All that is in “The Host” has been seen before in other science fiction films. Yet there is a fantastic central performance by Saoirse Ronan (“Atonement” and “Hanna”) and the lure of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” to pull you in.
Aliens have taken over our planet and they are encountering a few pockets of human resistance. After peacefully occupying 11 other planets, they find human consciousness a strange and violent new thing.
The lights and shiny eyes are oddly attractive and the vision of the survival of the human spirit is nicely imagined. Really, this is a much better movie than I expected it to be with its mix of self-sufficient survival, travel between planets and – inevitably – that Twilight teenage yearning thing that you either like or don’t like.
Melanie Stryder (Ronan) is taken over by one of the aliens, called souls, but her own consciousness co-exists with that of the Wanderer. Max Irons and Jake Abel play the two love interests inevitable in a Twilight-related tale.
William Hurt is really very good as Jeb and Diane Kruger, Frances Fisher, Marcus Lyle Brown and young Chandler Canterbury all stand out.
Andrew Niccol (“Gattaca” and “In Time”) writes and directs and I am a little puzzled by why he changed the book’s ending.
All in all, the audience of teenage girls at Stratford Picturehouse enjoyed the film and I did too.