The Host Parent Guide
While the film suffers from exhaustive voice-overs, juvenile dialogue, moments of unintended humor and plot holes the size of Nevada, Ronan attempts to make her character as believable as possible.
Parent Movie Review
It’s easy to purport peace when you belong to the dominant faction. But for humans, the idyllic state of harmony on Earth has come at a huge cost. Aliens, in the shape of brightly lit dust bunnies, have embedded themselves in their human hosts, effectively taking over mankind and establishing a tranquil new living situation for the invaders. Only a few mortals remain, holed up in hiding places, in this film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s latest book, The Host.
After their father kills himself to avoid being “taken”, Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) and her kid brother Jamie (Chandler Canterbury) are forced to flee from the Seekers who want to insert an alien life form into every available body. While stealing food, Melanie meets Jared (Max Irons), a suitably handsome young man who holds a knife to her neck before passionately kissing her. (I guess that’s what happens when you haven’t spoken to another human being for two years.) Together the trio tries to make their way to the cabin of Melanie’s Uncle Jeb (William Hurt) in hopes of finding other survivors. But along the way, she is captured and embedded with an alien soul known as the Wanderer.
Unwilling to passively accept the intruder, Melanie refuses to surrender to her new body mate. The situation gives new meaning to the phrase “I’m of two minds”. It also gives rise to a convoluted love triangle (something Meyer also created in her Twilight series) when each of the personalities in Melanie’s body falls in love with a different boy. But while the film suffers from exhaustive voice-overs, juvenile dialogue, moments of unintended humor and plot holes the size of Nevada, Ronan attempts to make her character as believable as possible—a feat that isn’t always easy as she stares into the camera while the voices fight it out in her head.
Conveniently setting itself up for a sequel, The Host may have an instant following of Meyer fans. Yet while the brief sex scene between Melanie and Jared doesn’t result in the same physical bruises Belle experienced in Twilight, there are still violent depictions that raise content concerns for younger viewers, such as self-inflicted knife wounds, multiple suicides, brutal punches and shootings that leave blood pooling on the street.
Like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers, the extraterrestrials in this movie are intent on replacing the planet’s residents. Although the shiny-eyed visitors in this movie are the enemy, the audience is supposed to bond with Melanie’s body mate who plays the film’s protagonist. The setup forces Melanie and her uninvited guest to form a schmaltzy truce by the end of the film, but it’s one that seems overly sentimental in the face of millions of people who’ve died to play host to the invaders.
Directed by Andrew Niccol. Starring Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons, Diane Kruger, William Hurt. Running time: 125 minutes. Theatrical release March 29, 2013. Updated July 17, 2017
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Host rated PG-13? The Host is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some sensuality and violence.
Violence: A character suffers bloody injuries and nearly dies after she fights off attackers, jumps from a window and falls to the ground below. A man shoots himself (off screen) while his children listen. Aliens take over the bodies of humans by cutting slits in the back of their necks. Characters are kicked, punched, brutally slapped and knocked to the ground. A car crashes and rolls leaving the driver with scrapes and a bloody nose. A man attempts to choke a girl to death. Characters commit suicide by crashing into a cement wall after exchanging gunfire with their attackers. Blood pools on the road after a man is shot and killed. The bloody aftermath of surgery and murder are shown. A character attempts to drown another. A character cuts herself with a knife. Other characters are shot, stabbed or injured.
Sexual Content: Couples kiss frequently and passionately. An unmarried couple rolls around in bed with some back and shoulder nudity shown.
Language: The script contains a handful of mild swear words and some terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Aliens employ a spray substance to sedate their enemies.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
More parents' guide for The Host after the break...
The Host Parents' Guide
Aliens seem to think that humans are incapable of getting along. Do our actions appear to confirm that? Are the aliens as peaceful as they claim to be? Can peace only be established when one group subjugates another or can it be found through making personal choices? Is independent will deemed more important than honesty, courtesy and kindness?
Why is it hard to feel empathy for the protagonist in this movie? How does the script try to make amends for the impact of the invasion? Is any invasion ever friendly?
The most recent home video release of The Host movie is July 9, 2013. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: The Host
Release Date: 9 July 2013
The Host releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Ultraviolet Digital Copy) with the following extras:
- Seeker PSA: Feature Commentary with Meyer, Niccol and Producer Nick Wechsler
- Bringing The Host to Life: Behind the scenes with Meyer, Ronan, Irons and Abel
- Deleted Scenes