The Host - 2013

"An unseen enemy who can erase your memory." I HATE it when that happens! Also known as "La huésped," this story is based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer ("Twilight") so this PG-13 film should be a crowd pleaser. My problem was with the 3M dialogue: Murmur; Mutter; and Mumble (I missed 50% of what they said). The screenplay, by Andrew Niccol ("In Time") who also directed, confused me: I honestly couldn't tell when it was intentionally humorous or just plain laughable. I WILL say our screening audience laughed many, many times.

We start with a young woman so desperate to save her younger brother's life from "peaceful" alien invaders she makes a suicidal leap out a window but is soon restored to life by those same despicable beings. From then on, she has the icy blue eyes which tell us that she too, is one of "them." Problem is, the survivalist human she replaced has survived...as a pesky voice inside her head. Thus the humor.

I appreciate that all the men in the survivalist community are twenty-ish hunks, each with one good reason or another to be attracted to our heroine. Hey...It's a story by Stephanie Meyer!

Here we have:
  • Saoirse Ronan ("Atonement") is Melanie/Wanda, both with distinct personalities, vying for control. As Melanie she was in love with Jared, but that doesn't stop Wanda from falling for Ian. Got that straight?
  • Max Irons ("Red Riding Hood") Yeah! ...Okay, so Jared is another survivalist; he lived with our heroine and her younger brother in a derelict mobile home before the aliens started imposing their peaceful ways on the planet.
  • Jake Abel ("I Am Number Four") is Ian, who falls for the alien Wanda with poor Melanie shouting her dismay inside Wanda's head.
  • Chandler Canterbury ("Repo Men") is indispensable as little brother Jamie who is the first to sort out where the spirit of his missing sister might be lurking.
  • Diane Kruger ("Inglorious Basterds") is relentless as The Seeker. She WILL capture that missing girl even if she has to resort to violence to do it! (...gasp...)
  • William Hurt ("Robin Hood" 2010) as Jeb, is the paterfamilias of a group of survivalist wheat farmers. Their field is hidden inside a mountain...trust me. He keeps the peace with a loaded shotgun.
  • Marcus Lyle Brown (Lots of TV) Healer Fords is the medical man who lives with the survivalists and tries to help our heroine.
At least the aliens are easy to spot: their various means of travel (a Ford Lotus, some motorcycles and a few helicopters) are all bright silver. Expect some gunfire, a little vehicular mayhem, no profanity, no sweaty bodies and no blowie uppie stuff. In addition, this movie passes the Bechdel Test because the women talk about the issues at hand, not about a man.

The message is: "Love conquers all," so look for a happy ending AND a theater with closed captions! (Or wait for the DVD.)
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Here's a little sample:
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