Box art for The Host

The Host

sci-fi & fantasy, thrillers


From Stephenie Meyer, the creator of the worldwide phenomenon The Twilight Saga, comes this daring and romantic thriller based on The New York Times #1 bestselling novel.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    8%
  • Audience Score
    50%

common sense

ON for kids age 13
Consumerism
2 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Language
1 out of 5
Positive role models
2 out of 5
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5

Lots of kisses, but "Twi"-fi thriller isn't that compelling.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that even though author Stephenie Meyer intended her sci-fi novel The Host for adult readers, the big-screen adaptation is just as teen friendly as the Twilight saga -- but with aliens instead of supernatural characters. There's a whole lot of passionate kissing, and two young adult characters (in the book, they're specifically described as an older teenage girl and her twentysomething boyfriend) who are revealed to be lovers share a couple of mild sex scenes (mostly just making out in bed, with the man barechested). Given the genre, it's not unusual that there's also violence: People (both alien and human) are shot, commit suicide, and gravely injured. But as in all of Meyer's stories, there's a happily ever after, as well as themes of humans banding together to fight for their freedom and the ability to live and survive.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about alien movies and their enduring popularity. How does The Host compare to other invasion/take-over movies in which the aliens are more overtly violent?
  • Stephenie Meyer has said that the book The Host was based on isn't YA but rather a sci-fi romance for grown-ups. Are there any aspects of the movie or story that you think make it more appealing to adults than teens? How do you think this story compares to Meyer's Twilight series?
  • Book fans, what characters or plot points do you wish had been included in the movie? Which changes did you like?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    8%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all The Host reviews
  • Audience

    50%

Top Critic Reviews

Rotten: A goofball teenage sci-fi romance, "The Host" is an End of Days parable that seems like it was written at a slumber party.

- Adam Graham, Detroit News, Friday, March 29, 2013

Fresh: The Host's infelicities-drab dialogue, ridiculous plotting, more emotional crises than there is story-are enlivened by its thematic eccentricities.

- Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice, Friday, March 29, 2013

Rotten: During the dull stretches of The Host -- and, sadly, there are many of them -- you may find yourself rewriting the movie as a French farce.

- Alonso Duralde, TheWrap, Thursday, March 28, 2013

Audience Reviews

0 star

In the future, a race of parasitic aliens have taken over the planet by using the minds and bodies of humans as hosts. One of the few surviving humans, Melanie (Ronan), is captured and a parasite by the name of Wanderer infects her body. Melanie's mind is strong however and refuses to allow the parasite to fully take over. As Wanderer begins to experience Melanie's memories, the parasite becomes sympathetic to its host and decides to help Melanie reconnect with her people, one of the last bands of survivors. When she tracks them down, however, they refuse to treat her as anything other than a host. The distributors of 'The Host' opted not to screen the film for critics; never a good omen. I guess they saw the general critical mauling of the 'Twilight' series, whose author, Stephanie Meyer, wrote the novel this film is based on, and decided it better to keep things quiet before release. Somehow, I've managed to avoid experiencing the 'Twilight' phenomenon for myself so I had no preconceptions of 'The Host' to draw on. To me it just appeared to be another sci-fi movie from the lineage of 'Invasion of the Body-Snatchers' and 'The Thing'. How wrong I was. 'The Host' is an absolute travesty of a film, already a strong contender for this year's Rotten Waffle award. Whatever of Meyer's influence, the blame has to be placed solely at writer-director Niccol's feet. He opts to convey the communication between Melanie and Wanderer through voice-over. The effect is hilarious for the first couple of minutes as you're instantly reminded of Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin's similar interaction from 'All of Me'. When you realize you're going to have to put up with this for the rest of the movie, it quickly becomes exceptionally aggravating. Ronan is a fine young actress but she really struggles with this preposterous idea. Most of her scenes consist of close-ups of the actress looking confused while she awkwardly, and laughably, argues with herself. I can't believe that at no point in the film's production did nobody acknowledge how ridiculous and anti-cinematic this idea was. 'The Host' could have served as a nice gateway for young girls into the world of sci-fi but, as with all of Niccol's past films, it's a wasted opportunity; one which you'll need to be wasted yourself before attempting to watch.

- moviewaffle, Friday, March 29, 2013

2 stars

In getting Twi-Hard for a close encounter, Stephenie Meyers's latest novel-to-screen adventure falls somewhere in the middle of space. Very little, from the romance to the action to some of the performances, feels organic at the outset. Oh yes, this flick centers around alien body snatchers recreating an idyllic human existence which would lend itself to plasticized behavior, but the faux goings-on often extend to the 'human' scenes too. Dotted with fascinating ideas and cool sequences, however, the movie hosts a bit of an awkward dinner party of both good and bad moviegoing. In this PG-13-rated adaptation of Meyers's sci-fi adventure, Melanie Stryder (Ronan) risks everything to protect the people she cares most about - proving that love can conquer all in a dangerous new world - when an unseen enemy threatens mankind by taking over their bodies and erasing their memories. Continuing a great run of performances that started with Atonement and continued with Hanna, Saoirse Ronan brings depth and emotion to the embattled alien 'Wanderer' who still has remnants of Melanie, the human she inhabited. Her head believably becomes a tennis match...almost. If only the script gave as authentic a performance. Both the human and alien sides of the main character play invasion of the booty snatchers with respective suitors to varying effects. Talk about clone though. Heck, there's even a making-out-in-the-rain scene seemingly nicked from a Nicolas Sparks adaptation. Conflictingly, there are also some engaging moments (a tender scene between Melanie and her brother, for example), which makes The Host a genuinely mixed bag. Bottom line: Spaced invader.

- jeffboam, Tuesday, April 16, 2013

4 stars

I'm not sure why so many hated this one... I felt it had a lot of soul. The romance wasn't played out enough but that's not what the movie was about: it was about the love human beings have for their family and what lengths one goes to for it. It was also about teamwork, acceptance of those different from us, and sacrifice. I think this film told a familiar genre/story concept in a fresh and exciting way. I now want to read the book.

- crazydannielle16, Tuesday, September 3, 2013