Hosting aliens: Meyer flick invades

Stephenie Meyer, whose books inspired the Twilight movies, now presents a new way for true love to struggle against itself. In the Twilight world, characters were invited to become vampires to share more fully the lives of those they loved. The Host presents a possibility that, if anything, is a deeper commitment. Earth has been invaded by a race of "souls" who inhabit human bodies, stripping them of their memories and identities. It's the way the alien race survives and spreads.

We meet Melanie Stryder (Saoirse Ronan), who through some sort of glitch, is inhabited by an alien soul but still retains, there inside her mind, her own identity. This leads to interior conversations between the Soul Melanie and the Earth Melanie. Soul Melanie (known as Wanderer) falls in love with Earth Melanie, even though in theory this isn't possible because the Wanderer has become Melanie. This intimate form of self-love leads to dialogue that will possibly be found humorous by some people. When Wanda is about to kiss the boy she loves, for example, the film uses voiceover to warn her: "No, Melanie! Wrong! No! He's from another planet!"

True, in our own lives, we pick up warnings on that frequency: No! You'll get pregnant! No! He's from the other side of town! No! He's your best friend's boyfriend!" I imagine this as a version of one of those debates where little angels with harps and devils with pitchforks perch on your shoulders.

Much of the film is set in New Mexico, where a band of surviving humans hides inside an "almost" extinct volcano. Using sunlight reflected by walls of mirrors they can crank up and down, they raise crops for their agrarian eco-system...(READ FULL REVIEW)


After 46 years of writing film reviews, Roger Ebert died on Thursday, April 4.  Read Carroll Trainum's essay remembering Ebert here

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