
for the sake of action. But there was still that rushed feeling that leaves me with mixed feelings.

I have to say I've never felt so uncertain about how I felt about a movie. Especially a movie I enjoyed as much as The Host, but I've been waiting over three years for this movie, so I can't trust my own opinion. That's why I'm asking, what do you think? What did you think was good? What did you think was bad? Have you read the book, or did you go in blind?

What do you think?


  1. I really wanted to go see this one today, but school got in the way. I'm glad it's not completely disappointing though. I felt the same way about The Hunger Games, it was lacking some emotion. I liked the movie, but it didn't live up to the book as much as I wanted it to. I guess it'll be the same thing with this one, at least it was entertaining. I'll still be there to see it with my enormous bucket of popcorn. :D

  2. I went to see this last night as well and couldn't believe how empty the theatre was! I showed up like half an hour early and was afraid of it being sold out, but same thing there was only about 15 people there. I haven't read the book so I had nothing to compare it to but I really enjoyed it. I requested the book as soon as I got home though because I felt as if there was a lot I was missing from the movie, the romance was kinda rushed and I felt we didn't really get enough background information.

    1. I can't believe it was so empty for you too! I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed it without reading the book first though. I honestly didn't know what it would be like without all the background from the book. I can't wait to hear what you think of the book because the romance is very slow and drawn out and so sweet. And there's a whole lot of background that wasn't touched on in the movie at all. You're going to love the book!!

  3. I saw it yesterday and adored it! I was sorta mad that the theater was so empty after watching it because it was SO GOOD! I thought they did a really good job sticking to the book. It's the best book adaption in my opinion...the first one ever that I didn't leave going "But they left so much out!" I can't wait to go see it again! :D

    1. I just saw it again today and I liked it just as much the second time! There were still only like twenty five people in the theater, which I'm still sad about, but whatever. I enjoyed it. And it really was a great adaptation. Better than a lot I've seen. Glad you liked it!!!

  4. Great movie review. I haven't read this book yet, but my Mum and Sister loved it a lot and have told me to read it. There hasn't been any hype for the book or the movie really here either and I will probably see the movie before reading the book. I haven't read The Hunger Games and wasn't really interested until seeing the movie, then bought them all. Sometimes hype is a bad thing and sometimes a good thing. But I am glad they followed the storyline from the book closely. Thanks for sharing.

    Katie ~ Turner’s Antics

  5. It's so sad that a movie gets such a low audience turnout regardless of whether or not it was a good movie. Still, it's great that you enjoyed watching the movie and watched it twice!

    Angie @ YA Novelties

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