A Review of The Host - book and movie

Or a more apt title: A post in which I rant about the horrendous movie adaptation of a decent book.

You’ve been warned. Proceed with caution.

My brother-in-law has a theory, and I hate to admit, but he’s totally right. He thinks that books should be made into mini-series instead of movies. Like a 10-episode series so that you are able to get in all of important character development and plot points. This option would’ve been so much better for this movie. It was like the story was on fast-forward with missing chunks!

I should’ve known better than to be excited over a Stephanie Meyer movie adaptation. Some books should just stay books. That said, I really loved the book The Host. It is far more quality reading than Twilight, which a richer back story than 2 boys loving the same girl with fantasy elements. Here is a synopsis if you are interested. The short version is that there has been a alien invasion on earth a la body snatchers or that one teen-alien-horror movie with Josh Hartnett from 15 years ago. Humans are implanted with a “soul” – a non-violent, loving, shiny bug-like being, who take over our bodies in order to ‘experience’ the planet. This story is centered on a small group of survivors, most notably a young girl named Melanie who resists her implantation and actually forms a relationship with her “soul”, Wanderer (and of course the 2 boys that are in/fall in love with her/them).

My dear friend Molly and I wondered how they were going to translate this book to the silver screen considering SO MUCH of the dialogue happens INTERNALLY for the main characters. Well kids, it did NOT translate well. It was actually laughable it was so bad. How did they cope with the internal dialogue? Why, cheesy voiceovers with the main character speaking OUT LOUD to respond, but no one else could hear her, of course! #fail.  #fail. #fail. Oh! And sometimes, but not all the time, the Mel-voice would have a deep-southern accent!

After one of the opening sequences to the movie, Molly and I gave up trying to take it seriously and just yelled at the television whenever obnoxious, ridiculous things would occur – which happened to be a good 80% of the movie.

For example:
They made up action scenes to make it more exciting and action-y. (it didn’t work)They scrapped major plot points and characters – Wes, Walter, Sharon, Sunny anyone?? Not like they were pertinent to the plot and character development.
They seriously missed the ball with casting and I could’ve acted this movie better.
The setting was so obviously paper mache caves that it was impossible to take seriously.
They made intelligent, savvy, survivalist characters idiotic, making the believability that they were the actual survivors of a hostile alien takeover completely null and void.
They removed all ethnic characters and then cast Doc as an Obama look alike (that was SO hilariously distracting)

They made a strong, independent, practical female lead into a heel and dress wearing ninny (albeit, there were such cute heels).
They made a terrifying book-character seem not even mildly threatening as she posed against her silver car in the dessert, looking far more like a model than a determined alien.

 Granted, taking all of that into account, I do have to say that this movie has provided Molly and I will many hours of entertainment in our rants and complete re-casting of the film. Here is a look at our choices for the cast of The Host. (movie cast on the left, Molly and my castings on the right) 

Melanie Stryder - A super tough girl who took care of herself and her kid brother on the run after her parents were killed. She’s described as strong, a long-distance runner, and basically kick-ass chick.
 Jared Howe –
Melanie’s survivalist loverboy. A tough, but tender, tall muscular man with a chiseled jaw and “sienna” eyes (really Stephanie Meyer? Really? Why don’t you go ahead and google the color “sienna” and see what ya come up with…).
 Ian O'Shea –Wanda’s love interest, who also happened to want to kill her in the beginning (In the movie, its like a 10 minute time-span, I-hate-you-want-to-strangle-you to I-love-you-and-will-protect-you). He’s described as another  burning hunk of man, with dark hair, light skin, and blue eyes.

Kyle O'Shea -
Ian’s meathead jerk of an older brother who really tries to kill Wanda. Described as a huge, muscley hunk of man who looks like his little bro, but with a crooked-because-previously-broken nose.

Wanda –
When she gets her own body at a later point it is described as a small, feminine, petite little blonde woman-child.

The Seeker –
Described as an almost ugly, small, intense dark-haired woman with dark, bulging eyes, who wears head-to-toe black.

After the ridiculousness of all of this, Molly and I took a little creative license as to how we would get some of our favorite stars into the movie: 
So, Johnny Depp could be Walter (since he wasn't even in the movie anyway!) 

 But then we rationalized that if Johnny Depp was in it, then Helena Bonham Carter HAS to have a part, so allow me to introduce you to Aunt Maggie:

Then for some (more) man candy:

Random Meathead: 

Then, we figured the chick who actually played Melanie can be Sharon
And this kid can be Jamie (although, the kid in the movie actually did the best acting job of all of them!)

OH and a very close runner-up for Ian and Kyle: 

This was way to much fun! 
What do you think about our Fancast of the Host? 
Have you ever been seriously disappointed by a book-to-movie adaptation?


Jeans and a Teacup said...

I did like the book but I haven't seen the movie. I'm not expecting much but it sounds like it's pretty bad! But that's hollywood for ya! They screw up everything good.
Jeans and a Teacup

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