Aliens that look like gruesome space-beasts are scary, but it is far more terrifying to me to see friendly, familiar faces controlled by parasitic intruders. In The Host, glowy dandelion aliens take over humanity by attaching themselves to the brainstem of individual people. They infiltrate every level of human society and impose new measures of peace and cooperation.
This book has over 600 pages so it was a pretty big commitment for me but I just couldn’t resist. Stephenie Meyer gave us glittery vampires in the Twilight Saga- I had to see what she would do with aliens. At the time I remember comparing the book to other alien flicks like Invasion of the Body Snatchers and They Live. The book felt like a movie in paper format. It was a surprisingly quick read for such a hefty novel.
Hollywood must have agreed that the world needs to see The Host as a full length film, because they roped in the amazing Saoirse Ronan and made it happen. It felt natural to see the book come to life. I really enjoyed seeing the story unfold. Having read the book, I wasn’t sure how they were going to fit so much content into two hours or how they were going to reflect the tension between the alien invader and host. They used voice-overs. At first the voice-overs were distracting, but I adapted and it worked.
When the book came out it was marketed as an adult novel but the movie feels like it was made for the teenage population. I’m going to do the unthinkable here with this book-to-movie battle and say the movie wins for teens.