Before I get started; where are the real science fiction films? I mean this year has been an awful year for the genre, everything from The Host to After Earth has sucked royally. Okay now that I have gotten that out of the way I agree with the assessment that The Host is just like Twilight. But I think it is Twilight in reverse; in Twilight the damned (vampires) fight the righteous (werewolves), both of which are attacking humans, as we find out. In fact the only differentiation between the vampires and the werewolves is that the vampires attack those that deserve it, while the werewolves attack anyone. This gives Twilight somewhat of a horror shtick to it, which is the saving redemption that set it apart from other vampire films without a moral compass. A human gives up her soul for eternal life in damnation, and of course the whole heaven and hell thing, where everyone has eternal life anyway, is conveniently avoided. But Twilight works because it invokes the whole good vs. evil thing; it plays out a spiritual battle for us, which is what everyone loves in the end. The film concludes with the ultimate spiritual battle pitting good vampires and werewolves, against bad vampires and werewolves. Not that there is necessarily anything good about giving up your soul, but hey, it is portrayed through the ideology that in doing so you can fight the good fight on an entirely different level, supernaturally, and everyone else is just clueless and deserves to die because that’s what humans do.
The Host is a bit different. On what appears to be a loose reworking of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, parasitic aliens have taken over the planet Earth and created a perfect society. The aliens, which far outnumber humans that have not had their bodies taken over, are the damned. Imagine a world where vampires and wolves have either killed, or converted, everyone, and that becomes the new normal. Or just imagine a world full of zombies. We now have seekers and wanderers; the former hunts the latter. Or is it the other way around? What does it mean when both the seeker and the wanderer are one in the same, with a conflicting agenda, and we get to hear a human talk to herself the entire film?
This is the problem I have with The Host. The film does a nice play on words, where the term “Souls” is loosely used to reference the parasitic aliens. But in all truth, the film is about transporting souls from one person to another. Our protagonist is not human flesh, but a soul that has lived in one form or another for a millennium . We are then supposed to believe that the soul can be killed. But of course, they don’t kill the soul, they just put it in another human body. Interesting, rather, fitting, that the last known human beings that have their soul want to continue on the legacy of aliens who, in a perfect world would be content if they were all damned, by transporting a “Soul” into another human body. This of course because you know they fell in love with the damned, just like our protagonist did in Twilight.
The movie tries to convince us of the idea that our soul continues to live here on planet Earth, just like Twilight tried to convince us that the soul only served to limit our abilities as human beings; getting rid of your soul is a way to break free of the chronological confines of human life. There is no fight against good and evil in The Host. Rather, humans who would eventually join the damned actually help out an individual who is portrayed as one of the “good Souls”. That’s like saying a fallen angel that is working to get all in your head and encourage you to sin is good, and worthy of your love and affection, the angel has still fallen and is not going back to heaven anytime soon!